Optimizing Operational Efficiencies with Mobile Solutions Designed for Cold Chain Environments

Zebra Gives you a Performance Edge in Challenging Cold Conditions.

Mobility solutions are helping your business succeed in many strategic initiatives—from increased global presence to the need to reduce costs and cycle times, all while increasing sales and customer satisfaction. But your current mobility solutions stop short where your cold chain starts—from refrigerators and freezers in food and pharmaceutical manufacturing, warehousing and retail to transportation and outdoor storage yards in winter climates.

Consumer safety is the primary role of cold chain management. The food and pharmaceutical industries must take every measure to protect perishable goods from the manufacturing floor to the consumer’s door—including transport, retail storage and merchandising in between. The Produce Marketing Association estimates that 25% of all food products are wasted each year due to breaches in integrity due to fluctuations in temperature leading to product degradation.

With rugged and reliable mobility in your cold chain operations, you’ll benefit from the end-to-end operational visibility you need to make better and more informed decisions. Important decisions that can help you reduce costs, while increasing overall efficiency, throughput, task accuracy and customer service and safety.

Zebra has the expertise and solutions to help your cold chain operations run smoothly, efficiently and more profitably.

Mobile Devices in Cold Chain Environments

Make Your Cold Chain Logistics More Productive

Working in extreme temperature conditions requires specialized devices that can operate in cooler, chiller or freezer environments. Which means equipment must be able to handle not only cold temperatures but, in many situations, constant movement between different temperature zones and changing levels of humidity. Otherwise, condensation can ruin sensitive electronics. Ice can build up on keyboards and prevent data entry. Foggy displays can be hard to read. And the cold can impact application performance and battery cycle times. However, mobile devices made for cold chain environments can streamline processes, increase accuracy and ensure safety.

Streamline Cold Storage Handling

No matter how cold it gets, your workers don’t have time to stop with a device that fogs over, freezes up, refreshes slowly or stops working in the middle of a shift. Cold temperatures and wide temperature swings can cause internal and external condensation resulting in lost time, as well as the potential for major device damage and increased repair costs. Mobile devices today are built to withstand a wide range of temperature and humidity conditions. Special cold chain features, such as heated scan windows, freezer-rated batteries, internal heaters and temperature sensors, will help to keep workers in constant motion in your cold environments and handling more orders per shift.

Increase Accuracy and Productivity

Your job involves quickly and accurately entering and retrieving data—and many times this means with gloved hands. Carefully choosing the right device for this job means first identifying the environmental conditions the device must withstand, then selecting the form factor that fits the workflow and enables the freedom of movement required by the worker. Choices to consider are keypad and button size/layout, screen size, touch screen sensitivity and ergonomics. Creating a complete solution for every type of worker in every type of cold chain environment—from handheld and wearable mobile computers to ultra-rugged scanners, vehicle-mount computers, tablets, headsets and printers—enhancing your data entry and retrieval needs are covered.

Visibility Promotes Safety and Efficiency

Reducing waste and ensuring consumer safety are a top concern for decision makers in cold chain management. To prevent loss of perishable goods, implementing mobility at the edge of operations helps streamline and provide safe handling procedures to workers. Giving front-line workers the technology they need to communicate with team members and quickly reference proper handling instructions and temperature requirements with a simple scan or look-up is an invaluable resource to prevent loss or product degradation.

The Solution: The Zebra Cold Chain Advantage

Zebra’s Cold Chain portfolio lets you reap the benefits of mobility in all of your cold environments.

Deep Expertise, Knowledge and Experience

Designing high-performance, dependable mobile solutions for use in the cold chain requires deep technical expertise in mobile device development, plus proven knowledge of environmental and user requirements. As a long-standing leader in enterprise mobility solutions, Zebra has it all. We offer:

  • Industry-leading solutions that work, not only in your environments, but also for your users.
  • Technical features that ensure high-reliability in any cold chain environment.
  • Special usability features that make it easy for workers wearing gloves to easily interact with the device and application.

An Unmatched Portfolio to Improve Productivity and Safety in the Cold Chain

We understand all the different types of cold chain environments, as well as the different types of users and applications in those extreme environments.

Zebra offers the richest cold chain mobility portfolio in the industry, including:

  • Rugged mobile computers, tablets, vehicle-mount computers and wearables provide options for cold and condensation-producing environments.
  • Ultra-rugged handheld scanners deliver unstoppable performance to improve productivity, enhance order accuracy and speed shipping times in demanding cold storage environments.
  • Durable, easy-to-use mobile printers and certified supplies offer the latest connectivity interface with your mobile computers to bring high-quality printing and label application right into your cold storage areas, increasing productivity and efficiency.

Use Cases and Deployment Environments

Before you select a device, assess how you will be using it and where you will be deploying it. The application descriptions below will help guide the type of device you should consider.

Cold-Rated Devices

Cold-rated devices are designed for areas where temperature shock and condensation are not an issue. These workers spend their day primarily in a single temperature zone and are not constantly moving between cold and warm environments—either primarily in the cold and briefly in warm areas, or primarily in warm areas and briefly in cold areas.

Condensation-Resistant Devices

These devices are designed to withstand moderate temperature shock and condensation, ideal for workers who travel constantly between refrigerators/ coolers and temperature- controlled, less humid areas.

Condensation-Free Devices

These devices are designed to withstand the severe condensation that occurs when workers are constantly traveling between the freezer and warm areas with high humidity.

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