Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Friday 21st October 2011

Thames Water, the UK’s largest water utility company, has extended its 8 year Panasonic relationship with an order for 2,000 Toughbook devices for its mobile field workers. Thames Water’s Below Ground and New Connection teams will be using the Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 fully rugged notebooks, whilst the Above Ground engineers and Water Quality Sampling teams will be using the full function hand-held PC, the Toughbook CF-U1.

The devices will be an important tool for Thames Water’s field teams as the company continues its business transformation programme. The devices will allow the engineers to interact with the company’s new work and asset management information system, improving operational efficiency through more effective job allocation, scheduling, reporting and communication. All devices include an integrated GPS system to help locate network pipes, correctly record work against other fixed assets and to provide live information to the scheduling teams to enable improved response to customer and operational calls. The devices are also providing key information and data to manage and improve Health and Safety in all Thames Water Operational areas.

Thames Water is the UK's largest water and wastewater services company. Every day, the company supplies 2,600 million litres of tap water to 8.7 million customers across London and the Thames Valley. The utility carries out over 400,000 tests per year to ensure its drinking water meets stringent UK and European standards and removes and treats 2,800 million litres of sewage for an area covering 13.8 million customers.

Sanjay Patel, Head of IS Service Delivery at Thames Water, said: “Mobilising our workforce is a key element in our work management transformation programme. As a result, we carried out an extensive competitive evaluation of the mobile computing devices on the market and involved staff in user trials. We had historically used the Panasonic Toughbook CF-18 and a competitor’s PDA but after the evaluation we decided to use Toughbooks across the board for our mobile devices. The decision was based on the quality and flexibility of the devices, implementation and ongoing support.”

The Toughbook CF-19 is part of Panasonic’s Fully Rugged range and, equipped with Intel® Core™ i5 vPro™ processor, is the ultimate in durability and reliability. A magnesium-thickened casing offers maximum protection for the most sensitive components such as the display. Hard drives are secured against impact and shock. A fall from a height of 90cm does not affect functionality in any way, and a special protective coating provides dust and water resistance.

The CF-19 is also the market-leading convertible rugged notebook, which means that the device can be used as a conventional laptop or converted to a tablet PC for easy use when in the field. The lightweight device can easily be held with one hand and the bright touchscreen LCD display is convenient to use both inside and outside in bright light conditions.

The CF-U1 reinvented handheld computing by integrating robust features previously only available on a full size Toughbook into a rugged handheld PC form factor that could be used anywhere. The CF-U1 is a highly portable and durable device that offers integrated features such as an LCD touchscreen and a 2-megapixel digital camera with a 9-hour plus, hot swappable battery life and seamless connectivity with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and optional 3G-mobile-broadband internet connectivity, all within an extremely rugged package for maximum reliability.

Paul Davidson, Corporate Sales Manager for Utilities at Panasonic Toughbook, commented: “Our 8 year relationship with Thames Water has been based on Panasonic Toughbook continually delivering the very best tailored, rugged mobile computing devices for its field workers. We are delighted that Thames Water has once again chosen Toughbook to fulfil the mobile computing needs of its important works management transformation programme.”

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