Where the Finger Meets the Plastic

Sept. 1, 2001
Linking workers with data.

Operator Interface: Where the Finger Meets the Plastic

Wireless speech technology, hand-held bar code scanning,hands-off bar code scanning, lift truck-mounted terminals. No matter how you doit, data collection in harsh environments separates the good from the bad andugly.

by Clyde E. Witt, editor

Linking workers with data, and with each other indistribution and manufacturing environments, presents challenges for any datacollection device. Often the worker has things other than picking orders on hisor her mind. Although the equipment might look different, the commondenominator is to make the job easier for the worker. Here is a selection of productsdesigned to take on all the industrial environment has to offer.

Ergonomics plays a major role in designing equipment forindustrial environments. Symbol Technologies has had its wearable scanningdevices — particularly the ring scanner — available for severalyears. It not only allows the worker to function with both hands free, itexists within the corporeal envelope of the user. In other words, it’snot only attached to the body, it becomes an integral part of theperson’s clothing.

Symbol Technologies was also the first company to offer Palmand Pocket PC hand-held computing products integrated with wireless wide area network.The form factors and features of these devices include rugged durability forharsh environments, ergonomic design, Internet access and bar code scanning.

Intelligent Instrumentation’s (a Texas Instrumentscompany) LANpoint CE is a rugged, dustproof, waterproof terminal designed forall environments. With its one-half VGA display, large keys, small installationfootprint, along with Web-enabled administration tools and Windows CE operatingsystem, this unit is highly adaptable.

Hand Held Products’ Dolphin 7400 mobile computerfeatures a 2D image engine. The device can be ordered with a wide variety ofautomatic data collection and communication technologies for bar code scanning,touch screen, keypads and other applications. The device’s housing isconstructed of magnesium alloy and high-impact plastic to take repeatedfive-foot drops. It is sealed against dust and moisture.

The wall-mounted industrial PC from HWM Enterprises ishoused in stainless steel and impervious to moisture, chemicals, dust orvibration. It has a flat panel display and can be configured to theuser’s requirements.

WalkAbout Computer’s Hammerhead 3 is a ruggedizedmobile computer designed for demanding environments. It has a choice of operatingsystems and is compatible with all popular networks. In addition, dual antennasaccommodate a combination of wireless devices. It can be docked andautomatically connected to a roof- mounted vehicle antenna for improved signalreception. ADF

For more information

For detailed information on automatic data collectionequipment, visit Material Handling Management,mhmanagement.com, or the following sources:

Citadel Computer, citadelcomputer.com;

Hand Held Products, handheld.com;

HWM Enterprises, hmwent.com;

Intelligent Instrumentation, lanpoint.com;

Intermec Technologies, intermec.com;

LXE, lxe.com;

PSC, pscnet.com;

Psion Teklogix, psionteklogix.com;

Symbol Technologies, symbol.com;

SyVox, syvox.com;

Vocollect, vocollect.com;

Voxware, voxware.com;

WalkAbout Computer, walkabout-comp.com.