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JLT and Mobexx supply rugged PCs for packaging firm DS Smith forklift trucks

Leading corrugated packaging firm DS Smith Packaging has purchased JLT 1214 series ultra-rugged fixed-mount PCs for its fleet of forklift trucks. This purchase is a step forward in making the JLT 1214 the standard touchscreen PC across its group-wide sites. Supplied by JLT partner Mobexx, the computers perform a variety of real-time data communication and capture tasks for the award winning packaging firm.

DS Smith Packaging uses the devices across three sites (Rawcliffe, Featherstone and North Fields in Louth). The company selected the PCs back simply because there is nothing else available on the market that offers a 12-inch touchscreen in a compact, weatherproof and ultra-rugged chassis.

"We believe that there is nothing to beat the JLT computers for our purposes. Our decision to standardise on the product follows extensive use at three key sites where the computers have been tested in extreme conditions. The manufacturing environment in which we work is challenging and the forklift trucks are working both inside and outside at all times of year. We value the product and the service we get from Mobexx," said Glyn Tomlinson, Regional IT Manager, DS Smith Packaging.

"We opted for solid state disk drives (SSD) in the computers with a customised Windows XP operating system. This adds further ruggedness and reliability to our system. In operations where forklift trucks are running over uneven ground, SSDs are a better option to standard hard disks," he adds.

The in-vehicle computers run the mobile side of DS Smith Packaging’s paperless business systems. They provide the wireless interface for the forklift drivers to the back office system, sending jobs directly to them using Citrix. In the warehouse and for despatching orders, picking lists are sent automatically to the PCs and the drivers go about their jobs scanning each item picked using a Motorola Symbol LS3408ER long range bar code scanner. For production, the JLTs work with manufacturing. Because the company runs a perpetual inventory, the computers are also essential for stock taking.

DS Smith Packaging has 33 sites located through Great Britain. The Packaging Division employs about 3200 people and together with DS Smith Plc’s paper division, the organisation has a combined turnover of approx £750 million. The company’s customers include some of the world’s largest companies to small, local and entrepreneurial businesses.

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