An Ideal Medical Computer for Mobile POC
A common technology feature encountered in most medical facilities is the mobile point of care (POC) cart. In an effort to provide efficient and accurate care and response rates in areas that are often short on space, carts were fitted with casters and small form factor medical computers to allow staff to have the convenience of in-room patient data access without the cost and headache of installing a computer in each exam room. As smaller all-in-one computers became more commonplace, the carts have been able to be fitted to be even more lightweight, customizable, and stable. Point of care carts are usually employed to administer medical tests, but medical carts are also generally used for a variety of medical applications like medication distribution, anesthesia or IV dosage, rapid code response, bedside care, and more.
With such varied requirements for mobile care within a medical space, it’s necessary to have a versatile medical grade industrial computer that can answer to those needs. Tangent’s C-series medical computers are a prime example of technological prowess, compliance with sanitation standards, and modularity. The casing is factory treated with an antimicrobial additive to deter surface contamination and prevent mold and bacterial buildup, helping keep patients free of infection. The IP65 rated front panel of the medical computer can be sprayed and wiped with cleaning solutions without damaging the enclosure or internals. The computer is shielded from electrical frequency leakage making it safe to be used in close proximity to a patient and won’t interfere with other sensitive medical equipment. These safeguards have earned the C-series medical computer a medical 60601 certification.
Medical carts and related apparatus come in a variety of sizes, and in response, the C-series comes with standard VESA mounting. They can be installed on carts, arms, or used with the optional stand as a desktop device. So too, the screens of the C-series medical computers are available in 17 inch, 19 inch, 22 inch, and 24 inch widescreen PCAP touch true flat-front panel sizes. The versatility is also shown in the available Intel 6th Gen Core i5 or i7 processor, the one or two terabyte hard drive, or the unbelievable 132GB of memory that could potentially be packed in. Yes, that figure is correct – 132GB of memory! Computing power like that means one could run several instances of any resource heavy application and never crash. The systems are built to run 24-7 and even have a battery backup in case of power interruption. It is so important that no data isl be lost if the power suddenly cuts out.
The primary function of medical carts is to be highly mobile, which certainly requires a degree of cable free use. The C-series industrial medical computers have available Intel wireless and Bluetooth. Mobility invariably includes lots of shaking and vibration, which can be hazardous to normal computer systems with moving parts. Not only is the Tangent medical grade computer lineup shock and vibration resistant, it also is available with a fanless option. This greatly extends the life of the PC, and also ensures that it doesn’t circulate dusty air in a medical setting. Medical carts have a multitude of important purposes, and so Tangent’s medical computers can be customized to suit each unique setting.
Industrial PC Ideal for the Meat Processing Industry
In late 2012, the largest beef recall in Canada was prompted by an E. coli outbreak from a meat distributor called XL Foods. Eighteen people became sick, some to the point of needing hospitalization, and more than 4,000 tonnes of beef was recalled from across Canada and the U.S. This event sparked months of investigation, government inquiries, and resulted in massive financial impacts, but it is only one of many examples of foodborne illness-related recalls and scares in the agriculture industry. Contaminated foods is one of the greatest wastes any industry can face and so it’s understandable that cleaning and sanitation within meat processing plants is considered one of its most important activities.
So what can be done to ensure all the equipment in an industrial meat processing plant meets strict sanitation requirements and safety protocols? Invest in equipment that can stand up to the rigors of being inspected, wiped down with cleaning solutions and water jet spray, and exposed to widely varying temperatures. Computer equipment often falls short on these needs, but industrial PC solutions are readily available from Tangent for these types of harsh and demanding environments.
The Tangent S-Series Industrial Panel computers were purpose built to offer reliable, long-lasting processing with a durable case. The enclosure is IP69K rated to protect the internals against spray downs using high water pressures and high temperatures, as well as applied solutions. The rugged, stainless housing also offers a corrosion resistant surface. High pressure washing is efficient for surface cleaning after dry-cleaning of scrap materials in a meat processing center, followed by an application of cleaning or detergent agents. The input ports on this industrial computer come capped to protect against liquid or other contaminants. The availability of Intel Wireless AC-7260 and Bluetooth connections also diminish the need for cabling which reduces potential ingress.
The S-series industrial Panel PC line can be safely operated from 32 to 104°F (0 – 40°C), is rated to be shock and vibration resistant, and has versatile mounting options. The rugged computers are offered in a variety of sizes from 15” to 22” to suit any space and operate without any fans to further bolster its cleanliness. It’s disturbing to consider what could potentially hide in a computer on an industrial floor when fans are continually sucking in the dirty ambient air.
As more perishable and sensitive meat products have become popular in the market, particularly pre-packaged convenience foods, the need for proper sanitation in meat handling has increased. The microbial content of food products needs to be low enough to prevent spoilage during distribution and to guarantee an adequate shelf life once it reaches the store. Tangent’s prime directive is to provide top quality industrial computers to not only meet the requirements of business such as meat processing and distribution facilities, but to exceed them. Public health scares can largely be a thing of the past when industry standards align with forward-thinking technology. The S-series industrial computers from Tangent promote safety and perform to support a business’ bottom line.
All About Forklift Computers
Forklifts first came about in the early twentieth century and their practical purpose didn’t change much over the years; they picked up freight, moved it from one short distance to another or from ground level to higher storage spaces. Although the forklift’s intended functionality was fairly simplistic, continued warehouse process improvement efforts coupled with technological progress eventually enveloped this modest warehouse vehicle into a new role: inventory management and asset tracking. By placing an industrial grade computer on the unit, a forklift operator was able to scan items as they were being stored. A forklift computer’s primary objective is now to help organize an active warehouse facility, sending real-time information to logistics operations or to an inventory information database. This is a huge boon to organizations like home improvement stores who have to move and replenish stock several times a day.
Forklift mounted computers have been attempted for at least a dozen years, but they were bulky and difficult to use while a worker was also trying to operate the vehicle. More space effective, customizable all-in-one touchscreen computer formats like ones offered by Tangent are making it easy to complete repeated tasks and keep the small cab of the vehicle free of clutter and cabling. The Tangent F15 industrial all-in-one touchscreen computer was specifically created with forklift mounting and use in mind. Chief amongst it’s notable features is ten programmable function keys on the front panel. This allows the forklift operator to complete several repeatable tasks at the touch of a button, which means being able to work without requiring both hands and doing it safely. Wireless and bluetooth capabilities allow users to connect to networks and databases without the need for an ethernet cable connection. The construction of the Tangent F15 computer also lends itself to industrial warehouse conditions. The enclosure is completely sealed and rated at IP65 for being protected against water and dirt intrusion. The bright orange casing makes the unit easy to identify within the forklift cockpit, and easy to see the buttons for one-handed use when the operator is multi-tasking. The casing is designed for mounting on forklift applications with M8 heavy duty screws, and the computer has been tested for shock and vibration resistance.
Some companies have taken to using tablets on forklifts, which does allow for more mobility with the computer, but one of the bigger criticisms of using those is that the battery only lasts so long before a charge is required. This wouldn’t be a problem except that forklifts typically use DC power, not AC, and so time would be lost in charging or the expense of having to keep several tablets on hand. The Tangent F15 has a wide input voltage range allows for integration into more environments that can use either DC or AC power.
A range of I/O devices useful to inventory management are available for the industrial computer including an internal GPS module and an RFID (MiFare). GPS is popular for use in geo-fencing and RFID uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to inventory, removing the need to manually scan an item to identify it. For those who prefer barcodes and scanners, there’s a multitude of input ports for peripherals and devices. A lot went into consideration when this industrial all-in-one was designed for warehouse and forklift use. And as with industrial operations, it’s always better to have the right tool for the job.
Automobile Manufacturing Automation
The use of advanced technology in automotive manufacturing has been commonplace since the 1960s when car manufacturers first pioneered the use of industrial robots and then went on to make them standard in car assembly by the 1980s. Having seen tons of videos of robots welding chassis and components together on the automotive shop floor makes one think that the entire process is automated. But what’s surprising is that on the assembly side of things, automotive manufacturing is still quite people-intensive. In the past, industrial touchscreen computers were largely used for monitoring and quality assurance purposes. However, newer tech has seen the advent of things like collaborative robots that can help factory workers with challenging tasks, delivering materials, or assisting with heavy materials. Drones have been developed and deployed to inspect parts or potentially hazardous environments, while the factory staff control and investigate the proceedings on an industrial touchscreen PC. GM is even now using exoskeletons for repetitive operations in manufacturing. Workers wear a glove and they are given added strength and dexterity, but eventually they will also pass on their repetitive work tasks to a computer. Car manufacturers state that this is only the beginning in their quest for automation. In GM’s vision, the entire assembly floor will one day be a streamlined and automated flow of events.
The place for human intervention will no longer need to be in harm’s way on a hazardous assembly line, but with the tools and technology to be able to complete the same tasks using industrial touchscreen computers. Tangent’s All-in-One industrial PCs are created to be ready for the great ideas and automations of the future, whilst being able to withstand and succeed in the harsh and demanding environments of existing manufacturing sites. The S Series industrial all-in-one comes in a 15 inch, 19 inch, or 22 inch touchscreen monitor, built with a stainless steel enclosure that is IP69K rated as being fully waterproof. This series is also offered with a fanless design for reliability, longevity, and a noise-free operation which can be critical in manufacturing plants that must minimize dust circulation or ambient sound. The CPU is an Intel 3rd Gen Core i5, offering best-in-class integrated media and graphic performance to keep up with ever evolving (and moving) assembly line requirements. The units are available not only with VESA 100×100 compliant mounting, but also an optional tilting side mount, or with a sunlight readable panel with UV protection coating. This industrial touchscreen computer doesn’t even need to be indoors to provide effective utility! Another convenience is the S-Series’ optional Intel wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, removing the need to route ethernet cabling to the computer. This prevents clutter and maintains a clean work environment.
The automotive industry is always looking for process improvement through the use of innovative, reliable technology. Supporting smarter and safer technological endeavors is the heart of Tangent’s industrial computer offerings. The S-Series industrial touchscreen PCs are but a shining sample of the targeted work that Tangent does to bring quality and scalability to the manufacturing floor.