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The Benefits of Rugged vs. Commercial Devices for Warehouse Applications

Warehouse environments are often harsh and demanding. They can be hot, cold, dusty, wet, and even hazardous. This can put a lot of stress on the devices that warehouse workers use, which can lead to premature failure.  Unlike commercial devices, rugged enterprise devices are designed to withstand the harsh conditions of warehouse environments. They are built with durable materials that can resist drops, spills, and extreme temperatures and typically include an IP Rating, which represents the level of protection against the intrusion of solid objects and liquids such as dust, dirt and water drops.

The Benefits of Using Rugged Devices in the Warehouse
There are a number of reasons why you might want to select an ‘industrial’ or ‘rugged’ barcode scanning or mobile computing device for your busy warehouse, distribution center or manufacturing facility.  Here are a few:

Increased uptime: The reliability of a rugged device is very valuable to a busy operation. From long-life batteries to comfortable design, enterprise devices are built to last.  In addition to the reliable exterior, the computing power, scan engine and electronics under the hood are what keep these workhorses moving day after day, user upon user.  The consistency in performance is what makes them a valuable asset.

Reduced downtime: When a device fails, it can take time to repair or replace. Downtime also costs the organization money, because if product can ship out the door, worker productivity slows, and revenue is lost for that day.  Rugged devices are less likely to fail because they’ve been tested, and tested again to resist drops to concrete from as much as 5 feet, water sprays, dirt and dust, multiple users and long shifts.  All of which can influence the occurrence of downtime. Commercial devices try to ‘ruggedize’ themselves by offering a rugged case to house the device.  The truth is, a rugged case won’t necessarily make a device rugged when you consider all the necessary components.

Increased accuracy: Enterprise devices are designed with longevity in mind. You will find industry-leading scanning performance from manufacturers like Honeywell, for instance, whose barcode readers can rapidly and accurately read even damaged barcodes to keep workflows optimized and on schedule. 

Another leader of industrial scanning and printing devices, Zebra Technologies, conducted a study that found that 85% of warehouse workers believe that rugged devices are essential for their jobs. The study also found that rugged devices can help to improve productivity by up to 20%.

The study also compared the cost of rugged devices to the cost of commercial devices. The study found that rugged devices are more expensive upfront, but they can save businesses money in the long run. This is because rugged devices are less likely to fail, which means that businesses don’t have to spend money on repairs or replacements.

Rugged devices offer a number of benefits for warehouse applications. They are more durable, accurate, and secure than commercial devices. They can also help to improve productivity and reduce downtime. From handheld and wearable scanners to mobile computers and printers, there are a lot of choices out there to help you find the right type of device for your application.  Maybe you don’t need something that resists falls to concrete when your small office is as far as your device will travel.  The choice is yours, but we can help you make the right one. 

If you still need convincing, consider the evolved perspective and insight in this great article from Zebra Technologies on this very subject.


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