PS236 Gives Engineers The Power To Deliver For The Utility Sector

When Western Power Distribution was looking for a handheld device that would not only be rugged enough to survive the tough outdoor environment that its engineers operate in, but also easy enough for their staff to use when performing essential duties like climbing, they turned to the PS236 from Getac.

The fully rugged PS236 has developed a strong reputation for reliability and toughness out in the field with connectivity that is second to none.

The company’s senior management were looking to replace equipment that had come to the end of its useful operating life, and they knew they had an opportunity to not only find a tough alternative, but also use the new equipment to simplify operations out in the field and improve performance.

Western Power Distribution was also looking to reduce the complexity of the processes field staff have to undertake so that they can get the job done as easy as possible and with around 7.7 million customers and 6,000 staff looking after a network covering 135,000 miles, the company needed something that they could rely on to deliver.

“We chose the PS236 after detailed field trials and user evaluations,” explains Western Power Distribution’s David Barker.  “We needed a high performance device that was easy to use and above all reliable in the tough environments that our engineers operate in every day.”

IT and communications are fundamental to ensuring the reliability and safety of the company’s network. As one of the UK’s leading electricity distribution businesses, covering the East and West Midlands, South West England and Wales, Western Power Distribution was also looking for ways to simplify processes out in the field so that staff can get the job done as quickly and efficient as possible.

The new handhelds will be used as machine control devices to change settings and switch power networks and the PS236’s large keypad is ideal for users to operate with gloves and made using the device very easy in challenging working environments.

The PS236 enables field engineers to keep the distribution of power flowing reliably to homes and businesses across the company’s huge network.

The device is built to withstand vibration, drops and shocks, and is the ultimate tool for handheld data input and communication in the field.  It comes with an in-built e-compass, altimeter, integrated GPS, and hi-res display, making it ideal for GIS (geographic information system) surveying and other GPS/mapping-based applications.

The ultra-rugged Windows Mobile device has an auto-focus 3 megapixel camera and can also be used as a phone, to offer a well-balanced combination of advanced technology, targeted professional GIS features and pocket PC convenience.

Sunlight readable display, full shift battery life and fully rugged design also featured high on the list of requirements.

“The Getac PS236 was simply the best device for the job,” says Richard Beaumont, Utility Specialist at Getac UK.  “Western Power is now using 3,000 units, deployed in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the company hasn’t looked back since.”

Running Windows Mobile 6.1 the PS236 offers varied data capture and real-time data transfer.  With 4GB of Flash Memory, it is capable of running applications even in the most extreme environmental conditions.

The PS236 has an operating temperature range of -30°C to 60°C and the Smart Battery conveys the precise capacity at different temperatures.  With 10 hours GPS working time, 6 hours cell phone and 4 hours data transferring time, the PS236 also comes with a vehicle charger and desktop docking options.

The device is small (178 x 89 x 30mm) and weighs just 490 grams, making it easy to carry and use.  It is also available in two colours – grey or yellow to suit the application and the environment.  The PS236 offers full Bluetooth, WLAN, 3.5G voice and data connectivity and is available with either a PDA or numeric keypad to offer customers a full performance for a diverse range of field-based settings.

“The 3.5inch touch-screen display is readable in sunlight, offering both the anti-glare and anti-reflective capabilities required to perform in the field,” Mr Beaumont says.

With 4GB of Flash Memory, expandable up to 20GB (with 16GB SDHC), the PS236 offers users the ultimate combination of speed, processing power and rugged reliability.

“The PS236 solution has lived up to its rugged reputation and provided the reliability and flexibility that Western Power Distribution was looking for,” adds Mr Beaumont.

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