One of the questions often asked concerns equipment used to register production, namely where is it better to run the software: on a traditional computer or on a tablet? To help you dispel the doubts and make a decision, we prepared a micro-manual, where we try to solve dilemmas and guide you through the best and the most economic choice.
How do you use a computer / a tablet at the production hall?
Before we answer this question and make the most optimal choice, let’s remember how a computer is used at the production hall.
The computer is mainly used for displaying an updated list of tasks for individual machines with a possibility of registration of work progress. Additionally, each employee can check in / check out on entering the manufacture, so you know their exact working times.
The software is using a web browse, that’s why all actions can be done on tablet/smartphone, and Prodio’s servers are responsible for the majority of calculations.
Tablet or laptop – what is better?
Using tablets for registering production:
Tablets have a great advantage – they are very easy to install on individual machines. They can simply be mounted on the handles and you don’t have to worry about the space needed for a traditional computer. On top of it, tablets are quite inexpensive, which makes that choice economical.
However if are only at the testing stage of equipment at your production hall, please bear in mind:
- using a tablet isn’t always as comfortable as it looks, because of protective gloves your employees wear very often. It is also very easy to get your device dirty and in that case it might not work properly.
- visibility and clarity – on the bigger computer screen things will be easier to read, then on the small tablet.
- when your employee accidentally minimizes the browser, at the computer the closed window can be brought back with one click of a mouse.
- it is very important to remember a possibility of entering comments into the software ‒ using a cable keyboard connected to a computer guarantees speed and ease.
Using computers to register production:
- Using a computer means having a bigger screen, which results in greater clarity of displayed content.
- One of the indisputable advantages of the computer is an intuitive operation, almost anybody can use it without bigger problems.
- Installation and configuration are easier in comparison with tablets and mobile phones.
- Attachments – if there is a photograph or technical documentation attached to a product, it is much easier and faster to open it on the computer then tablet.
Which equipment you should choose to start with at your production hall?
When there aren’t many working stations at the production hall (only one or two) or when you are not sure what would work best, a computer (not a tablet) seems to be a perfect choice.
There is of course a dilemma: should you use a laptop or a traditional desktop computer with an additional monitor?
A desktop computer: it is more efficient and faster, but it seems to be more economical to invest in laptops.
Laptops: one of the main advantages is very easy configuration, because of its built-in wi-fi module, so getting online it’s is much faster. In case of power cuts at the production hall. laptop’s battery can last for a few hours until the electricity is back on and a restart won’t be necessary.
A laptop connected to a keyboard and a monitor – is an ideal solution, which you can use at your production hall.
A valuable addition to the above settings will be a standard keyboard and a mouse connected by cable. Considering the conditions at the production hall (dust and dirt) it will be easier and cheaper to replace, than the notebook’s keypad.
When shall you use tablets?
It is recommended when you want to save space and when your workers are able to register to work fast. Tablets work best when the production plan is displayed on the TV screen.
Bar codes are a perfect complement to tablets – next to machines are bar code readers and each time when the procedure is finished, the workers can scan the code to register progress in the system.
Once you made your choice, what exactly you should buy?
Technical requirements for computers
Technical parameters for computers are not excessive, because their main task is limited to displaying a website, as all calculations are done on sever. For the web browser to work smoothly is needed:
- 4 GB RAM processor Intel i3 (when at the computer are going to be displayed many machines, minimal requirement is 8 GB RAM and i5)
- Windows 7 or newer (recommended Windows 10)
- Updated Google Chrome browser
- Notebook’s screen (the bigger, the better – the best is 15,6 HD+)
- external monitor (recommended) 22” or bigger (optimally Full HD 24”)
- CABLE KEYBOARD + CABLE MOUSE
Where to buy it? After-lease laptops, which fulfil these requirements, usually cost between 150 – 200$ gross (ex. allegro), computer screens more than 50$.
Technical requirements for tablets and mobile phones
Regarding laptops technical parameters, the most important is the OTG support function for USB, so any type of USB reader could be connected.
The safest way is to buy second hand, flagship models ex. Samsung Galaxy Tab. The same regards mobile phones – it can be even a 5-year old model, as long as it has OTG function.
Specific solutions for some industries:
Difficult working conditions and equipment
In case of difficult working conditions at the production hall (it’s dusty and dirty), the best solution is to put the laptop in the drawer or cupboard (to protect it) and leave out at the desk a computer monitor only.
What about fieldwork, assembly team, repairmen? The system we described works online. Thanks to mobile phones with easier access to the Internet than tablets, you can use it while working in the field, not just at the manufacture.