Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

September 2012    |    Volume: 44    |    Number: 9

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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Emerging Technologies

Innovative tools of the trade

Mobile, rugged and unfrozen

Is your office not an office? Do you need technical support on the move?

Today’s workplace isn’t stationary and requires rugged computing solutions. Fortunately, DRS Tactical Systems offers an entire line of Armor products that will do the trick. With all the connectivity required in today’s mobile environment, Armor offers devices fit to withstand an earthquake.

For those afraid to take their iPads outside, Armor has delivered with a line of lightweight and powerful tablets that will get the job done in the roughest conditions. Of course the Armor X7et and X7ad offer Intel technology and long battery life, but these tablets are also shockproof, dustproof and can withstand low-pressure jets of water from all angles.

The X7et is a Windows-based tablet that weighs less than 1.5 pounds and provides six hours of battery life. The X7ad Android counterpart weighs 1.3 pounds and operates for eight hours. Both 7-inch multitouch screens are readable outdoors.

In addition, the new Armor X12kb lightweight convertible tablet also meets military specifications and has a one-button stealth mode that disables all emitted lights and sounds. It has a 12.1-inch swivel touch screen that is readable in sunlight, a battery that operates for up to eight hours and an Intel Core i5 processor.

These three solutions make it easier for workers to use mobile computing in rugged environments.

The Douglas Legacy Arctic Battery is designed for another rugged environment – cold storage and freezer applications. Designed to meet the high power demands of manufacturing equipment, including forklifts, automatic guided vehicles, etc., this battery will deliver maximum output in even the coldest conditions. It boasts a battery thermal tray insulator that reduces the effects of cold and improves performance of the battery’s outer cells.

A patented electrolyte solution combines with the thermal tray insulator to optimize the charge cycle and protect against undercharging in cold temperatures. Its insulation system is compiled of vertical fiberglass strands, woven glass mat, compression mat, PVC shell and a sleeved separator. Many aspects are designed for streamlined access and efficient use, including flip-top vent caps and quick connect cables.

A five-year warranty translates to longer battery life and lower maintenance costs. The conductive grid structure acts as a barrier to all positive active material and increases performance and life of the battery.

The tailored charging profiles ensure best electrical-to chemical conversion, and built-in sensors automatically terminate the charge cycle at the proper time.

“The result is a durable, high-performance battery that significantly reduces the loss of capacity that is typical when batteries are used in cold storage and freezer applications,” said Brian Faust, Douglas Battery’s general manager.

Zach Fairman is an operations manager at Intel and the Western Region representative for IIE’s Young Professionals Division. He has a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from Oregon State University Honors College.