The CipherLab RK95 is rugged enough to shrug off the cold

Bar Coding

The CipherLab RK95 is rugged enough to shrug off the cold

The Cipherlab RK95

A ray of sunshine in the cold of winter  

The South African winter can be a challenging time for everyone, but one consolation is the fact that the peak season for locally grown citrus fruit coincides with some of the coldest weather the country experiences each year, from lemons in February (towards the end of summer) right through to late-season oranges in September.

South African citrus fruits have an enviably high reputation – living up to this, and delivering perfectly fresh citrus to the nation’s breakfast tables and sports pitches (where would school sports be without orange slices?), requires a long and complex supply chain, in which bar coding technology (including systems supplied by Kemtek) play a vital role.

Cooling down to slow down

A key component is cold storage, which slows down the ripening process. Different citrus fruits do best at different temperatures, but almost all citrus production involves a cold storage element which helps greatly in supply chain management by increasing the shelf life of the produce.

Cold storage – while beneficial to producers and processors of citrus – also presents operational challenges above and beyond infrastructure and energy costs. Very low temperatures require specialist equipment for workers, from protective clothing to rugged devices that can perform at temperatures well below zero.

Enter the RK95

CipherLab are well-known for producing handheld terminals for the warehousing industry. Models such as the RK95 series tick all the desired boxes, from Android OS to extremely powerful processors for data collection and enhanced productivity. This is increased still further by intuitive user interfaces and wireless connectivity, allowing operators to move about facilities more freely, and communicate captured data more easily.

Long battery life means that the CipherLab RK95 can be used for an entire shift, without the need to return to a base station to recharge – plus, batteries are hot-swappable to extend uptime. This again increases what a single operator can achieve in a fixed time period.

From a physical point of view, the RK95 series combines ergonomic design and a low overall weight that belies its toughness. CipherLab has engineered these units to be proof against typical warehouse hazards such as water, dust and the inevitable accidental drops onto concrete floors.

When the going gets cold…

Building on the ease-of-use and survivability aspects of the RK95, CipherLab has developed a cold storage model that is of particular relevance to the citrus industry. It combines the ability of the baseline RK95 to capture data at range with features that make it seemingly impervious to the cold. Indeed, it can typically endure much longer periods in cold storage units than its operators can.  

The cold storage model of the CipherLab can be used at temperatures as low as -30°C thanks to built-in heaters which prevent the display from becoming obscured by condensation. The heaters also enable the scanner to continue to perform in extreme cold.

To increase battery life, intelligent sensors detect usage patterns and turn the heaters on and off. Ice-resistant materials are used to make the RK95 cold storage model, and a specially developed low-temperature battery ensures sufficient power supply for longer shifts.

In developing this specialist handheld scanner, CipherLab has paid close attention to the needs of cold storage customers such as South African citrus growers and processors, leading to a fruitful combination of functionality and ruggedisation and driving a squeeze on operating costs.

Whatever your position in the citrus cold storage chain, the CipherLab RK95 specialist handheld terminal offers dramatically improved sub-zero performance thanks to its unique design features. To learn more about this bar coding technology, visit or contact Hendrik Booysens at or on +27 (0)83 415 1445.