How to determine which computer is right for you.
When you’re specifying mobile solutions for workers in hazardous environments, safety is paramount. That much is clear. The choices can seem complex, however. Here are some steps to get you started.
Identify the hazard
Begin by defining the kind of hazards present in your environment. Are there flammable gases, vapors or liquids? How about combustible dusts or ignitable fibers? Are these hazards present all of the time, during normal operating conditions, or only occasionally? These distinctions – the kind of hazard, and how prevalent it is – will determine the safety ratings required for your mobile equipment. Consult with your company’s safety engineer to identify the specific hazards that are present in your operation.
Consider your operating locations
Are you specifying a mobile device for one location, or twenty? Are those locations in one country, or several? While safety requirements are becoming more similar across the globe, there are still significant variations. There are three common standards organizations that define the safety requirements for device manufacturers.
• Underwriters Laboratory (UL) – United States, Canada, Mexico – www.ul.com
• European Atmospheres Explosibles Directives (ATEX) – European Union, and many others
• International Electrotechnical Commission (IECEx) – Australia, Brazil, China, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and many others – www.IECEx.ch/
Your company’s safety engineer can help ensure you are evaluating products that can meet all your needs, on a global basis.
Determine the appropriate device category
The certification agencies classify hazardous locations according to how potentially explosive the atmosphere is, and define them according to a detailed scheme of Classes, Divisions, Groups and Zones. Equipment certified for operation in these environments is rigorously tested and rated according to the kind of protection it provides.
Handheld devices that will be used in environments in which ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, combustible dusts or ignitable fibers are likely to exist some or all of the time under normal operating conditions must be rated Intrinsically Safe. This is highest level of protection possible, making it the safest device choice.
A Non-Incendive device is designed for use in environments where the specified hazard may be present, but is not likely to exist under normal operating conditions.
Your company’s safety engineer can specify which category and associated certifications are appropriate for your application. For more information on hazardous environment definitions, visit the UL website:
Define your technology needs
Consider the needs of your workforce, both today and in the future, so that you can specify a solution that can grow with your business. Do your users need to be able to send and receive data from both inside your operations, and out in the field? Are your maintenance or warehouse personnel using the device to perform scan-intensive operations? Do your applications require Terminal Emulation? The right device will meet both your safety and your business requirements.
The big picture
If your mobile computing needs extend beyond the hazardous environments in your enterprise, look for a supplier that can provide a range of integrated devices. With a single supplier and a family of solutions, you can reduce training and support costs and be assured of seamless integration. Consider also the supplier’s longevity in the industry and dedication to building products specifically for hazardous environments.
A full range of solutions to meet your needs.
The safest choice for mobile computing across multiple hazardous locations, the Intermec CK32IS is designed from inception to meet the most stringent global requirements — not only for gases, liquids and vapors, but also for dusts, fibers and flyings. Its exceptionally rugged design enhances safety and ensures reliable performance in the harshest environments. With Windows Mobile 5.0® support and a full complement of wireless communications capabilities (802.11 b/g with Cisco® CCX v.3, Ethernet, Bluetooth® and WiFi®), the CK32IS provides non-stop connectivity and safety.