Toughening Up For Consumers

| Environmental Testing

Smart electronic devices are designed to conform to the most stringent environmental testing standards

Consumer device manufacturers are providing tougher variants of their products to meet the diverse demands of their customers

Manufacturers of consumer electronic devices, including laptop computers, smartphones and tablets, have always placed their products under a lot of scrutiny during development to make sure they can withstand the wide range of environmental conditions in which they’ll be used and, to a certain extent, abused.

Warranties will always have a normal use clause in them to align the customers’ expectations of what they can do with the device to the manufacturer design specification. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that such products will be exposed to shock, vibration, humidity, moisture, direct heat and cycling heat conditions during normal use so the testing regime needs to meet that expectation.

Changing User Base

Although referred to most commonly as consumer electronics, smartphones and similar equipment are being increasingly used as a professional tool in most industries and so are exposed to a wider set of use cases and different environments and risk.

This increased scope has driven the need for a new generation of robust equipment that the major manufacturers are keen to demonstrate as being the toughened up state of the art!

Professional Grade Tablet

Having established itself as one of the top suppliers of consumer smartphone and tablets, Samsung last year positioned itself to dominate the industrial market for rugged tablets with the Galaxy Tab Active3.

The Korean giant describes the device as a rugged tablet designed to meet the demands of the mobile workforce, particularly field-based employees such as first responders.

The head of Samsung’s Global Mobile B2B team summed up their approach by saying “The way the world does business is rapidly changing as we move away from the office and out into the field.”

To cope with that, the Galaxy Tab Active3 is built to the demanding military standard MIL-STD-810H to survive in the most extreme environments. It has enhanced shock absorption to withstand drops of up to 1.5 meters and is IP68 rated dustproof and water resistant.

Sports Grade Smartphone

Known already for supplying rugged devices to niche markets, Kyocera has also adopted MIL-STD-810H as its benchmark for ruggedness for its latest 5G Android device, the DuraSport 5G.

The company has spent the last ten years developing and testing robust electronics to meet the needs of its markets, including the sports and adventure sector. According to the company, the DuraSport can withstand drops, dirt, water immersion and the elements as well as having the capability of being washed and sanitised to eliminate grit and grime.

The smartphone is equipped with a 6.1-inch Gorilla Glass 6 scratch-resistant display and is waterproof to a depth of 6.5 feet for up to 30 minutes (IPX5/IPX8). It is also IP6X dustproof and has been environmentally tested to verify it can handle extreme temperatures, salt fog, solar radiation, shock and vibration.

Explosion Proof Laptop

Devices are available now for any environment with possibly the most extreme example being the Getac F110 tablet computer that’s been certified as Class 1 Division 2 Explosion proof.

With C1D2 certification, the F110 provides added layers of protection to professionals in locations filled with concentrated flammable gases, combustible dust and warehouses or jobsites storing masses of tanks filled with highly volatile liquid gases. The F110 ensures workers can operate virtually without fear that a spark set off by computer sparks or arcs, display screen-generated static electricity or other such ignition sources might result in an explosion.

C1D2 certification (ANSI/UL121201, former ANSI/ISA 12.12.01) for explosive environments mandates that electronic equipment has no potential to produce sparks, arcs, static electricity or heat sufficiently capable of causing ignition of explosive material at its most dangerous concentrations.

Jonathan Newell
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