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23 November 2010

Rugged Computers Help Keep the Lights On

Getac E100A rugged computers are at the heart of the most sophisticated street lighting maintenance and replacement contract of its type in Europe.

SSE Contracting, part of SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy), won a Private Finance Initiative to maintain quarter of a million streetlamps for the local authorities in Hampshire, West Sussex and Southampton, replacing 175,000 of them within five years.

“The contract logistics are mindboggling – there are crews working 24 hours a day and computerisation is essential,” said Ian Reynolds, Operating Support Project Manager for SSE Contracting.

The computers are used to despatch job instructions, for crews to report back, and to enable data transfer between offices and vehicles.

“We used to report response times in days – now, with the new computers, it is down to hours or parts of a day,” said Mr Reynolds.

The computers are installed into vehicles by technology installation specialist Rockall Solutions and crew comfort and safety are unaffected by the installation.  Specially designed docks keep the unit accessible without hindering access to vehicle controls or the radio and without obstructing the driver’s view.  In-built software shuts the screen down when travelling at 8 miles an hour to prevent the driver being distracted.

The tablets themselves are fully rugged with all ports sealed by covers.  They have a proprietary cooling system (no fan) and can operate from -20°C to 55°C.  The 800 NITS LED panel is the brightest on the market and allows crews to read the device even in direct sunlight.

“This technology gives us better data so we can make more informed business decisions,” said Ian Reynolds.

“Response times are critical and reducing them helps us operationally and helps local authorities to service the public better.”

Peter Molyneux of Getac said:  “It is difficult for companies with specific requirements to match them to off-the-shelf computers, and we’re always happy to try to find a solution.

“We have the flexibility to provide customers with the functionality they need, rather than simply the computer we want to sell them.”

  • 23 November 2010 10:20
  • News

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