3 areas where rugged computers improve warehousing

Written by Melker Wångdahl

Rugged computers are key to keep up in the age of digitalization. Here are 3 areas where rugged computers improve warehousing and a case study from a rugged manufacturer.

If you want to keep up in the warehousing industry, rugged computers have pretty much become irreplaceable at this point. Mounted on vibrating forklifts and dropped on the dusty concrete floor, these handheld devices need to be able to take a beating. Rugged computers improve warehousing by providing the needed durability while at the same time increasing efficiency.

A modern warehouse management system is centered around rugged devices that can provide tools adapted specifically for the industry. RFID and barcode scanners, wireless label printers in combination with handsfree technology will help with faster, more accurate order fulfillment. At the same time, the devices can communicate with the back-office and keep inventory and accounting up-to-date.

Areas where rugged computers improve warehousing

Inventory management

Rugged computers with barcode and RFID scanners keep the company´s inventory database complete. With wireless communication, the rugged handhelds can aid the visibility in an efficient manner that reduces human error. 

Rugged computers improve warehousing by making inventory audits fast and easy to perform with scanners and image capturing tools.

Worker efficiency

The average warehouse worker makes about 30 trips back and forth to a stationary printer to get picking lists and labels. This obviously is not ideal for productivity and is an area where rugged computers improve warehousing efficiency.

A rugged tablet like the Algiz 10X can be mounted on a forklift and receive updated picking lists wirelessly. Add a wearable printer and you remove those 30 trips completely.

Picking and labeling

A warehouse management system can provide real-time inventory data for workers as they check off picking lists. The employees can easily keep track of their progress and maximize efficiency as well as the assets used. 

With rising expectations on delivery times and prices, companies in the warehousing business need to embrace new technologies. One such solution is the SP400X imprinter, the first scan-and-print solution. A creative way to improve picking and labeling.

A case of rugged computers in warehousing

Over at the Handheld group headquarters in Lidköping, they believe in their own technology and know how their rugged computers improve warehousing. Since the launch of the rugged PDA Natuz X2, it´s been the solution for tracking shipments to and from their warehouse.

The Nautiz X2 is fitted with a pistol grip accessory and the inventory workers use its 1D scanner in combination with a custom app to track shipments. The company has seen both increased productivity, more accurate data and a seamless data transfer.

This PDA meets US-military standards for ruggedness and has an IP65-rating for protection against dust and liquids. At the same time, the quad-core processor guarantees quick data collection and transfer.

When shipments of rugged computers are received at the Handheld HQ the built-in laser scanner reads the barcodes. The unique serial numbers are then sent to the ERP system and the inventory quantities are immediately updated. As the orders are ready to be sent out the warehouse workers scan the serial numbers again. This time information is sent both to delivery notes, invoices and warranty records.

Before using the Nautiz X2 orders were sometimes double scanned, this is no longer a problem. The large screen on the Nautiz X2 is easy to read and has eliminated the issue. The accuracy offered when scanning with a pistol grip has made life easier for the warehouse workers as well. With several labels, barcodes and serial numbers placed close to each other it’s easy to scan the wrong one. Better accuracy has helped address this problem too and increased efficiency.

If you are interested in reading more about how rugged computers improve warehousing or want to read more about how the Nautiz X2 is used at the Handheld HQ follow these links.