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The growing demand in Life Sciences companies to go paperless has led to an increase in the use of mobile devices, especially tablets, in manufacturing. With a focus on tablets, there are two primary choices for Life Sciences companies who are choosing to go mobile: Apple® iPad or Windows® Tablet. In this blog, we will break down the specific benefits and drawbacks of using Apple iPads in your facility for maintenance and calibration management.  In our previous blog, we discussed how the use of mobile devices in general has evolved work execution – you can read more about this here.

The Apple iPad

The Apple iPad was originally released in 2010. While being a popular consumer device, it was not immediately or widely accepted by corporations.  This was due to security, compatibility and IT management issues. However, by 2011, Apple had taken strides to better support corporate structures and security requirements. With this, we see Life Sciences companies looking to go mobile with a tough decision between using iPads versus Windows Tablets.

The iPad is unique compared to Windows Tablets, because it offers a simplified operating system that easily allows technicians, on the plant floor, to enter the data they need without complex steps. Right now, there is no solid research that suggests which device is more popular in manufacturing environments or among Life Sciences companies.

Benefits of using Apple iPads for Mobile Work Execution

The main benefits of using Apple iPads over Windows Tablets include:

  • Ease of Use – Simple interface and design
  • Intuitive Design and Layout – iOS provides easy to learn functionality
  • Now widely adopted by IT departments for the iPad’s network security features, including the ability to remote wipe data
  • Compatible with Blue Mountain Regulatory Asset Manager

Downfalls of using Apple iPads for Mobile Work Execution

While the iPad has many benefits, it also presents a few drawbacks that need to be considered including:

  • Can be expensive compared to Microsoft Surface
  • Not all software solutions are compatible with the iPad. Must be either web-based or native-based applications
  • Limited ability to add on devices such as barcode scanners, printers, etc.
  • Limited to technical specifications – cannot expand hard drive capacity, etc.
  • Does not serve as a laptop replacement (Windows Pro tablets can utilize docking stations and serve both a laptop and tablet function.)

The iPad can be used both on the plant floor as well as for management to access reports and statistics providing meaningful data when it is needed the most.

Maintenance and Calibration

In our next blog in the mobile series, we will cover some of the benefits and drawbacks of using Windows Tablets, specifically the Microsoft® Surface for maintenance and calibration.

Click here to view a recorded version of our “Going Mobile Drives Paperless” webinar.

Read the Go Mobile series:

Blog 1: Going Mobile Drives Paperless

Blog 2: Mobile Work Execution

Blog 3: Apple® iPads

Blog 4: Microsoft® Surface

Blog 5: Benefits

Blog 6: Dendreon Success Story