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Getac F110 streamlines sugar beet supply chain

“The rugged tablet has more than proven its worth, saving hours of paperwork and allowing us to use our time more efficiently. We do about 7,000 to 10,000 deliveries, and you can imagine how often we need to use the touchscreen especially with 24/7 duty. It’s much better using the F110.”

~ says Matthias Enderling, Operator, Zutra

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Challenge

Zutra, based in Jülich, Germany, provides supply chain services for sugar beet production, transporting harvested sugar beets from farms to factories where they are processed to produce various sugar products .

Keeping track of what has been harvested and delivered for processing is vital for ensuring efficient operations, and this traditionally involved a substantial amount of paperwork. To improve productivity, the firm wanted to develop paperless beet transportation using mobile devices, thereby ensuring work is carried out quickly and efficiently.

However, in a trade like agricultural logistics, any digital device needs to be able to cope with being dropped or knocked over. The outdoor nature of the work also means, sunlight proves a problem, as a conventional device would be extremely hard to read in direct sunlight.

The nature of the beet harvest means that for around 100 days, Zutra needs to transport the produce on a 24/7 basis – downtime is not an option. Rainer Emmerich,
Logistics Manager at Zutra, says: “We cannot afford any failure, hence we need professional equipment capable of fully meeting the application requirements and at the same time having a quick response if we need support.”

Therefore the business needed to be sure that not only were its devices the toughest available, but that in the unlikely event there was a problem, they could be repaired and replaced rapidly to minimise downtime.

Solution

Getac

Getac has provided F110 fully rugged mobile tablets that fit on Havis vehicle docks inside the cab of harvesting machinery - collating, processing, and displaying information as the harvest is conducted. The F110 tablet offers 11.6" high-definition screens, Intel® 4th generation Haswell processing technology and LTE compatibility. It also houses Getac’s new 3D aerial technology, dedicated SiRFstarIV™ GPS and dual hot-swap battery (providing 8-10 hours’ operating time). 

The F110 is also certified to MIL-STD-810G, meaning it can survive being dropped onto concrete and is protected against dust and water ingress. Emmerich says: “Vibrations, dust, dirt - these are all elements a system must withstand. Vibration is a big problem. Integrated interfaces like Universal Mobile Telecommunications System and GPS used to be the main error sources on our previous devices as the ports come loose from vibrations. With the F110, we no longer have that problem.”

The F110 also incorporates Getac’s proprietary QuadraClear@ technology, which provides an energy efficient yet sunlight-readable display. Michael Meckbach, Field Application Engineer, Getac, says: “The way Zutra integrates technology into  harvesting places some very specific demands on hardware, which can only be met through truly rugged devices. With the drivers needing a device that can survive conditions in the cab, present data clearly on a large screen and be readable outdoors in all conditions, the F110 was exactly the right solution.” 

Benefit

Getac

Once the driver has completed the harvest and delivered to site, the load is weighed and the information transferred from the in-cab F110 to a USB data key. The driver hands in this key to the factory and is paid according to the quantity delivered, and the factory can be absolutely certain how much has been harvested and from where. 

The F110 has dramatically transformed operations for Zutra. Emmerich says: “As part of further development, GPS coordinates have been added which led to a better identification of the fields. We were able to add navigation and tracking features which helped us to get the essential part of our system to work so that we can use UMTS and GPS to clearly identify and track the goods and also can calculate the freight distance by GPS coordinates.”

Matthias Enderling, Operator, Zutra, says: “The rugged tablet has more than proven its worth, saving hours of paperwork and allowing us to use our time more efficiently. We do about 7,000 to 10,000 deliveries, and you can imagine how often we need to use the touchscreen especially with 24/7 duty. It’s much better using the F110.”

The Getac F110 fits perfectly into the project requirements. It was very important that the complex technical requirements were met by the Getac and Mettenmeier support teams, working in unison to find a solution for all the technical requirements and provide a working solution to Zutra, says Mazoud Zandieh, Sales Manager, Mettenmeier GmbH.