Before IBM passes along products to resellers, like Retail Tech, IBM POS Hardware products are put through a number of rigorous tests. “Retail-Hardened” is the coined term IBM uses for these tests, including:
- Electrostatic discharge tests demonstrating the ability to withstand static shock, no matter how dry the air or shaggy the carpeting. Tolerance up to 15,000 volts, nearly double the standard for the PC industry.
- Thermal dynamics testing, which verifies reliable operation within a huge range climates and temperatures ranging from -40°C (-40°F)to 60°C (140°F).
- Spills and drips testing which verifies the ability of seals, gutters and containment systems to protect sensitive electronics from high volume liquid spills such as water and carbonated beverages.
- Magnetic susceptibility testing to ensure that operation will not be disrupted by proximity to the powerful magnetic fields used to activate and deactivate inventory control tags.
- Operational vibration testing to ensure that the components are robust enough to survive near-constant physical interaction for extended periods.
- Drop fragility testing, in which components must power on after being dropped repeatedly on all six sides from common carry heights ranging from 30 to 36 inches.
- Chemical resistance testing to insure that cleaners, solvents and other harsh substances often found in retail settings cannot penetrate the specially designed seals on IBM touch screen displays.
- Lightning strike simulations in which systems must withstand power surges of up to 2,000 volts—the equivalent of a lightning strike just outside the store.
- Radio frequency interference testing to ensure that POS Hardware systems can operate reliably near product taggers, scanners, pagers, cell phones and other devices that saturate the retail environment with radio waves
This information is provided by IBM