Those responsible for purchasing mobile computers naturally seek to minimize costs. There’s a temptation to choose PDA-type or commercial-grade devices over true industrial devices because their initial price may be lower. However, choosing these light-duty, less-durable mobile devices means adding significant support, early replacement and downtime costs—expenses that quickly overwhelm any initial savings. In addition, it can mean unacceptable risk when you’re running mission-critical applications. Considering all costs of ownership over the lifetime of mobile computers, true-industrial devices cost less—and provide a far greater return on investment (ROI).
The Differences Between Light-Duty and Ergonomically-Designed True-Industrial Devices.
Being mobile isn’t easy on employees. And it’s even tougher on their mobile computers. When used by mobile employees, devices are in constant, heavy operation. They’re often dropped and knocked, subjected to vibration, and exposed to dust and rain—conditions that will quickly reveal any vulnerability. If dropping a mobile device on a hard floor causes sudden failure in a mission-critical health-care application, the consequences can be disastrous. Moreover, lightduty devices aren’t likely to stand up to hard use in the environmental conditions of warehouse, delivery truck and outdoor use for long. That’s because these devices aren’t designed for continuous duty— or to provide high levels of wear, water, dust and shock resistance.
Ensuring true industrial durability in mobile computers demands that every component be designed and selected for exceptional durability. For example, parts that work well in PDA use (such as glass touchscreens) have to be ruled out in favor of stronger alternatives (like shatter-proof polycarbonate). Moreover, because industrial devices are typically in constant use, it’s essential to ensure that ruggedizing doesn’t compromise ergonomics.