What are some high tech hardware

High tech in the terminal

Industrial hardware

The ongoing digitization of plant and logistics processes often requires more system intelligence from the hardware, more communication channels than ever before and more flexible application options. Soredi Touch Systems reacts to these challenges as a provider of industrial systems with short development cycles and a broad portfolio.

(Image: Soredi Touch Systems GmbH)

The harsh environments that are used by forklifts, straddle carriers or order pickers include deep-freeze storage, outdoor areas with direct sunlight and dark warehouses, strong temperature fluctuations have to be dealt with as well as moisture, dust and mechanical loads of all kinds. The vibrations of the vehicles, collisions and the coarse operator hands place high demands on the design and component quality of industrial computers. Encapsulated housing, the interfaces of which are sealed, and fanless processor cooling form a good basis, provided the material used can withstand it. A compact, rounded design protects against collisions.

Abrasion from use

For reasons of user friendliness and the limited space available, touch panels in connection with backlit LC displays are standard equipment for IPCs and terminals. But the receptive foils react to pressure and must therefore lie over the displays. Therefore, they form a weak point: chemicals, fuels and fats lead to impairments as well as mechanical loads. With the usual continuous operation, the use alone leads to abrasion and blindness, which is intensified by dust and powder from the environment.

Projective-capacitive touch panel

Projective-capacitive touch panels (PCT) work behind a cover glass that shows no wear and tear due to abrasion. There are then two indium tin oxide (ITO) foils under the glass, the conductor paths of which cross each other to form a grid. An electric field is created between the intersection points of the grid, which users can change by touching them with their fingers. This enables the gesture control familiar from smartphones - an often significant improvement in user guidance, as screen contents can also be rotated or zoomed with them. The disadvantage remains that mechanical loads cause conventional glass to shatter relatively easily.

Architecture with armored glass

To prevent this, IPC manufacturer Soredi uses special armored glass that not only offers protection against abrasion and contamination, but is also supposed to withstand significant knocks and stabs. If it is destroyed anyway, it breaks without splinters and thus reduces the risk of accidents. In addition, the special glass makes the display appear brighter. In order to increase the stability, this glass is fused with the PCT in a sandwich construction. As with smartphones, PCT only react to skin contact. But work gloves must be worn in many production and logistics areas. This is why the IPC provider has developed a driver that can be used to increase the sensitivity of the PCT used, right up to glove operation.

The front of the Blackline IPCs consists of several layers: The first layer is the bulletproof glass, fused with the PCT. (Image: Soredi Touch Systems GmbH)

Repeat tasks buttons

In order to trigger recurring and special tasks, the manufacturer's devices have an additional control bar. In addition to the touch panel, the computers also have a specially manufactured sensor board that detects key touches through pulsating ring sensors. Using these sensors, users switch the device on or off, call up a SoftKey, a virtual keyboard and other functions. When touched, blue LEDs provide optical feedback.

Industrial radio technology

Radio networks are an important basis for digitized production and logistics environments. The manufacturer's devices support the WLAN standard IEEE 802.11r. The process, which is also standardized as Fast Basic Service Set Transition, secures communication during transitions between radio areas: If the terminal device reaches a new access point, the network sets up security and quality of service for it before the actual roaming process. In this way, the handover can take place in less than 50 milliseconds. This is important for uninterrupted voice roaming, for example. The integrated dual antenna of the devices supports radio standards with 2.4 and 5.0 GHz and increases the range as well as the reception quality through offset arrangement. WLAN and Bluetooth modules can be used at the same time.

IPC as a handheld

Another focus of the Soredi portfolio are handhelds, i.e. devices that can be worn by employees. In the past, many computers in this class were more geared towards data acquisition and distribution, as they were often limited by their display size and computing power. The Taskbooks SH7 and SH10 models, on the other hand, are available with a seven- or ten-inch touch panel behind armored glass and support communication via Bluetooth and WiFi. Part of the fanless architecture are dual and quad-core processor systems with generously sized RAM according to the manufacturer. Various operating systems are possible, from Windows 7 Professional to Embedded and Windows 10 IoT. This supports the use of standard software, from SAP ERP to merchandise management and warehouse management software.

24/7 performance

In order to be used non-stop, the integrated power storage can be recharged via a USB-C interface or vehicle connections (12 to 48V). It is supplemented by a standard battery in the removable handle module, which can be exchanged during operation. Various extensions can also be accommodated in the handle module.