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Automation currently leads most modernization efforts, coming in the form of Android handheld devices, versatile rugged tablets, tap-and-pair mobile printers. In conjunction with these efforts, automated mobile robots (AMRs) have seized public interest. Current labor shortages and spikes in demand for faster and more accurate service have further fueled the need for flexible automation and digitization. Recent studies have shown that more than half of warehouses have cited hiring and retaining long-term workers among one of the biggest obstacles faced today, with 85% currently prioritizing labor optimization. Replacing the need for extraneous labor efforts, AMRs are able to empower workers by automating pallet movement, diminish travel time by 60%, and eliminate repetitive tasks without burdening the human workforce.

 

As decision-makers move towards integrating AMRs into their operations, experts recommend considering the following questions:

     1. How will you measure ROI?

Most specialists estimate AMRs should yield measurable results within 2 years at max, with order fulfillment speed being the first change to be recorded. While there are many ways to calculate ROI, a few indicators to look for include…

  • Increasing fulfillment speed – Since travel time is diminished, there should be less replenishment delays and bottlenecks impacting throughput rates.
  • Improved worker safety – AMRs are made to carry heavier loads and may sport a sensitive motion scanner to prevent collisions. This spares workers from straining themselves or running into machinery.
  • Lowered operating costs – As delivery timeframes are met and stock is quickly moved to the appropriate space, there should be less costs associated with inaccurate orders, mis-shipments, and sudden out-of-stocks.

      2. Do you have sufficient space?

While AMRs may not require a complete warehouse redesign, some solutions may require dedicated space within your operations for…

  • Navigation – Tight spaces and sharp corners can limit the AMRs’ ability to move freely around the warehouse.
  • Battery charging – Appropriate space may be required for charging different fleets when they’re not in use.
  • Maintenance – While enterprise devices are designed to withstand harsh environments, AMRs still need to be updated and serviced.

      3. Are other methods of automation already in place?

In addition to AMRs, support systems such as automated data capture and mobile computing further eliminate errors and speed up processes by enabling workers to accomplish more in less time. Before implementing robotics, set a digitized foundation with:

  • Android’s enterprise OS – Familiar and adaptable, Android enables you to add your preferred applications within its open ecosystem for easy adaptability. Its recurrent OS updates and security patches also further protect your operations from cyberattacks.
  • Real-time stock updates – By streamlining data capture and computing through one handheld terminal like Zebra’s handheld computers, your workers can update counts and communicate with each other digitally.
  • Push-to-talk capabilities – Speaking of communication, team communication goes a long way in keeping the workforce updated of any changes and emergencies across the facility.

      4. What fleet control system will you use?

Selecting hardware is only half the battle when it comes to modernization. To maintain complete efficiency, your fleet management system should be able to connect to your WMS system to receive directions and real-time inventory updates.

      5. Is your solution scalable?

The propensity for change in the supply chain is the only constant warehouses can continue to expect in the years to come. As material shortages challenge efficiency alongside labor shortages, it’s crucial to maintain integration and update simplicity to facilitate solution growth. If AMRs are unable to connect with the rest of your mobile devices, they may not be the most suitable option for your business.

 

Once these questions are answered, businesses can create a more realistic and proactive solution plan to minimize implementation hurdles. This can also help narrow down which kinds of AMRs to integrate. To explore your options or for more assistance on how to evaluate your warehouse, talk to one of our modernization experts and explore a broad portfolio of technologies to create customized and scalable solutions.

 

 

Undisruptive Modernization – It’s possible with these three initiatives.

 

Complex implementation has long been cited as one of the leading obstacles warehouses face when modernizing their workflows. Today’s fast-paced operations leave little room for extensive training times, app alterations, and lulls in productivity; however, failure to properly modernize can also slow down efficiency as workers must navigate through higher demands with outdated devices, bottlenecks, and inaccurate data. In other words, complex modernization is almost as detrimental as no modernization.

 

So, if modernization skills must be intelligent enough to compete in today’s high-demand environments, yet simple enough to maximize uptime, the question remains: How can warehouses bridge the gap between simplicity and adaptability? Several supply chain experts and tech players suggest the answer may be:

 

  • Digitize inventory tracking through mobile devices
    It’s estimated that distribution centers have inventory accuracy rates as low as 60% depending, generating more surprise out-of-stocks for retailers as they must wait for distributors to restock. Poor inventory counting also breaks down business relationships within the supply chain as more pressure is placed on manufacturers to restock items, further fueling shortages. On the other hand, digitized stock tracking and counting enables reports to be shared instantaneously, so teams can operate with a clear view of available inventory. Zebra’s RFD90 is a prime example of efficient mobile digitization since the sled can integrate real-time RFID visibility onto any Zebra handheld to enable faster inventory locationing, trackable work-in-progress, and seamless communication between manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
  • Prioritize, OS, software, and app updates
    Devices running on Android’s open ecosystem benefit from simplistic app additions since the operating system does not require applications to be rewritten. That means workers can add their preferred apps onto their Android devices to retain some familiarity and lower training times. Moreover, applications like All-Touch Terminal Emulation facilitate app conversion, so your TE apps display flawlessly on a touchscreen interface right out of the box.
  • Secure connectivity channels for reliable communication
    The goal of a successful modernization strategy should be to unify the workforce current customer demands. Therefore, eliminating dead zones and dropped signals from your environment is crucial for optimization efforts. In addition to strengthening wireless infrastructures, consider leveraging push-to-talk features embedded within your mobile computer to erase the need for additional hardware and maintenance costs. For example, Workforce Connect enables group conferencing, secured text messaging, and emergency alerts, so your teams can stay updated of any sudden changes in demand like delayed shipments or shortages as it happens.

 

Knowing where to start

 

Intelligent modernization can take a variety of shapes. Consequently, experts recommend assessing main workflows in order to prioritize struggling operations. After starting your workflow assessment, it’s easier to procure technologies that address your specific goals while reducing the need for a mass device refresh, thus creating an simplistic yet adaptable modernization plan.

Just in the last decade, food giant Chipotle made history when it agreed to pay the largest fine in history – a whopping $25 million in response to its part in a sickness outbreak that would affect over 1,000 customers in a span of 3 years. Unfortunately, compromised food safety is a widely shared issue amongst manufacturers and distributors within food service. The costs of one communication gap may end up being incalculable when you factor in:

  • Lost hours of productivity as teams search for operational blind spots
  • Recall execution expenses such as setting up automated phone calls and postage for returned items
  • Severed distribution relationships as partner businesses must also adjust to recalls
  • Missed compliance fees and audits that come up after mistakes are noticed
  • Reverse logistics and storage as brands must process returned items while keeping them separated from uncompromised products.
  • Broken consumer trust as shoppers will avoid brands with a history of recalls even if it’s just from one event.

Even if spoiled products are identified before leaving facilities, businesses still take a heavy blow financially as products must be discarded.  Experts estimate food manufacturers and distributors can lose as much as $750 billion per year due to poor handling procedures, improper cold storage, and inaccurate data processing. Consequently, targeting blind spots within food distribution has become an undisputable priority.

Three technologies enhancing food safety visibility

Several next-generation devices are now built to simplify tracking and tracing workflows; however, because food service often runs into the challenges of cold storage, technology solutions must also be durable enough to protect real-time visibility. In our partnership with Zebra Technologies, we’ve seen the following technologies thrive in the challenges of maximizing food visibility:

  1. Bluetooth-enabled temperature sensors – Battery-operated Bluetooth sensors mitigate interference issues to protect undisrupted temperature tracking even after products leave the dock. Sensors can be read through any Bluetooth-compatible device for real-time storage verification as products travel down the supply chain. This trackable visibility allows businesses to quickly pinpoint and remediate inadequate temperatures before they harm products.
  2. Customized labels for crisp barcodes – As stated many times by many experts, identification labels are a lifeline for your products since they display vital information such as storage notes, handling instructions, and compliance codes. Constant movement throughout the distribution process can contribute to early label damage such as scratches, fading barcodes, and peeling. Therefore, to protect inventory identification, labels should be tailored for food handling, able to survive extreme temperature changes and long transportation. Zebra’s Certified Consumables fulfill these requirements in drawing strength from several pre-tested materials to ensure consistent performance anywhere they go.
  3. Fixed industrial scanners and machine vision – Multiple purchasing options, new markets, and updated compliance standards have created a more dynamic supply chain with multiple possibilities for blind spots. Consequently, automated fixed scanning and machine vision have taken center stage in seamlessly verifying product quality without halting productivity. Conduct simple track and trace and/or quality inspections across the whole supply chain with automatic visibility that connects to your WMS in real-time for less guesswork.

Selecting a visibility device is only a small part of complete solution design and deployment. To fully reap the benefits of higher operational visibility, we recommend starting with a full evaluation of your current workflow to target hidden blind spots. By assessing where they’re located, your team can then integrate a scalable solution that stays within allocated budgets while deploying future-forward technologies. By doing so, businesses not only protect transparent traceability, but they also prevent operations from being blindsided in the future by new changes.

In a span of a decade, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have reported a 125% increase in food recalls. In 2020, the FSIS recorded a total of 1,394,585 pounds of recalled products, pulled from markets due to pathogens, allergens, presence of extraneous materials, and import violations. Studies show that grievous tracking and traceability gaps have been responsible for:

  • 47% of recalls stemming from microbiological contamination
  • $3.7 billion spent in medical treatments for salmonella 
  • Nearly 8.5 million food units recalled yearly by the FDA
  • 601,969 pounds of recalled chicken in 2020 alone

While these numbers are ominous, one of the primary reasons behind the increase in recalls are traceability technology and new safety regulations. Real-time tracking and labeling systems now provide easier verification of compliance codes in food safety. That means manufacturers can target and catch more mistakes than before with the help of new intelligent tools and better safety parameters set by the FDA, FSIS, and CDC. However, while timely recalls can prevent pathogen outbreaks, they quickly erode consumer trust. An estimated 80% of consumers do not completely trust brands to ensure safety, and over a third report avoiding businesses associated with food-borne illnesses for many months. Therefore, visibility systems must prioritize early detection to keep compromised products from leaving facilities in the first place. 

The key to establish real-time alerts based on actionable data

Less communication gaps empowers teams with a clear overview of how products are handled, packaged, stored, and moved. Labeling systems paired with handheld scanners and mobile computers can help eliminate gaps by transcribing data from each step into a centralized shareable database. On the other hand, new rugged tablets like Zebra’s ET80/85 2-in-1 tablets emphasize the power of agile adaptability in securing food safety by:

  • Providing a lightweight consolidated computer and scanner – Despite having an integrated scanner and higher durability standards, the ET80/85 is 20% lighter and 35% thinner for easy portability. Its larger screen size permits workers to monitor products at-a-glance when operating forklifts or other heavy machinery.
  • Facilitating data entry with a detachable keyboard – Keep workflows standardized with a device that adapts to preferred data entry mechanisms for administrators and production teams alike. Detachable keyboards and universal mounting options allow the ET80/85 to fit into different work environments, simplifying training and accelerating deployment. 
  • Reducing connection drops through flexible connectivity options – Leveraging several connectivity options such as WiFi 6E, 4G/5G, and Bluetooth, the ET80/85 prevents downtime and breakdowns from signal drops within the four walls, keeping your vital data constantly available to your workforce. This also means workers can update WIPs, notifications, and compliance codes in real-time for entire teams to track. 
  • Deploying seamless push-to-talk and secured texting – Lastly, Zebra’s Workforce Connect empowers manufacturers with real-time communication between individual workers and entire groups, all streamlined through one platform. Moreover, connectivity can extend beyond the four walls, allowing transportation teams and retailers to verify shipments are ready for sale. 

To efficiently start securing real-time workflow visibility, begin with a comprehensive operational assessment to target recurring points of communication breakdowns. Contact Avalon to start your assessment today and learn more about the next generation of technologies devoted to dependable food safety.

Shaping modern warehousing from the inside out, demands for sustainable practices have skyrocketed, with a 71% increase in searches for sustainably sourced and packaged products. To retain customer loyalty, warehouses and distribution centers can no longer afford to overlook operational sustainability. Moreover, as supply chain issues continue, eco-friendly practices can also help minimize costs and downtime since versatile technologies aim at reducing e-waste, thus streamlining several vital workflows through one rugged device for less future decommissioned devices. In addition to a smaller carbon footprint, sustainable warehousing promotes:

  • Consolidated workflows for less deployed devices and reduced management costs
  • Future-proof operating systems to prevent early decommissioning
  • Durable printheads and smooth surface labels that mitigate premature printhead failure
  • Less paper-based data tracking thanks to automated scanning capabilities

Explore your sustainable modernization options

To further facilitate your sustainable plan, next-generation technologies strive to support the qualities discussed above. For example, Zebra’s Rugged Tablets hold EPEAT certifications, thus complying with multiple stringent standards while automating data capture. Whether through rugged tablets or mobile computers, sustainable warehousing can be achieved through…

  1. Eco-friendly upgrades that guarantee proper recycling – As businesses move toautomate repetitive tasks, concerns for improper e-waste disposal grow. To prevent outdated devices from hitting landfills, Avalon continues in its partnership with the GO Zebra Program, assisting businesses in trading legacy devices from any manufacturer for Zebra’s next-evolution devices along with cash rebates up to $650 per device.
  2. Minimum operational lifespan of five to ten years for mobile devices – Unlike consumer-grade devices which typically last between one to two years, enterprise-devices running on Android’s OS can last up to 10 years with uncompromised data security thanks to silent yet recurring updates and security patches.
  3. Durable external design to withstand rough use – Optimize reliable operations with durability that is built to handle drops to concrete, rain, snow, dust, extreme heat, subzero temperatures, and liquids. Zebra’s Rugged Tablets are waterproof, dustproof, and drop-proof, so your workers get the ultimate in usability. When devices are built to survive harsher conditions, businesses can also avoid wasteful downtime and breakdowns, decreasing operational costs, IT visits, and eventual device disposal.
  4. Reliable battery management – Lastly, to reduce risks of improper battery disposal and sudden device malfunction, applications similar to Zebra’s PowerPrecision can pinpoint a battery’s lifespan and performance. This enables workflows to preempt problems before they impact productivity while tracking retired batteries to prevent improper disposal.

With the correct technologies, even the smallest changes can greatly improve sustainable warehousing. For more small-scale changes and implementations, contact Avalon’s modernization experts to learn more.

The rise in consumer demands for sustainable and environmentally conscious warehousing has skyrocketed within the past years as more consumers grow concerned with the environmental impact of their preferred brands. While recycling and trade-in programs can reduce e-waste in the warehouse, there are other efficient small-scale solutions to reduce environmental impacts. Despite accounting for less than 10% of your operation’s total expenses, enterprise labels significantly contribute to warehouse waste over time. Labels and other paper waste contribute to the 85,000,000 tons of paper waste hitting landfills per year, and product packaging is usually first in the most disposed paper products. Although reducing paper waste may require more effort than label optimization, your consumables are still a good place to start when creating a sustainable warehouse. 

Evaluating your operations to ensure environmental sustainability is crucial to make sure you are getting everything out of your labels. A proactive label evaluation can help establish visibility and cut down on unnecessary costs by pinpointing areas where better labels can be implemented. The goal should be to create a labeling system that empowers:

  • Waste reduction – To accomplish this, many businesses are now turning to linerless labels, thus removing the additional paper waste from the adhesive backing. Another way to avoid paper waste is by preventing labor jams through purpose-built printheads and easier media loading.
  • Easy reutilization– For businesses reusing labeled containers, new tag options like dissolvable labels allow businesses to easily wash away adhesives without leaving behind any residual glue that can prevent new labels from sticking. Paper fibers are environmentally friendly to prevent water pollution. 
  • Seamless recycling at the end of the supply chain – Evaluate how your labeled items are entering and exiting the market. If labeled items are received by another facility within your business, you can maintain control of the handling or disposal of these items.

Streamline high performance with certified printing supplies

Building on a long history of warehouse optimization, Zebra’s certified labels continue to provide a scalable and adaptable way to improve supply chain workflows and meet customer demands. Designed to retain legibility even in the harshest conditions, the following three labels prioritize sustainability and decreased environmental impact while protecting maximum uptime: 

  1. Take sustainability a step further at its face with adhesive that readily dissolves under running water, further reducing waste and pollutants with the 8000D Dissolvable Label. These labels provide a more efficient means to removing disposable labels for seamless reutilization of containers and bins. 
  2. Eliminate the need for a liner with Zebra’s Linerless Labels. To reduce extraneous amounts of paper waste, Zebra’s linerless labels do not need a thermal printing ribbon and gives workflows more labels per roll along with a scratch-resistant and smooth surface for maximized printhead performance.
  3. Enable easy recycling to lower the amount of packaging that hits landfills with the PolyE 4000D Label and Z-Perform 1000DF Label. Made from consistently tested materials, these labels are engineered to comply with environmental standards for easy recycling. 

When it comes to driving sustainability in the modern warehouse, every small detail can create a long and lasting impact. Contact us today to being your comprehensive label evaluation and see how you can reduce costs and waste in your operations.

Currently, the industrial sector is responsible for about 32% of the nation’s total energy consumption. Between compliance fees, utility charges, and labor expenses, manufacturing plants expect high costs when it comes to storing inventory on-site. However, to keep up with surges in demand, manufacturers must keep necessary materials always in hand lest they risk sudden stockouts that lead to delays in production, lost sales, and product shortages. To circumvent these issues, inventory management strategies like just-in-time (JIT) material reordering have become more prominent as a way to alleviate storage expenses, yet while cost-effective, JIT leaves little room for error.

When operating in a JIT inventory management system, facilities strive to keep less inventory on site to avoid stockpiling materials that may not get used. This means that operators must quickly reorder materials as soon as they dip below an established threshold point to avoid shortages. Failure to reorder on time can pause operations since the production line has to wait for incoming materials. When done correctly, JIT enables:

  • Minimized storage costs
  • Greater visibility on products assembled
  • Mitigated depreciation risks
  • Maximized storage space for finished goods
  • Seamless adaptability to sudden increases in demand

Establishing Effective Tracking for Just-in-Time Reordering

To prevent the risks of inefficient JIT inventory management, a viable system should integrate the following three factors.

  1. Real-time data visibility – Preventing out-of-stocks requires fast insight into dwindling inventory. That’s why real-time visibility stemming from technologies such as RFID locationing and digitization have become essential in securing JIT efficiency since they allow workers to target decreasing inventory counts before they fall below the established threshold level. 
  2. Unbroken workforce communication – In addition to timely visibility, workers should be able to communicate with each other immediately to notify of any impending shortages or stockouts. Solutions like Zebra’s Workforce Connect transforms current handheld devices into two-way radios for manufacturer and delivery teams, closing the gaps between delivery and receiving docks, so workers know when and where incoming shipments will arrive.
  3. Scalable automation – One of the perks of JIT reordering is that it facilitates adaptability in the event of sudden surges in demand, yet this flexibility can only be capitalized if the correct data processing tools are in place. Versatile enterprise devices such as Zebra’s rugged tablets provide adaptable functionality with flexible connectivity options, built-in scanning capabilities, longer battery life, and higher data security parameters to streamline data capture, processing, and sharing on one platform. Therefore, workers can simply add an additional layer of functionality to their versatile devices instead of having to deploy an entire new device to keep up with changes.   

While JIT inventory management has gripped the attention of most manufacturers, it is only one of the many ways supply chains are adapting to meet demands and overcome shortages challenges. To get a better idea of how you can optimize your inventory management system, schedule a workflow assessment and explore the modernized solutions reshaping supply chains today

While the bulk of COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift, it is clear that the enterprise landscape will look starkly different from what it was six months ago. In addition to numerous new health guidelines, your business may also face increasing customer demands while dealing with a shrinking workforce. Surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center show that well over half of polled Americans are uneasy about returning to the workplace. However, the 345% surge in online shopping within the past months illustrates the increasing demands for more accuracy and productivity from a much smaller manufacturing workforce.

While worker safety products such as bracelets and mobile applications can help ensure worker safety, manufacturing plants often require higher levels of safety to comply with OSHA guidelines. Consequently, additional safety items may pose more of a liability instead of promoting safety. As leaders in innovative efficiency, Avalon Integration. That’s partners with Zebra Technologies to raise productivity through compliant safety measures within a smaller workforce – all without increasing labor costs or worker strain.

Combining the Power of the MC9300 and Zebra Motionworks Proximity

2 Warehouse workers using the MC9300 safely distanced in a warehouse

Zebra Motionworks Proximity being used with the MC9300

Instead of deploying additional infrastructures or integrating consumer-grade devices, Avalon helps you leverage your current enterprise-grade technology. Using Zebra’s versatile mobile computers such as the MC9300 along with Zebra MotionWorks Proximity, your team is equipped with durable safe productivity  that allows them to:

  • Maximize data capture accuracy while scanning multiple barcodes at once
  • Communicate through secured networks with preloaded push-to-talk capabilities
  • Quickly pair with Bluetooth-enabled devices without disrupting internet connectivity
  • Integrate proper social distancing alerts to avoid germ spread
  • Track contact events to mitigate costly large-scale quarantines 
  • Minimize touchpoints with long-range data capture and versatile productivity apps
  • Comply with OSHA guidelines by providing efficient contact tracing without additional compromising gear
  • Add layered data protection that enables safe device sharing and efficient employee privacy

Download our infographic to see how Proximity turns work zones into safe zones.

MotionWorks Proximity Infographic Download

MotionWorks Proximity Infographic Download

Avalon Integration helps you adapt to a changing workplace

Two warehouse workers moving pallets while wearing masks

Create adaptive mobility solutions to safeguard your workforce

As more demands are made of your workforce, Avalon’s specialists work closely with you to create adaptive mobility solutions that safeguard the foundations of a successful operation such as:

  • Reliable accuracy rates – Correctly assembled products translate into higher accuracy rates, which in turn, leads to satisfied customers. Zebra’s mobile computers come with SE4850 scanning, so you can accurately capture 1D and 2D codes in lightning speed as far as 70 ft, prioritizing both speed and accuracy so you can safeguard brand identity with each product.  
  • Cost-effective labor expenses – With high labor costs still dominating the market, Avalon empowers you with user-friendly solutions, such as Zebra’s fortified Android, that minimizes repetitive tasks and extensive training times, so your teams can stay focused on more crucial tasks. 
  • Supply chain connectivity – As supply chains become ever more complex, reliable communication systems linking production to storefront are crucial to overall success. From push-to-talk networks to long-range adaptable networking, Avalon’s mobility solutions integrate next-generation technologies to connect your workforce onto an intuitive platform.

When change comes, Avalon Integration is ready to help you successfully navigate through it and make the most out of every opportunity. Contact us today to schedule a demonstration of the MC9300 to see how you can maximize productivity in a brand-new industrial landscape.

Avalon Integration has a wide variety of technology solutions that establish clients’ competitive edge, which is why I am overjoyed to introduce you to the latest and best tracking solution in the new digital age – RFID Locationing.

Tracking assets, personnel, inventory, and more RFID Locationing can maximize your return of investment by monitoring your most precious resources as they move through complex supply chains and workflows. Moreover, unlike legacy systems, RFID is adaptable to fit a multitude of unique industries such as:

  • Manufacturing
  • Warehousing and Distribution
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Healthcare Asset Tracking
  • Public Safety
  • Retail and Storefronts
  • Sports Analytics
  • And many more

As your guide to maximized ROI, I’d like to take you deeper into the countless opportunities enhanced visibility brings to your business. Shall we get started?

Assess Your Gains

MC3390R and RFID to Assess Your Gains

MC3390R and RFID to Assess Your Gains

Lack of visibility contributes to numerous operational inefficiencies. For example, manual data entry -which relies heavily on human effort for accuracy- can misdirect order fulfillment, leading a customer to receive the wrong product, impacting brand identity, and resulting in return fees. When it comes to public safety, unclear visibility can contribute to longer response times and impaired dispatch accountability. In other words, maximized visibility results in maximized efficiency, satisfaction, and safety. However, don’t just take my word for it. See how RFID is changing industries worldwide.

  • Manufacturing — RFID tags can be used to store multiple codes identifying particular parts and easing traceability down a production line. Furthermore, with Zebra’s RFID on-metal solution, tags can now identify metal components throughout production.
  • Warehousing and Distribution — Long-range scanners minimize worker strain while capturing codes as far as 60ft away with ease. Plus, Zebra Technologies’ RFID scanners are built to thrive in harsh conditions, retaining optimal functionality in extreme temperatures, falls, and scratches.
  • Transportation and Logistics — Increasing order accuracy by nearly 100%, RFID automates order verification with just a scan when implemented on the shipping dock.
  • Healthcare Asset Tracking — In healthcare, misplaced items can hinder patient care as medical staff must pause to search for their tools. Studies suggest that only 42% of medical assets are used efficiently. Real-time locationing empowers staff to find their crucial assets in a timely fashion to deliver better care to their patients.
  • Public Safety — When it comes to protecting our communities, visibility is key. By incorporating RFID tracking in daily operations, officers can better assess dispatch needs and set higher accountability standards for deployed teams.
  • Retail and Storefronts – Product shrinkage can drain over $40 billion dollars from the retail economy. To prevent product shrinkage near points of sales, RFID antennas and tags work together to monitor inventory as they come and go into the store, giving managers a clear view of their stock’s movement.

From tracking thrown footballs in real-time, to preventing lost pets, to assisting in utility operations, RFID has many uses, each with their unique benefits. Come explore your next locationing solution with me, and enhance your operations with a new standard of efficient visibility.

When tablets first emerged less than a decade ago, they were a consumer device, not quite ready for business use. It didn’t take too long though before being your own device (BYOD) expanded from smartphones to tablets. While good enough for general use in a workplace, moving into more challenging environments proved the consumer-grade tablet just couldn’t cut it. Well, we can now turn the table on tablets because the Zebra XSLATE R12 performs to a higher standard that is critical for enterprise use.

Zebra acquired the XSLATE R12 when it acquired its creator, Xplore, in 2018. The adoption also included the diverse L10 Series of rugged tablets: the XPAD L10, XSLATE L10, and XBOOK L10. Avalon Integration has put all of them to the test, and now we can share our findings on the XSLATE R12.

A Gutsy Choice

Zebra XSLATE R12 - Gutsy Choice

The XSLATE R12 is purpose-built to work harder than any tablet. Its chameleon-like design lets you convert from a conventional tablet to a notebook, with a magnetically-attached companion keyboard for those times when you want to type in your data. Or use a stylus or tap the screen, if that’s your preferred style.

The 12.5-inch display provides ample real estate for a good view of your screen, and the View Anywhere display is easy to view, well, anywhere—courtesy of the anti-reflective and anti-smudge glass and 1000-nit brightness. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 provides a tough surface that’s far more resistant to cracks and breakage than those delicate consumer tablets have. It’s all packaged with a magnesium-allow internal frame, rubberized enclosure, and IP54 sealing. Drop this super-tablet on a hard surface from 4 feet, bump it around in a service vehicle, and even spill water on the device. That’s not going to stop it. Yes, we tried.

So, we know the XSLATE R12 is rugged, but are there brains with this brawn?

Zebra XSLATE R12 is built for emergency services

Absolutely.

This Zebra rugged tablet is driven by a seventh-generation Intel Core processor, so your mobile workforce isn’t sitting around waiting for downloads. The integrated SSD provides an extra layer of security that’s critical when device-sharing is happening. Just remove the drive and pass along the R12 to the next user. The fingerprint reader increases the device’s security even more.

Who Needs a Tablet This Tough?

Zebra XSLATE R12 is the tough tablet for any environment

The XSLATE R12 goes from office to vehicle to fieldwork. One device with unlimited possibilities. We tested the tablet in a service van, using the mobile dock, and it was simple to snap in and then remove. It was also easy to enter information in the vehicle with a finger or stylus. The screen was easy to view, even at that late point in the day when the sun beats brightly through the windshield.

We hooked up a barcode scanner and high-frequency RFID reader by adding the SlateMate module. The scanner was easy to use and didn’t add bulk or interfere with the compact profile of the device.

The Zebra XSLATE R12 rugged tablet presents a great solution for tough tasks in a variety of industries:

  • Law Enforcement and First Response: Ticketing and eCitations, evidence documentation, investigations, emergency response planning, dispatch.
  • Manufacturing and Warehousing: Inventory management, safety audits, compliance reporting, project management, asset monitoring and control, logistics, dispatch and routing, dock and yard management, quality assurance, incident reporting.
  • Field Service: Repair and service documentation, parts inventory control, field sales, payment processing, delivery confirmation, work orders, claims to process, estimating, invoicing, route reporting.
  • Healthcare: Electronic patient care reporting, remote patient monitoring, care team consultations, inventory management, help desk.

Avalon Integration and Zebra’s XSLATE R12 Is Here to Suit Your Every Need

Consumer tablets just aren’t designed to handle demanding conditions. The cost to repair, maintain, and replace them drives up the total cost of ownership. Choose a rugged tablet for a real return on investment. Avalon Integration is ready to show you the value of the Zebra XSLATE R12. Contact us to arrange a demo and learn more.