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Technical Articles & Industry Trends
Unlike traditional vehicle mount tablets, forklift tablet mount solutions have a unique set of requirements. Most forklifts operate within warehouses which creates additional environmental challenges for the rugged tablets to work effectively. Below is a list of the key factors to account for when choosing a forklift-mounted tablet.
Forklifts are one of the highest shock environments you can use a tablet in, second only to intense military use. Aside from an occasional drop on a concrete floor when taking a tablet on and off the forklift, the forklift itself has a rough ride for a computing device. Anyone who has ever operated or watched a forklift can see that whiplash-type motions, sudden jerks, and jolts of kinetic energy are akin to ongoing tiny explosions and earthquakes. Therefore, the rugged tablet solution needs to be rugged on the inside, not just a consumer tablet with protective housing. Having a mechanical architecture that is MIL-STD rated ensures the tablet can withstand these forces while maintaining power and data connection to the dock.
Warehouses are notorious for having dead zones. Within these spots, you may experience a ghosted wireless communication signal. Drops in connectivity cause numerous problems. Scanners can freeze, real-time inventory data is inaccurate, and productivity is lost; all of which results in lost business income. The thick concrete, steel, and pillars of dense materials can cause wireless signals to weaken as they serve as an obstacle to wavelength penetration. While you can pick up a cellular repeater system or do a wireless network site audit, having a receiving device with strong connectivity and multiple connectivity options is the other half of the solution. Teguar has rugged tablets that come standard with Wi-Fi and support the necessary 802.11 roaming to maintain wireless connectivity while moving from one access point zone to the next.
Forklift-mounted tablets need optimal solutions regarding how they use power, how they recharge power, and how they power down. Power considerations (i.e. forklift batteries) are one of the top expenses for forklift operations, so a possible power draw from a tablet is part of the equation. The cost of a new power supply for a forklift-mounted tablet is about $400 -$500 per unit. While there are a vast variety of forklift manufacturers, each one needs to be dealt with and connected to differently to protect your investments. Teguar has a variety of ways to connect power to the most popular forklifts. Whether you require a wide range isolated DC/DC convertor to protect from transients on an electric lift, a direct bare-lead connection to the battery, or cigarette adapter on a propane lift, Teguar has customized accessories in stock.
Thanks to added use of blockchain authentication in barcode scans, data can become more valuable. Teguar tablets have the option to have an integrated 1D barcode laser scan engine or a 2D imager. Our forklift dock design reserves the capability of connecting and powering legacy barcode scanners by using locking USB Type A ports. This allows for a higher current connection to power long range barcode scanners while also securing the USB connection during the bumpy ride. In the past, this has been a major pain point of failure and complication for users. The RS232 DB9 COM port also has been designed to have the option to allow for tethered barcode readers to be powered by one of the pins of the COM port. This design allows users to work with existing accessories they may have while upgrading their tablets, potentially saving thousands of dollars.
There has been a shift over the past decade in what business are choosing as their operating system and there is a billion-dollar industry around mobile device management software and the applications that go with it. Supply chain software architecture is trending toward micro-services. Some of these programs need GMS certification for Android devices, GPS capabilities for tracking and location, and sensors such as accelerometers, light sensors, gyroscopes, or compasses to collect the minute details. While the built-in ruggedness of a tablet enables it to guard against external conditions such as humidity, heat, and vibrations, the sensors enable a system to be environmentally responsive. For instance, if a vehicle leaves a work location perimeter, geo-fencing may enable an automatic shutdown. Another unique request being made more frequently as of late is shutting off the screen of the tablet when the forklift is in motion. This can be done by using the systems accelerometer as it can measure movement in any direction. Whether you need the latest Windows 11 device utilizing a Core I7 CPU or a power efficient ARM processor to run a custom Android build, the options are available in multiple screen sizes and operating systems.
Finding the perfect rugged tablet for your forklift mount is useless if you can’t mount it, and throwing out all the mounting equipment you have on hand is also not ideal. Machines, software, and applications are always evolving, so having a tablet that can evolve with a different use case is important. This is why Teguar carries rugged tablets with versatile mounting options. The forklift mounting system is constructed of machined solid aluminum and features highly durable locking connectors to prevent Power/USB/RS232 from falling out. The mounting holes allow the user to use VESA 75/100 & AMPS mounting patterns, and have gold-plated pogo pins which allow tablets to maintain a connection. Tablets from 8" to 12" have been specifically tested and assembled to meet various MIL-810G and Highway Vibration standards. They even maintained data connection and charging throughout these tests, which is not required to pass, but Teguar went above and beyond to offer sustainable and reliable solutions. Teguar offers a variety of forklift docks for rugged tablets which all have a quick release button, key lock, and a K-lock (Kensington Lock ™) hole for additional theft prevention.
When it comes time to replace your forklift mounted rugged tablet, consider what will meet your requirements without putting you over budget. Teguar has major cost-saving solutions such as the ability to retrofit a power supply, saving you up to $500 per tablet, which is equivalent to $50,000 on a fleet of 100 forklifts. Versatile mounting helps to future-proof equipment and application upgrades
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