dlramp4life
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Tablets On The Ramp?

Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:17 pm

Is it possible to see tablets on the ramp to replace the paper trail of load plans, bag sheets, cargo paper work, and offload reports. Also to do weight and balance plane side instead of going to a load desk... Just one of those thoughts, what do you guys think?
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citation501sp
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:42 pm

Rain, Snow, various aircraft fluids, i.e. fuel, skydrol, grease, blue water, oil, also brake dust and just being out in the elements most normal consumer tablets aren't going to make it more than a shift or two before a lot of physical damage will set in.

Now Rampies do use Bag scanners but those are push button and trigger devices. A touch screen on the ramp is going to get dirty very quickly and wearing gloves is not conducive to a touchscreen tablet. Could they be used, sure, is it practical, I would vote no.

I think tablets and paperless devices have their place, I don;t think they are viable for the ramp just yet.


501sp
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Daleaholic
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:08 pm

Nice idea but it just wouldn't be practical. And not everybody on the ramp is a saint either, things do get stolen.

Quoting citation501sp (Reply 1):

This post covers it pretty well!
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Horstroad
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:36 pm

I don´t know exactly what they are good for, but ramp agents at FRA do use sort of a tablet...

to the things mentioned above: we (mechanics) use toughbook laptops on the ramp. they are quite robust and as long as you don´t handle them with your greasy dirty gloves the stay in good condition. I think this technology could be available for tablet s
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:38 pm

Quoting horstroad (Reply 3):
I don´t know exactly what they are good for, but ramp agents at FRA do use sort of a tablet...

Thats what we have at AMS for a certain airline. Then again these aren't true "rampers" but rather a sort of dispatchers/coordinators using it. They are robust however very slow. It's actually an old fashioned "PDA" It's quite a pain to use in the rain and snow as has been pointed out. I don't know if an ipad style tablet would be a good idea as things do get dropped on a daily basis, so you'll need a screen that's preferably not made of glass.

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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:24 am

Quoting citation501sp (Reply 1):
A touch screen on the ramp is going to get dirty very quickly and wearing gloves is not conducive to a touchscreen tablet. Could they be used, sure, is it practical, I would vote no.

I used a touch screen everyday when fueling DL aircraft. Wasn't a problem at all.
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TWA772LR
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:10 am

Quoting horstroad (Reply 3):
we (mechanics) use toughbook laptops on the ramp

Toughbooks are designed to take a huge amount of punishment. They may be good for mechanics in the hangar where the environment isn't as fast paced or dynamic in terms of weather conditions or airlines ops. The hangar is still a pretty rugged environment, don't get me wrong. Just not like the ramp.

As for mechanics using them on the ramp, the toughbooks are still receiving great punishment, but aren't being used near as often as a tablet would be in the hands of the average ramper during the average day, as my interpretation of the OPs question suggests. If they could make a "toughtablet" where you can "poke" at items on the screen even with gloves, instead of just touching the screen that you cant use with gloves, then that could be a pretty feasible piece of equipment for ramp ops.
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dlramp4life
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:47 am

Quoting citation501sp (Reply 1):
Rain, Snow, various aircraft fluids, i.e. fuel, skydrol, grease, blue water, oil, also brake dust and just being out in the elements most normal consumer tablets aren't going to make it more than a shift or two before a lot of physical damage will set in.

Great point...

Quoting citation501sp (Reply 1):
Now Rampies do use Bag scanners but those are push button and trigger devices. A touch screen on the ramp is going to get dirty very quickly and wearing gloves is not conducive to a touchscreen tablet.

I do use a scanner on a day to day basis when I am work but the scanners that we use do keep clean and the touch screen does work even with gloves on... This is what we use(also used them when I worked retail)
Quoting citation501sp (Reply 1):
I think tablets and paperless devices have their place, I don;t think they are viable for the ramp just yet.
Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 6):
If they could make a "toughtablet" where you can "poke" at items on the screen even with gloves, instead of just touching the screen that you cant use with gloves, then that could be a pretty feasible piece of equipment for ramp ops.

Should I get the patent application ready???
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HAWK21M
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:08 pm

Considering the Terrain/usage & weather...will a Tablet be able to take enough punishment & last a long time......I doubt it.
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FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:10 pm

Quoting dlramp4life (Thread starter):
Is it possible to see tablets on the ramp to replace the paper trail of load plans, bag sheets, cargo paper work, and offload reports. Also to do weight and balance plane side instead of going to a load desk... Just one of those thoughts, what do you guys think?

I guess outstations still aren't doing much more with the scanner than scanning bags but...the whole point of plane-side close out it to reduce the need for the load center and ALIS. while you're scanning you can stop and quickly check your w&b and payload margin right on the gun.

I assume you have access to DeltaNet so run a search of "Tahoe". Let's not talk about it here because it is still in the development phase but it is the way of the future for below wing ACS at Delta. Just like "SNApp" for above wing.
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TWA772LR
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:57 am

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 7):
Should I get the patent application ready???

Give me a 50% share and you have a deal! 
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747fan
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:09 pm

We use RampLink at AA/Eagle, with a scanner similar to the one shown above. Obviously we use it to scan each bag we load, but pretty much all the info we need rampside for that flight can be looked up on the scanner. Weight and balance, trip report (basically the load plan), expected bags (how many bags are locals, onlines, thrus, etc), how many bags your missing, etc. The close-out procedure is also entirely done on here; unless the system is down the ops agent or crew chief can stay outside almost the entire time (other than checking on something such as a fuel uplift).
 
747fan
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:13 pm

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 9):
I guess outstations still aren't doing much more with the scanner than scanning bags

At AA/Eagle we only scan bags going on but I notice Delta scans them when unloading too, including when they drop them on the carousel. I always dread getting stuck behind them when I'm dropping bags, this makes them take forever!   
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:43 pm

Quoting 747fan (Reply 12):
At AA/Eagle we only scan bags going on but I notice Delta scans them when unloading too, including when they drop them on the carousel. I always dread getting stuck behind them when I'm dropping bags, this makes them take

Yeah that's to facilitate the tracking. Delta's App (and through the website) tracks the bag from check-in to final destination at the belt. In larger stations and hubs there's no reason to use the gun because the belt automatically scans the bag.
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bikerthai
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:02 pm

Folks,

You forget that the Army is probably is testing and/or using ruggedized tablets right now.
It's just a matter of getting the cost down before you'll see them on the ramp.

bt
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wn676
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:11 pm

Quoting 747fan (Reply 11):
We use RampLink at AA/Eagle, with a scanner similar to the one shown above. Obviously we use it to scan each bag we load, but pretty much all the info we need rampside for that flight can be looked up on the scanner. Weight and balance, trip report (basically the load plan), expected bags (how many bags are locals, onlines, thrus, etc), how many bags your missing, etc. The close-out procedure is also entirely done on here; unless the system is down the ops agent or crew chief can stay outside almost the entire time (other than checking on something such as a fuel uplift).

Wow, I wish we could do that at our airline, it would save me a lot of time running up and down the jetway stairs to to updates and close out. We use the scanners but they're purely for tracking purposes.
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dlramp4life
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:44 pm

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 13):
In larger stations and hubs there's no reason to use the gun because the belt automatically scans the bag.

Are there problems with this? It seems that some bags it is hard to scan the tag and also some agents throw the bag on the belt which will hide the tag completely. I must say I wish my station had this system though
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nws2002
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:45 am

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 16):
Are there problems with this? It seems that some bags it is hard to scan the tag and also some agents throw the bag on the belt which will hide the tag completely. I must say I wish my station had this system though

Same technology that UPS and FedEx use.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:50 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 6):
If they could make a "toughtablet" where you can "poke" at items on the screen even with gloves, instead of just touching the screen that you cant use with gloves, then that could be a pretty feasible piece of equipment for ramp ops.

There are gloves that work with touch screen devices so you'd need those. http://www.overstock.com/Electronics...es/5639234/product.html?cid=123620
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KGRB
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:24 am

Quoting 747fan (Reply 12):

At AA/Eagle we only scan bags going on but I notice Delta scans them when unloading too, including when they drop them on the carousel. I always dread getting stuck behind them when I'm dropping bags, this makes them take forever!

That's interesting that they scan when they're dropping bags. Here in ATW, we scan right inside the bin. Then again, we're a CRJ-only station and it must increase the turn times on the bigger aircraft. Even on the CRJ it can be a pain to scan during quick-turns.
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FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:36 am

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 16):
Are there problems with this? It seems that some bags it is hard to scan the tag and also some agents throw the bag on the belt which will hide the tag completely. I must say I wish my station had this system though

Not that i've ever seen. It's "recommended" wheels up and tage towards the direction the belt is traveling but when you have 200 local bags to dump you're not going to be doing all that. Even then, they still scan through the induction point some how.

Quoting wn676 (Reply 15):
Wow, I wish we could do that at our airline, it would save me a lot of time running up and down the jetway stairs to to updates and close out. We use the scanners but they're purely for tracking purposes.

That's what "load centers" were/are for at Delta. In smaller stations the lead would usually be in the back office doing all of this stuff during the last 10 minutes or so of the flight and the senior guy outside will get everything buttoned up; or they will call OPS and have them do it but in hubs the load center will close out the flights for the leads. Idea was so that they could stay at the a/c up to departure and not have to run away to run numbers and close out the flight but now with plane-side close-out you send your numbers through the scan gun and it closes the flight out; sending the WDR to the cockpit.
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ha763
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:22 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 6):
If they could make a "toughtablet" where you can "poke" at items on the screen even with gloves, instead of just touching the screen that you cant use with gloves, then that could be a pretty feasible piece of equipment for ramp ops.

A tablet like this would likely use a resistive screen rather than a capacitive screen. Resistive screens are already used by the scanners because it is cheaper, more resistant to damage from liquid and falls, and can be used with regular gloves. There are cheap tablets available with resistive screens, but not built to be used in a ramp environment.
 
srbmod
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:14 pm

I'm sum this up with one word: OtterBox. A number of companies use their cases (and similar type cases made by other manufacturers) to protect phones, tablets and other other handheld devices out in the field and those cases can take quite a bit of punishment and are sealed from the elements fairly well. Plus it's a cheaper option since the price of the device plus the OtterBox case is significantly less than those devices built specifically for ruggedness. I have one on my PlayBook tablet and the built-in screen protector is quite usable without the need for a stylus. Now how well the touch capabilities would be wearing gloves, I've never tried it.

Now as for their use on the ramp, it would be a useful device for ramp leads, as they could streamline a lot of the paper work. Plus flight operations could get them updated ops sheets to leads and supervisors without having to individually radio them to inform them and they could pass the info on to their crew.

Don't some airlines have some sort of display system in their bag tugs that show the gates flights are going out of? I know that's probably a huge time saver as the driver doesn't have to pull out an ops sheet to double check a gate (of course the message boards at a gate are also a huge help).

Quoting KGRB (Reply 19):
That's interesting that they scan when they're dropping bags. Here in ATW, we scan right inside the bin. Then again, we're a CRJ-only station and it must increase the turn times on the bigger aircraft. Even on the CRJ it can be a pain to scan during quick-turns.

This is so that folks can track their bags via Delta.com or the Fly Delta app. One way to quicken that process would be RFID chips in the bag tags, which has been rolled out at some airlines as well as some airports. With those systems, all of the scanning would for the most part be done automatically as the RFID scanners would be attached to ground equipment like belt loaders and cargo can lifts.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:56 pm

Totally forgot but tablets are sort of on the ramp. IDK if they are outside out ATL but all bag drivers has a "rugged" type tablet called hammer heads that are used for flight tracking and receiving bag run assignments. Not new actually. First debuted in 2006-2007.

Well they're not really tablets in the sense that we're talking about but i'll have a ramper friend of mine that runs bags in ATL send me a picture of what i'm talking about.
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comairguycvg
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:25 am

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 23):
Totally forgot but tablets are sort of on the ramp.

Yeah I was gonna say I see tablets on bag drivers tugs every day in ATL. Haven't seen them up close yet, but I'm curious to know how they operate.
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dlramp4life
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:47 am

Are those tablets just like a widebody ULD sheet that is used for bag sorting (at the outstation) that tells the connecting flight number, terminal, gate, and ETD?
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747fan
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RE: Tablets On The Ramp?

Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:34 pm

Quoting srbmod (Reply 22):
Don't some airlines have some sort of display system in their bag tugs that show the gates flights are going out of?
Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 23):
Totally forgot but tablets are sort of on the ramp. IDK if they are outside out ATL but all bag drivers has a "rugged" type tablet called hammer heads that are used for flight tracking and receiving bag run assignments.

AA & Eagle use a system like this at the hubs. Not too sure about its workings but I see it being used in tugs when I'm at DFW or ORD.

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