Global rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation is boosting productivity and reducing overhead costs with a new class of computers: rugged laptops produced by Getac Technology.
Bombardier Transportation offers one of the most comprehensive rail vehicle portfolios in the world. Every day, 500 million passengers rely on their mobility solutions to get around. Bombardier has 500 customers in 60 countries. To them, ensuring outstanding operational efficiency
with the highest levels of reliability, availability, maintainability and safety is of paramount importance.
That task is complicated by the fact that Bombardier technicians often work in environments where unexpected accidents happen involving their equipment, such as drops, shocks or spills. Because of this, diagnostic testing and maintenance was done with pen and paper in the past. The inefficiency of old-fashioned paperwork was only slightly improved by migrating to using computers, because ordinary notebooks or tablets can’t withstand the harsh environments the Bombardier technicians are accustomed to working in. Unexpected drops and other impacts frequently occur daily, so high replacement costs are incurred as the consumer-grade computers inevitably break.
To complete their missions and improve their efficiency, Bombardier technicians looked for a new and reliable mobile communications device that can deliver top performance, instant connectivity, long battery life, and extensive I/O ports. The device had to be hardy enough to cope with harsh environments. In short, a rugged computer with reliable connectivity and peak performance was needed.
A rugged laptop or tablet is specially designed to operate in conditions that would cause consumer-grade electronics to malfunction, such as in the rain or in very high temperatures. Bombardier decided to equip its technicians with rugged laptops to help them perform maintenance and diagnostic testing on trains.
Enter Getac Technology, a Taiwanese computer company founded in 1989 that specializes in rugged mobile computing solutions. Getac offered its S-series of semi-rugged laptops to Bombardier as a solution for its technician teams.
The S-series semi-rugged notebooks are some of the most reliable semi-rugged computers ever made. They include several features that are suitable for the challenging environments that Bombardier’s technicians encounter every day.
Like Getac’s entire line of rugged computers, these laptops are designed to survive harsh environmental conditions. They are MIL-STD-810G certified with IP5X rating, and protected against impact, vibration, drops from as high as 3 feet, and harmful ingress of dust or water. The magnesium alloy chassis offers comprehensive protection, allowing the laptop to operate in a wide temperature range of -21 °C to 60 °C.
These laptops also have multiple easy-to-access protected connections and ports to connect to the peripherals that Bombardier technicians require. Each computer has three USB 3.0 ports, ports for HDMI or VGA, expansion slots for Smart Card readers and additional memory, among others. Technicians found these features to be very helpful when loading and retrieving additional information in the field.
Tailor-made for diagnostic testing and maintenance for the rail industry, Bombardier used Getac’s rugged laptops to improve their trains’ reliability and sustainability, while
generating economic benefits such as reducing maintenance time, decreasing costs and increasing efficiency.
A rail vehicle is a very sophisticated and complex piece of machinery, and a lot of work is needed to maintain its excellent quality and reliability. Bombardier technicians use the S-series laptops to ensure this. They use the rugged computers for daily documentation of service, maintenance and diagnostic testing. After
analysis, the engineers will evaluate viable solutions to repair the defects from inside their office, remotely in the field, or on the trains themselves.
Bombardier technicians also appreciate the laptops’ quick key feature that allows switching between programs or operation modes with one press of a button. The backlit keyboard with adjustable backlight provides improved visibility in low light, such as in tunnels. When working in broad daylight, the 14’’ sunlight-readable screen allows engineers to troubleshoot while doing vehicle maintenance. The ergonomically designed full-sized keyboard guarantees efficient data input, resulting in enhanced work efficiency.
“With easy-to-use design and comprehensive connectivity, this Getac laptop is definitely the solution we are looking for. Its overall quality and performance adequately meet our specific requirements. The rugged notebook offers the best cost and performance ratio ever,” said
Tanguy De Lorgeril from the department of special tooling in Bombardier Transportation.
The Getac laptop’s ruggedness and performance has enabled Bombardier techni-cians to complete their jobs more efficiently. The solution helps Bombardier Transportation to boost productivity, reduce overhead costs, and improve the speed and quality of service.