Why Go Rugged?
Most mobile computing devices are not designed for outdoor or physically-stressful environments. Once a laptop, notepad, scanner or handheld computer leaves the safe confines of an office, the chances of it failing or being damaged increase considerably.
Rugged mobile computing is primarily about risk mitigation and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Unlike a device designed for office use, a rugged mobile computing device is built to a standard rather than a price point. In “critical” operating environments - such as hospitals, warehouses, factories, airports, mines and remote technical facilities – the potential cost of operational failure outweighs the device’s initial cost.
In other words, rugged mobile computing devices excel in environments where there’s a need for high-performance on a consistent basis.
Definitions of Rugged
Not all rugged mobile computing devices are created equally. To select the right device, a buyer needs to understand how “rugged” is defined. Luckily a number of standards and markers have been created to assist in the procurement process.
Devised in 2008, MIL-STD-810G is a United States military standard used to verify whether a device can handle a series of specific environmental stress tests. These laboratory tests (24 in total) expose a device to stressors such as low and high temperature, rain, humidity, sand and dust, immersion, shock and vibration.
Ingress Protection (IP) – based on IEC standard 60529
An electrical device can be given an IP rating to indicate its resistance to solid particles (dust) and liquids. An IP rating is usually represented by two digits, eg. IP65. The first digit represents the “dust” rating (the range is 0-6), and the second digit represents the “liquid” rating (the range is usually 0-8, but there’s a special 9K rating). A combination of higher digits indicates a more resilient electrical device.
Rugged mobile computing devices which don’t have an official MIL-STD-810G or IP rating may still verify protection in the form of drop test and temperature ratings.
Industries Suitable for Rugged Mobile Computing Devices
• Defence, Government & Health
• Warehousing, Logistics & Transport
• Retail & Services
• Utilities & Telecommunications
• Technical & Industrial
• Emergency Services
• Automotive & Aviation
• Primary & Extractive Industries
Your choice of a rugged laptop, notepad, scanner or handheld computer will depend primarily on the application and the accompanying physical environment. Barcode Dynamics offers a wide range of rugged mobile computing devices from leading brands such as Zebra and Panasonic.