Making it tough with manufacturing control


When customers invest in a Toughbook, they are investing in a device that can take them from the office, to the road, the field or even a warzone with nothing but complete confidence. Engineered to withstand drops, spills, dust and dirt, Toughbook computers go where the user goes, ready to perform in spite of harsh environments and rough handling.

If you have ever wondered just how we can have so much confidence in our Toughbooks, the answer is easy: it’s because we know them inside and out. Panasonic controls virtually the entire manufacturing process, and unlike most computer manufacturers, we build many of the critical components in our products and assemble them at our own facilities using Panasonic-built robotics and internally developed processes.

This in-house control and precision assembly goes a long way to explaining the fabled resilience of the Toughbook range. By keeping a watchful eye on every part of the manufacturing and testing process, we know that we can guarantee our results, such as the low failure rates for which we are famed. The annual failure rate of Toughbook mobile computers is 6 times less than the industry average*, which isn’t just great publicity for Toughbooks; it also equals a much lower TCO (Total Cost Of Ownership) and a much greater ROI (Return On Investment) for our customers.

*Comparing Panasonic actual data for Toughbook laptops to PC Magazine reader-reported data for competitors

What goes on in Panasonic’s Kobe Factory?

  • All critical operations—from mounting components on circuit boards to assembly, testing, packaging and shipping—are performed under one roof.
  • Some of the world’s fastest robotic equipment (also built by Panasonic) is used to mount more than 1,000 electronic components with high-precision onto circuit boards. Each component is optically inspected using image recognition technology prior to its placement on the circuit board.
  • Each individual circuit board is tested multiple times during the manufacturing process to ensure that every component is operating perfectly.
  • Flexible manufacturing processes efficiently integrate GPS, fingerprint scanners, mobile broadband (WWAN), backlit keyboards and other options into appropriate models.
  • Sophisticated production information systems provide full traceability of every part in every computer, enabling fast resolution of any problems that arise.