The speed at which we acquire and share information is increasing daily. Consumers across America can access email, check social media profiles and text, all while holding a conversation. Smart phones, tablets and laptops make it easy to share information and to have constant access to it. Manufacturing plant floors are no exception to this trend. While having industrial PC’s or laptops on the factory floor is nothing new, the use of mobile tablets is a new and growing trend.
Tablets allow workers to have information at their fingertips no matter where they are within the manufacturing facility, creating a mobile manufacturing environment. The move towards application based programs allows tablets to be quickly customized for different companies or even different areas within a factory. The also eliminate issues faced by laptops – namely weight and requiring a surface area to be set upon. But what makes tablets so appealing for the manufacturing environment? And what are the issues tablet users still face? Will they be eclipsed by “Kinect” like motion based technology? The left column on the chart below lists common uses for tablets on the factory floor, and the right column lists some drawbacks or limitations of this technology in the manufacturing environment.
|TABLET USES IN MANUFACTURING:
||POTENTIAL DRAWBACKS TO TABLET USE:
Frank McCormack, Process Engineer at EPIC Systems, Inc. has this to say about tablet technology in manufacturing:
“Tablets are now the rage and this technology enables more portability as well as more application thought – the classic how can I break it safely? Actual criteria to evaluate before usage should include: “Are you sure” verifications in manufacturing applications, inductive charging, and wireless range. Each increment of technology gives benefits that are far reaching. As process engineers we need to meet the needs of clients as well as provide technologies that are reliable and safe.”
EPIC Systems, Inc. is an engineering firm and line integrator based out of St. Louis, Missouri that provides solutions for manufacturers. To learn more about EPIC, visit our website or contact an engineer today.