by Anton Shilov
08/12/2009 | 11:37 PM
Consumer electronics maker Panasonic said this week that its fully-rugged Toughbook 30, 19 and U1 mobile computers had passed new tests for the new MIL-STD-810G standard for environmental conditions. By passing the tests, the Toughbook products proved their ultimate reliability, something that is crucially needed on the battlefield or in other extreme conditions, e.g. during construction works.
MIL-STD-810G is a series of testing standards and procedures issued by the United States Army, in order to recognize products accepted for use by all agencies and organizations within the Department of Defense. While these procedures were initially created specifically for the military, they have since become an important benchmark for numerous public and private sector organizations to verify if products will withstand challenging conditions throughout their service life.
The Toughbook 30 laptop, Toughbook 19 convertible tablet and Toughbook U1 ultra mobile handheld replacement have passed 20 critical MIL-STD-810G tests applicable to mobile computers, as well as IP65 ingress protection and ASTM D4169-04 vehicle vibration tests. Testing was conducted and certified by an internationally respected third-party laboratory.
Mobile computing environments are often more demanding than what is laid out in military standard testing criteria. Because of this, Panasonic had its Toughbook 19, 30 and U1 tested beyond MIL-STD-810G, based on its fifteen years of customer experience managing mobile deployments in extreme conditions. In particular, all of the products were drop tested 26 times at four, five and six foot levels.
“Many companies will use multiple devices to pass the 26 angle military standard drop test method. This level of slack means that some products can be identified as mil-spec, yet not reflect real-world performance needs, said Kyp Walls, director of product management at Panasonic Computer Solutions Company.
While MIL-STD-810G allows up to 5 samples to be used, Panasonic only used one unit for the Toughbook 19, 30 and U1. Even more noteworthy, the same unit was used for the 26 drops at 4 feet, then the same unit was dropped again 26 times from a height of 5 feet, and then the same exact unit was dropped 26 times from a height of 6 feet. In short, each unit tested survived 78 drops between heights of 4 to 6 feet.
“There’s a common misconception that products can receive a blanket ‘military standard certification’ verifying the device is rugged in all respects. This is not the case. There are numerous tests and each test is broken down into different procedures. Tests can be modified, which is generally used as an excuse by vendors to make them easier to pass. However, Panasonic did not modify any MIL-STD-810G tests to try to water them down or make them easier. Rather, Panasonic has modified a test to make it more challenging and indicative of something a product could face in the real world,” added Mr. Walls.
Panasonic fully-rugged mobile computers and the Toughbook U1 ultra-mobile-rugged computer are sealed and can be used in rain, snow, dust, desert storms and other hostile environments. Other unsealed devices can have internal components exposed to contaminants, which then introduce a point of failure in mission-critical environments.