Panasonic is the leader in innovative computer designs that are rugged and tough enough to be used by the military and installed in public service vehicles. First responders need the best of the best to make certain that their mobile laptops and tablets will work when they need them most—in any environment possible.
What is Rugged Testing?
The United States Department of Defense (DoD) first performed rugged testing in 1962. It includes a wide variety of tests that make certain a device is up to military standards. The multitude of tests includes the use of a computer in all types of environments with different stressors and tracks how the technology performs with each variable. MIL-STD-810G specifications are the "gold standard" for the military.
Some of the tests that are performed involve dropping a computer and using a computer that is subjected to a large amount of vibrations. Other factors include extremely high and low temperatures and high altitudes. The computer must also be able to resist dust intake and be water-resistant to earn high marks.
Panasonic Fully-Rugged Computer Testing
Panasonic enlists critical testing to evaluate a mobile computer before it can be called "fully-rugged." Other manufacturers only produce "semi-rugged" computers. (For more about the differences, see our post "What's the Difference Between Fully-Rugged and Semi-Rugged computers?") These tests conform to many of the DoD rugged testing requirements.
Transit Drop Test: a laptop is dropped from different heights at a total of 26 different angles (ensuring impact to every side, edge and corner) onto a steel plate covered with a 2-inch layer of plywood. The heights are usually between 12 and 72 inches, which are the most common heights that a person drops a computer from in real-world situations. This test is performed because mobile workers like first responders are more likely to drop a computer than a person in an office environment.
Blowing Rain Test: This process includes blasting a laptop with 5.8 inch per hour rain and 70 mph winds for 30 minutes. First responders must be able to use their devices in a rain or windstorm and have them continue to be reliable.
Vibration Test: The vibration test simulates the extreme vibrations that are encountered in off-road vehicles and helicopters. Devices that pass this test are often used in jeeps, trucks, and tanks for the military; for first responders, they are ideal for withstanding daily vibrations in a wide range of emergency and public service vehicles.
Altitude Test: The altitude test is conducted to check performance when the device is 15,000 feet above sea level. The testing is conducted in an altitude chamber for simulation of this altitude. Altitude affects a standard hard drive and makes the needle float on a cushion of air above the platter, which can lead to computer failure. Although regular altitude travel isn't always a daily necessity for most public safety vehicles, knowing your equipment will survive any cross-country flights allows you even more flexibility and peace of mind in your investment.
High Temperature Test: The high temperature test is conducted by subjecting a device to 140 degrees Fahrenheit heat for 30 minutes and then checking to see if it still performs properly. Dust and sand resistance tests are also performed at 140 degrees Fahrenheit by blowing them at a computer for 30 minutes each. This makes certain that the device is resistant to these forces of nature, which first responders in desert or dust bowl areas may experience regularly.
Low Temperature and Temperature Shock Tests: The low temperature test is conducted by placing a computer in -20 degree temperatures for 30 minutes and then powering it on to evaluate its performance. The temperature shock test puts the device through a cycle three times of placing it in 200 degrees Fahrenheit and then cooling it rapidly to -60 degrees. Only the toughest computers can withstand these temperature changes without a decline in performance. Since the inside of a first-response vehicle can fluctuate wildly in temperature, this durability is a necessity.
Humidity Test: The humidity test involves placing a computer in 86 degree Fahrenheit temperatures with 95% humidity. This simulates a first responder in an outdoor or tropical environment.
Panasonic: Prepared for Anything
Panasonic fully-rugged computers include a magnesium alloy case to protect from drops, internal seals for components, and a sealed LCD screen that is protected from both moisture and dust. The hinges are fully sealed and an innovative fanless design keep both water and dust from reaching the internal components. The keyboard and touchpad are sealed and a hard drive heater allows it to operate in extreme cold without damage. The raised bezel around the edges of the computer protects the screen in the case of a drop.
Panasonic: Expertise to the Core
Perhaps the biggest thing that sets Panasonic apart from its competitors is the fact that they are a core manufacturer. This means that Panasonic controls virtually the entire manufacturing process, from design through delivery. Unlike most computer manufacturers, Panasonic builds many of the critical components in its products and assembles them at its own facilities using Panasonic-built robotics and internally developed processes. By retaining control of design, sourcing, manufacturing and fabrication, Panasonic obtains the highest level of quality, reliability and performance for its customers. This in turn results in lower total cost of ownership and greater return on investment for buyers of Panasonic computer and tablet products.
Panasonic devices may be more expensive up front but combine the rigorous testing, top-of-the-line durability, the fact that Panasonic devices rarely need service (unlike cheaper brands), and the core manufacturing expertise built into every Panasonic device and you can count on the fact that your mobile device will work when it is needed. By the time you reach the end of life on a Panasonic device, there is a very good chance you would have needed to repair or replace a competitive solution at least once. At the end of the day, Panasonic makes the most reliable, most durable, and overall best-quality mobile devices out there for public safety—and this quality and reliability is worth every penny in your high-stakes environment.
Keltek is proud to install a wide range of Panasonic mobile devices in Iowa vehicles. To learn more about our Des Moines vehicle upfitting services, including police vehicle upfits, product upgrades to public safety vehicles, and other turn key vehicle upfitting projects, contact us today.