Panasonic Toughbook Saves Fonterra Time and Money

When you’re handling a big slice of the world’s Dairy processing and exports in one of the world’s largest plants it’s vital that you know what’s happening whenever and wherever you are in the facility. And it’s critical to product quality and safety that all your systems are both bulletproof and able to be kept virtually germ free. That’s why Fonterra chose to use Toughbook CF-H1 Hand-held Tablets across their multiple business platforms.

“Fonterra currently use the Panasonic CF-H1 Toughbook to save our business time and money”

"The Panasonic CF-H1 hand-held tablet Toughbook is the ultimate productivity tool for Fonterra" says Jason Burton, Automations Project Manager for Milk Products at Fonterra. "We chose Toughbook for the quality, durability and reliability, translating into significant financial advantages".

Originally developed to serve the health industry, the Toughbook CF-H1 is ruggedised to Military standard MIL STD-810G and, because of its design and construction, is able to cope with chemical cleaning.

"We have found that the Toughbook improve our business by enabling our workforce to be more flexible and more importantly more mobile" advises Burton. "Plus they're more secure - the MIL drop rating which is the strength of product, the fact that they are chemical resistant, and being IP65 rated for ingress protection are key factors in why we chose the CF-H1 Toughbook".

The Fonterra Processing Plants are fully automated, highly complex facilities that require constant management.

Fonterra currently use the CF-H1 in our manufacturing, warehousing and laboratory environments and we certainly have the intention of moving them into other business areas along the lines of our effluent farms and so on to give the increased productivity that we require in the areas" says Burton.

Key Product Advantages

The Toughbook CF-H1 has a number of features that can be of benefit to any rugged environment. ·

The CF-H1 Touch Screen is dual-use, with a digitizer pen for accurate data entry and software management. "This is a huge benefit for us as far as our visualisation layout goes. It gives us the accuracy of a mouse as opposed to the previous 'inaccuracy' of the finger" says Burton. 

The Sterilisation Capability The CF-H1 was originally developed by Panasonic for Medical use, and as such has a number of unique features adapted to a sterile or near-sterile work environment.

"The ability to clean with chemicals without affecting or damaging the product is a huge advantage for us in the dairy industry" states Burton.

 The use of the Intel Atom processor means the unit has no fan, and consequently no open fan port to carry airborne contamination from one site to another. All external ports are sealed, and both the body material and the reinforced Hi-Brightness LCD touch screen are water and chemical resistant, allowing constant cleaning. 

Ruggedised Performance Initially developed for military use in the field, all Panasonic fully-rugged Toughbook are vibration, impact, dust and moisture resistant to US Military standards. Panasonic develop and manufacture up to 80% of the components of the Toughbook, each engineered to perform to the Panasonic high quality expectations. All Toughbook hard drives are contained in an independent shockproof case, and all can resist extremes of temperature and environmental challenges that would destroy most tablet or notebooks.

"The 2 metre military drop rating is very important for us" Burton continued "Rather than having to replace a notebook per week we're finding Toughbook last significantly longer due to their ruggedised nature".

Battery Life Burton is particularly enthusiastic about the performance of the power system of the CF-H1.

"Getting 4 - 6 hours in the mobile environment considering the functions it does is certainly a key feature for us' he states. The battery pack is 'hot-swappable', able to be changed out without turning the computer off. And there's an optional cradle with built-in battery charger available for central office use. According to Jason Burton it all adds up to the right business decision for Fonterra.

"This hand-held tablet PC is the ultimate productivity tool for Fonterra. We chose Toughbook for the quality, durability and reliability, translating into significant financial advantages. What Panasonic has achieved with the CF-H1 is to create a ruggedised, mobile tablet solution that delivers continuity for Fonterra and as a result we eliminate costly repairs or replacements plus avoid wasting time to recover lost work typically associated with standard notebooks. The bottom line results are compelling - lower cost of ownership, and greater return on investment over the computers life".