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The Use of Tablet Computers in Forklift Applications

Tablet computers are commonly used in warehouse operations not only for workers on the floor, but also on vehicles such as forklifts. Warehouse conditions require tablets to be rugged and durable to survive the rigors of a fast-paced operation. In addition, the rugged tablets need to be designed in a way that promotes movement and mobility throughout the warehouse floor. Typically, tablets are mounted on the warehouse vehicles which means they need to be tough enough to handle the vibrations from the vehicle and easy access for removal and quickly placed back on for transport.

As tablets become more prevalent in warehouse operations, they’re larger, more powerful, and more durable for increased versatility. In this blog we’ll address the reasons why a rugged tablet can be a powerful asset for your warehouse.

Why a Rugged Device is Necessary for Forklift Operations

  • Warehouse conditions are known to be dusty, dirty and with multiple shifts of workers sharing devices day after day. These conditions require devices to be more durable than commercial devices, and are constantly put to the test for durability and mobility.
  • The flexibility in design is important, which is one differentiating factor for industrial tables. The mounting design, for example, must be secure during movement, but easily removed when needed to get closer to materials that need to be pulled or put away.
  • For shift after shift performance, rugged tablets are also designed with long-life batteries that are easy to swap out in between users.

Key Features in Honeywell Devices

We often recommend Honeywell devices because they design powerful, flexible, and application-expandable solutions to future-proof operations.  Their rugged construction minimizes downtime and maintenance. For streamlined communications among workers, most tablets offer secure data, video, text, and voice to keep workers mobile and connected.

From a barcode scanning performance standpoint, Honeywell devices offer a full spectrum of coverage, including the ability to handle near, mid and far range barcode scan needs with instantaneous autofocus. This technology, called FlexRange™, allows employees to easily capture barcodes from as far away as 35 feet without having to waste time getting close enough for a scan or leaving the vehicle.

What’s more, these devices withstand 1.2 m (4 ft) drops to concrete and have earned an IP65 rating against dust and water. Tablets like Honeywell’s RT10A has a full suite of accessories for different workflows including vehicle docks, desk docks, and hand or shoulder straps. The extra benefit of available hot-swappable battery packs saves hours of downtime from a device losing its charge. Important to note is that RT10A is built on Honeywell’s Mobility Edge™ platform, which helps to future-proof your investment through Android™.

Why Selecting the Right Device is Important

Selecting the right device is a key component to successful and efficient warehouse operations. The convenience and safety of a vehicle-mount tablet means this onboard device doesn’t require the driver to leave the vehicle.

Due to mobility throughout the warehouse during shifts, security settings must provide safe data transfer for wireless use. Ideal specifications to look for include:

  • A large, 8-inch touchscreen readable both indoors and out, that will keep critical data accessible right from the forklift driver’s seat.
  • A field-replaceable front panel. This allows organizations to minimize investments in spare parts by substituting low-cost spare front panels for complete spare computers when accidents do occur.

When you choose the right device, you maximize productivity, minimize visual obstructions, and reduce downtime.


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