Why is ruggedness important in a mobile computer?
Ruggedness indicates a device's ability to withstand shock from being dropped on floors and bumped against objects. These are common hazards in many environments, like warehouses, hospitals, and retail stores. CipherLab's drop tests are rated onto a concrete surface from a distance above the surface typical for normal usages, such as falling out of a belt carrier, getting knocked off a counter top, or slipping out of a user's hands. Our tumble ratings are comparable to a device bouncing around on a cabinet top or floor. CipherLab maintains very tough ratings for devices, to ensure they will keep working in the most demanding conditions. IP ratings are a separate characteristic from drop and tumble tests.
What are IP ratings?
IP stands for 'ingress protection.' IP ratings indicate resistance to infiltration of dust and moisture. IP ratings have two digits: the first one indicates protection against dust, and the second one for moisture. For example, CipherLab devices rated at IP64 means they are completely sealed against dust infiltration and protected against splashes (but not sealed against immersion in a liquid). Learn more from the IEC 60529 standard.
What about reliability and repair?
The environment in which the device is used is a critical consideration. Scanners are used in warehouses, freezers, in the rain, and various other conditions. They are often subjected to dropping, bumping, cold, heat, and more. The fewer the moving parts, the more reliable the scanner will be and fewer repairs needed. Thus linear imagers are more reliable than laser scanners, because lasers use a rotating mirror, which must maintain alignment to project the laser and read the code. Lasers also have a scanning life expectancy before it degrades to the point it cannot accurately read a code. However, laser scanners are built for rugged use and can withstand rough treatment.
Scanners are often tested for dropping and tumbling to ensure they will withstand the harsh treatment they can receive. Withstanding drops onto concrete from higher distances signify a more rugged device than one dropped onto less dense materials at lower distances. CipherLab drop and tumble tests all its devices to ensure they will stand up under harsh treatment and continue to provide good service.