Are Your Computers Ready to Take on Some Cold Challenges?

Pharma, medical and food businesses are typically faced with a variety of seasonal challenges to store and distribute temperature-sensitive stock without compromise. In cold environments, small variances such as a delay on a loading dock or picking can turn a large product investment into a hefty liability that cannot be afforded.

Honeywell Solutions

Cold Store Devices

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White Paper

Coats, hats, proper ear protection, footwear, and gloves are essential for warehouse workers to function more than a few minutes in cold storage areas. In much the same way, mobile data-collection computers must be built to perform under these demanding conditions. Unless mobile computers, associated barcode readers, and wireless networking equipment have been designed with features required specifically for use in cold environments, the level of their reliability will fall right along with the temperatures.

Standard computer models deliver less-than-substandard performance if they are consistently used inside freezers or exposed to frequent temperature changes. In fact, moving the computer between normal and cold areas is extraordinarily hard on just about every part of the device, even if it’s ruggedised. In the short term, LCD screens fog up, batteries won’t release enough energy and processors may not perform as intended. This all equates to reduced user productivity. Long-term use of non-optimised equipment in cold conditions causes screens and housings to become brittle, and repeated condensation can cause internal components to corrode, short-circuit, and fail.

Workers shouldn’t have to work hard to keep their mobile computers functioning. Fortunately, low temperatures don’t have to mean reduced reliability and productivity. There are mobile computers, wireless networking gear, and data-collection peripherals available that are specifically made for prolonged use in cold, moist, and freezing conditions. This white paper describes the conditions where cold environment computers are necessary, the warning signs that indicate when devices aren’t up to their environmental requirements, and explains the key differences between standard and cold environment rugged data-collection computers.

The Solution: Rugged Mobile Solutions Built to Thrive in and out of the Cold

Any handheld computer can be carried in a case or holster, but that superficial protection doesn’t render the device suitable for prolonged use in cold temperatures. True rugged cold temperature computers use parts, materials, and manufacturing processes specifically designed for the environment. Practically every component of a mobile computer – from the casing to the internal circuitry – can be optimised for use in cold conditions.

Wireless Infrastructures in the Cold

Popular industrial wireless communication technologies, including Bluetooth® and IEEE 802.11-standard wireless networks, can be used in cold storage and freezer environments. Some adjustments may be required to wireless LANs to ensure consistent, quality performance.

Barcode Readers

Barcode scanners need a direct line of sight to the label for accurate reading and decoding, so fogging or condensation on the scanner optics can present a problem. The best solution is to have the barcode reader integrated as a component of the handheld computer, to take advantage of the computer’s internal heater to function properly.

Bluetooth is a popular option for interfacing barcode scanners and other peripherals to mobile computers. Bluetooth is especially valuable in cold environments, because the wireless interface eliminates worries about connector failures from condensation.

Alternative Data-Collection Options

Speech recognition and RFID are alternatives to bar codes for accurate data entry, and have several advantages for cold environments. Speech recognition terminals are worn on a belt or shoulder holster, rather than carried, and can be worn under a coat. Terminals worn under coats aren’t exposed to the temperatures cold enough to cause problems.

RFID is advantageous because it requires no line of sight for data entry. Therefore, the condensation that can plague bar code readers is not a factor. Condensation frequently occurs after pallets are shrink-wrapped, which makes it extremely difficult to read bar code labels under the wrapping. RFID is a good option for identifying cases and pallets after the shrink-wrap process.

In Summary

Thriving in cold conditions requires the ability to adapt to the environment. Mobile computers can be adapted for cold-environment use with heaters, housings, components, and peripherals that set them apart from standard models.

Without these adaptations, mobile computers are at significantly elevated risk for failure, putting organisations at risk for lost productivity as well as unnecessary repair and replacement costs. Seemingly minor problems such as frequent battery changes and devices periodically being unusable because of condensation problems drive up operating costs by reducing productivity and threatening on-time performance.

Honeywell Powering an Intelligent Cold Supply Chain Workflow

Honeywell’s purpose built vehicle-mounted and mobile devices deliver best-in-class productivity performance in extreme cooler, refrigerator, chiller and freezer conditions of up to -30°C (-22°F) to protect customers and enhance profitability.

Streamline cold storage and handling

Deliver orders without compromising safety with rugged handheld and vehicle-mounted computers built to thrive in and out of cold temperatures.

Increase accuracy and productivity

With integrated heaters, higher IP requirements, quality housing and glove-friendly keypads, Honeywell devices are ergonomic and purpose-built with flex-range scanners to improve accuracy, regardless of the type of barcode, in extreme conditions.

Reduce downtime

With low-impedance, lithium-ion batteries included in Honeywell devices, specifically formulated for cold temperatures, three shifts in a cold DC or warehouse can be achieved without any downtime.

Future-proof cold operations

Honeywell’s Mobility Edge™ unified platform for software and hardware provides a common System on Module (SOM) for all cold environment mobile and vehicle-mounted computers. With Android™ R (11) OS guaranteed, your devices are secured to up to 2028 to prevent security breaches.

Key Rugged Devices for Cold Store

 

Mobile Computers

CK65 Rugged Mobile Computer – Designed for warehouses, manufacturing, cold storage up to -30°C (-22°F), non-incendive (NI), and hazardous (ATEX) environments, the CK65 is ultra-rugged to survive multiple 3 m (10 ft) drops to concrete as well as dust and rain (IP65 and IP68 rated). Find out more

CN80 Ultra Rugged Android Mobile Computer – Designed to withstand the harshest environments and the toughest users, the Dolphin CN80 minimises downtime and lost productivity with extreme longevity. Withstands 3.0 m (10 ft) drops to concrete per MIL-STD 810G and 2,000 1.0 m (3.3 ft) tumbles. IP65/IP67 ratings against dust/water spray and even immersion. Cold storage and non-incendive options available. Find out more

VM3A Vehicle Mount Computer – Built to withstand extreme temperatures, the device’s large 12.1-inch display, readable both indoors and outdoors, supports both resistive and capacitive touchscreen options, and is available with an optional screen defroster for use in cold storage and freezer environments. Find out more

Industrial Scanners

From rugged warehouse environments to ultra-rugged outdoor job sites, you can trust Honeywell’s handheld, industrial grade barcode readers to provide superior durability and reliability, even at temperatures as low as -30℃ (-22℉).

Ensure maximum productivity and uptime with Granit™ 1990iXR and 1991iXR expanded range ultra-rugged barcode scanners. Best-in-class durability ensures low TCO. Premium scanning performance ensures even damaged or low quality codes scan quickly. Granit XP expands capabilities and redefines ultra-rugged scanning. Find out more

Industrial Printers

Tough, dependable, smart, secure. Honeywell industrial label, ticket and tag printers easily handle any type of applications, from commercial light volume needs to rugged, round the clock printing performance. In temperatures over -25℃ (-13℉ ), printing of the labels can be done outside the cold room for item tagging before they are stored in the room. Find out more

 


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Industrial Scanners

From rugged warehouse environments to ultra-rugged outdoor job sites, you can trust Honeywell’s handheld, industrial grade barcode readers to provide superior durability and reliability, even at temperatures as low as -30℃ (-22℉).

Ensure maximum productivity and uptime with Granit™ 1990iXR and 1991iXR expanded range ultra-rugged barcode scanners. Best-in-class durability ensures low TCO. Premium scanning performance ensures even damaged or low quality codes scan quickly. Granit XP expands capabilities and redefines ultra-rugged scanning. Find out more


Industrial Printers

Tough, dependable, smart, secure. Honeywell industrial label, ticket and tag printers easily handle any type of applications, from commercial light volume needs to rugged, round the clock printing performance. In temperatures over -25℃ (-13℉ ), printing of the labels can be done outside the cold room for item tagging before they are stored in the room. Find out more

The PX940 series takes industrial printing to a new level of accuracy and simplicity by providing customers with error-free precision printing, increasing production efficiency and reducing operational costs.

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