30 April 2018

Rugged handheld computers are being used to great effect in various industries. In the manufacturing sector specifically, these devices are becoming increasingly important as companies look to streamline operations without impacting quality.

There are several ways in which rugged handhelds can be useful in manufacturing environments – inventory control, machinery maintenance and improving visibility are just three examples. Below, we take a closer look at each of these applications to show why so many businesses are investing more in this kind of hardware.

Inventory control

Regardless of the end product, most manufacturers have warehouses and factories full of essential items and parts. Some are crucial to the manufacturing process, while others are used for tasks like machine maintenance and distribution. All of these items – along with the finished products themselves – must be kept in order and properly accounted for at all times. Achieving that with paper records can be more hassle than it’s worth, but handheld computers, providing they’re used with the right applications, can make it second nature.

Staff at all stages of the manufacturing process can use handheld devices with scanners to accurately record the whereabouts of items and products as they move through the business. Data is automatically uploaded to a wider computer system and made available immediately, meaning you can monitor everything in real-time.

Machinery maintenance

The smooth running of your manufacturing machinery is crucial to your business’s efficiency; this is why your engineering team is so important. Once again, though, keeping track of maintenance work and scheduled repairs using pen and paper is a minefield. Information could be recorded inaccurately, or even worse lost. Accessibility is also an issue, as only the employee in possession of the paperwork has a clear view of the latest data.

Engineers can use rugged handheld computers to access up-to-date machine information and task lists wherever they are, and that same information will be available to managers and others within the business, meaning everything works harmoniously. Better communication and synchronicity means less downtime and more productivity.

Better visibility for all

Manufacturing is just one part of a much bigger supply chain, on which there are various stakeholders demanding accurate information on where items are, what’s available and when orders are likely to be completed. With staff scanning constantly at various touchpoints, you and your partners have complete visibility of the manufacturing process from start to finish.

Effective use of this kind of scanning will allow the tracing of any design faults that show later in the manufacturing process - helping to avoid massive costs and, in some cases, even preventing legal action. This is useful in most sectors, but it’s especially valuable when food is concerned, as contamination incidents can be particularly costly.

This works both ways too – handheld computers give production staff access to information on parts and supplies they’re expecting, while providing greater visibility of repair schedules that may impact their work.This kind of open visibility helps to keep everything running smoothly.

Rugged handhelds are a no-brainer

Factories and warehouses are harsh environments, so it’s important that any technology you introduce can stand up to the inevitable drops and knocks. Our range of rugged handheld computers are designed to take whatever your staff can throw at them, meaning you can rely on them to deliver greater efficiency for years to come. To find out more, speak to our expert team today.   

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