In manufacturing, success used to belong to those who could predict demand long into the future and use this foresight to gain an edge through more effective planning. But things have changed. Increasingly, consumers want personalised products and this has seen a huge increase in product variants and hence need items built to order and dispatched faster than ever. In fact, we’re moving into an era where a plant needs to adjust to orders in real time – with all the consequences that has on managing bills of materials, production and more.
VISIBILITY IS CRITICAL
In this fluid world, information from every area of the business needs to be collated, analysed and shared with teams, when and where they need it. Technology is essential to achieve this real-time visibility – especially the mobile devices carried by your teams. And, while there may be a temptation to give your people consumer devices, we strongly advise against this: downtime is not an option and consumer devices are just too fragile to work in a production environment.
TOUGH AND READY
Our new ET50 (Wi-Fi) and ET55 (Wi-Fi and 4G) tablets are ready for life on the line, with a range of features that will help your teams work efficiently and productively. They:
- Are attractive but tough: Your users will enjoy working with the tablets that look and work like high-end tablets. But comparisons end there – with IP65-certified sealing, they can withstand a hose-down from water (as this video shows), are impervious to dust and they will survive 1m drops to concrete (1.8m with the use of the thin and light rugged snap-on shell).
- Excellent at data capture: The two built-in cameras can be used for scanning (as well of course for capturing images and video). But where your users are scanning often – e.g. in line side parts consumption or on the assembly line, we recommend pairing the units to our ring-scanner for hands-free scanning, or, using the new ‘expansion back’ feature. The unit is screwed into place over the main battery compartment and includes a rotating carry handle, an auxiliary battery, and an optional high-performance scanner. The scanner captures NFC and all types of RFID and barcodes including those that are torn, faint, scratched, or otherwise comprised for fast, accurate and uninterrupted data capture.
- Are ready to graft: Your line probably works 24X7 and you may well share technology across teams. The tablets are ready for this. The standard battery works well beyond a standard shift while expansion back’s auxiliary battery is hot-swappable to provide non-stop 24X7 power.
- Are comfortable to use: The rotating handle comes with a velcro strap that fits the tablet snugly to the hand, and which allows the user to easily orientate the tablet (e.g. to scan a barcode) while keeping the other hand free.
- Display everything clearly: Your teams in manufacturing may work in the rain or in sunlight. The versatile screen on the tablets can cope. It’s not afraid of the weather – it will work in the wet – and can be used with gloves while data entry options include a finger or a stylus. The high-definition screen is perfect for viewing videos – such as guidance for Standard Operating Procedures – while detailed plans, manuals, work orders, ERP applications and more can be easily rotated, blown-up and annotated.
- Are versatile: Our customers tell us that budgets are tight so technology needs to be versatile. With this in mind, the tablets can be mounted to forklift trucks – and paired with our handheld scanners – to provide a high-performance, lower-cost way for your drivers to view orders and capture data.
The ET50 and ET55 are geared up for business in other ways. Our partners have built ready-to-go apps (e.g. for improved tracking and managing maintenance), there’s a choice of Windows or Android operating systems (with enhanced security features for Android), they can be remotely managed for things like software updates and we’re committed to supporting them three years after end of life which is typically three years. When combined with the productivity benefits and rugged build of the tablets, which reduces total cost of ownership, the ET50 and ET55 are ready to address the demanding needs of today’s smart manufacturing plant.