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Portable bar-code computers.

Two hand-held bar-code data collection computers, built for use in difficult environments, can track materials or parts through a manufacturing process, conduct and control inventories, or locate specific items on a loading dock or construction site.

The Trakker computers, from Intermec Corp., Everett, Wash., feature rugged construction and tightly sealed casings. The environmentally sealed model 9460 is designed for use in high humidity or wet locations and can withstand immersion in one foot of water for up to one minute. Model 9462, listed as intrinsically safe by Underwriters Laboratories, is for use where flammable gases or vapors, combustible dusts, or ignitable fibers are present.

Five parts of the computer housings--the front casing, back, frame, and two-part battery case--are molded of chemical- and impact-resistant Makroblend DP-4-1368 polycarbonate/PET resin from Miles Inc. The window for the liquid crystal display message unit is molded of transparent, impact-resistant Makrolon FCR 2407 polycarbonate (PC) resin, also from Miles.

The computers can operate in the temperature range of -4|degrees~F to 122|degrees~F, and they resist chemical exposure and the impacts of falls onto hard concrete floors. Both computers exceed U.S. government standards for resistance to windblown dust or rain.

A selection of wands usable with either model is available for scanning bar-codes. In situations where the coded labels are inaccessible, a laser reader is available, permitting the operator to read codes from a distance of up to two feet.

An elastomer is molded over the exterior parts of the casing for added shock absorption in case of drops and to ensure a tight seal. The parts must not warp or deform, as that would affect the environmental seal.

The window for the message display is molded with slots around its perimeter so a soft rubber gasket can be molded around it and form a mechanical bond. Then, the transparent PC window is inserted into an opening in the mold and the PC/PET resin is molded around the edge to ensure a tight seal.

The 48-key keypad is pressure-molded in one piece of silicone rubber with a carbon contact disc molded into the bottom of each key. This one-piece keypad is pushed out from the inside, with the keys protruding through the openings. A circuit board then is mechanically attached, providing pressure against the keypad to seal the openings.

Makroblend DP-4-1368 resin is an opaque, impact-modified PC/PET blend, formulated to comply with UL 94V-0 flammability requirements at a thickness of 0.58 inch. The resin has good notched Izod impact strength--13 ft-lb/in at 73|degrees~F and 3 ft-lb/in at -20|degrees~F--and good resistance to chemicals, including hydrocarbons, acids, bases, and solvents. Its thermal deflection under load is 212|degrees~F for a 0.250-in thick specimen. It also has outstanding flow characteristics and processability. Cosmetically, the resin molds well with a good finish and can be uniformly custom-colored.

Makrolon FCR 2407 polycarbonate resin is transparent with good optical properties. It is UV-stabilized and has excellent dimensional stability. The high melt flow of this resin permits fast molding cycles, making it a high productivity resin. Polymers Marketing Communications Dept., Miles Inc., Mobay Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15205-9741; (412) 777-2000.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Society of Plastics Engineers, Inc.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Plastics Engineering
Article Type:Product Announcement
Date:Sep 1, 1992
Words:531
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