Xplores iX104C2 Rugged Tablet PCs Mobilize Oil Haulage in Finland

Teboil Oy, the second largest oil company in Finland, transports nearly two million tons of oil annually in over one hundred tanker vehicles, which are mainly owned by its subcontractors. The company has recently mobilized its ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, and deployed vehicle-mounted computers as part of the program. The routes are planned at Teboil Oys headquarters in Helsinki, based on orders received from its customers, and sent via GPRS network to oil tankers around Finland. Drivers follow the scheduled route plan and enter completed orders in the vehicle computer real-time. This information is transmitted immediately to the billing department at Teboil Oy, allowing instant invoicing. During the pilot phase, Teboil Oy tested various computers for compatibility with their software and evaluated each candidates ruggedness or vehicle installation. Three different mobile computing systems were submitted to the haulage companies for consideration. Kari Isotalo Oy is one of the transportation companies who selected Xplores rugged iX104C2 Tablet PCs.

The readability of Xplores rugged tablet and its general ease of use was critical in our decision to choose Xplore, comments Kari Isotalo on the selection process. Additionally, Xplores Tablet PC is easily removed from the vehicle for any other use or for upgrade and maintenance, Isotalo continues. The iX104C2 Tablet PC is a truly mobile solution and is therefore ideal for vehicle installations. The grab n go docking mechanism enables instant removal from the docking station. The tablet can be locked in the docking station with a key. Fixed mounted devices are much more complicated to remove from the vehicle for service and maintenance. Thus, a truck could be completely disabled for computer upgrade or service. Isotalo states: We have access to a spare tablet in the event one of our truck-mounted computers needs service. The tablet is easily replaced with another one, if needed, without wasting precious time and it can be done by the driver.

The transportation company Kari Isotalo Oy has hauled oil for Teboil Oy since 1978. The company is responsible for Teboil Oys orders around Central Finland. The area includes the city of Tampere, 4 other towns and 18 municipalities. The trucks are loaded in the Turku harbor and they deliver to various gas stations, private residences, agricultural producers and other contractors. All Kari Isotalo Oy trucks are two-piece trailer vehicles. The load often consists of eight different oil types stored in separate containers: two different octane gasoline, summer and winter diesel oil, and seasonal motor fuel. In addition, there are two versions of regular fuel oil used for heating purposes. During the summer the majority of the load is gasoline or diesel oil; in winter, the demand for fuel oil for heating purposes increases. At its busiest time, the same truck may be assigned two separate loads from the harbor.

When Tablet PCs were deployed, it became easier to schedule routes for the drivers and communicate the route plans to each truck. Using the tablet, the driver can also monitor the amount and type of oil remaining in his containers at the end of the day. In addition, the tablet allows the driver to scan future incoming orders so that he may complete certain deliveries in advance of the scheduled delivery date, and address any new, urgent orders. Targeted delivery for the oil company is within three days. In reality, the lead time is often only one day.


Drivers receive customized route plans wirelessly via
Tablet PCs mounted in oil tankers. The mobile ERP-system
then communicates information on completed orders
in real-time to the oil companys headquarters.

Before the ERP system was mobilized, drivers collected the paper work orders from the warehouse and devised their own delivery schedules. The rugged mobile computing system allows the drivers to receive customized route plans from the oil companys headquarters, transmitted directly to the vehicle-mounted computers, which also have a map application and GPS, to easily identify locations in unfamiliar territory.

Xplores MIL-STD 810F and ATEX -requirements for devices used in potentially explosive areas- compliant iX104C2 Tablet PC has high data processing capabilities and can run the same applications as office computers. The rugged enclosure made of magnesium and the rubber bumper system at the corners ensure the tablet can be used in various conditions beyond the office environment. The tablet, which withstands dust, drops, shocks and humidity, is also ergonomically designed for mobile use. When needed, e.g. in vehicle installations, a keyboard or other peripherals can be connected to the tablet. When we researched computers for our trucks, we noticed Xplores tablets are very well sealed. We wanted to make sure the device is completely robust to survive at our speed, summarizes Isotalo, who enjoys motor racing and snow mobiles in his leisure time.

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