Durable mobile computers are essential tools for petroleum and natural gas operations. Fieldworkers tasked with identifying, extracting, refining and transporting natural resources are using ultra-rugged field tablets and PDAs for tasks related to data collection, safety and compliance reporting, asset management, machine guidance, GPS and GIS, and equipment maintenance. Common environmental challenges such as poor air quality, humidity, variable weather, rough handling and constant vehicle vibration won’t slow an ultra-rugged mobile device down — so oil and gas workers all over the world are using this sturdy technology to save worker hours, reduce equipment downtime, increase job site safety and improve efficiency for their businesses.

Oil and gas fieldworkers use rugged handhelds to assist in many areas:

Oil and gas workers perform job-related tasks across huge expanses of land, where easy-to-use GPS, geomapping and geotagging tools can significantly increase accuracy and efficiency. Where navigation and notation tasks used to be complicated and imprecise, the petroleum industry has an incredible resource in GPS and GIS-equipped rugged computers that can assist with surveying tasks, site inspections, resource assessment, infrastructure planning, environmental impact assessment and much more. Built-in GPS is adequate for many applications; or, rugged tablets and PDAs feature ports that can connect to highly precise GPS equipment when necessary. Fast processors easily handle large images, high-resolution maps and other visuals, and sunlight-readable touchscreens make viewing and navigation simple.

Related customer story: Rugged handhelds navigate and map remote regions in paperless field surveys

Productivity, efficiency and safety are all enhanced with sophisticated communication technology available on rugged handhelds for oil and gas crews. Vehicle drivers and control and dispatch centers can communicate over a number of networks and protocols, including WiFi, cellular and V2X, in order to send and receive instructions, word orders, field-captured data, locations and images. Fieldworkers stay connected with robust built-in communication options, or use a range of port types to connect external antennas and satellites. Ergonomically designed handhelds can be operated from hard-wired vehicle docks or easily removed and carried to job sites for anywhere, everywhere communication.

Related customer story: Transport fleets manage logistics and communication and improve efficiency with vehicle-docked rugged handhelds

Asset management
Rugged tablets and PDAs are streamlining petroleum asset management, especially when used with specialized tracking and production control software. Oil and gas fieldworkers can operate devices from sturdy vehicle docks or in hand, using their fast processors, data entry capabilities and built-in data capture tools — such as barcode or RFID scanners and cameras — to save time while keeping tabs on important resources. Tracking assets and keeping inventory of materials is far simpler thanks to user-friendly menus, digital forms, handheld scanners and entry options such as touchscreens, physical keypads and programmable buttons. Detailed records and reports can be saved on the handheld and sent in real-time to back-end servers, and can easily be used to plan tasks such as predictive maintenance and equipment inspection.

Related customer story: Rugged tablets boost productivity for the North American Coal Corporation

Machine guidance
Autonomous drilling and other machine guidance solutions are boosting productivity and vastly increasing worker safety for oil and gas applications. Machine guidance systems can be operated via rugged field controller tablets and PDAs, allowing workers to keep a safe distance from drill-and-blast equipment and other machinery. Rugged computers and digital machine guidance help organizations maintain a high degree of extraction accuracy, maximizing natural resource profits, saving time and reducing waste. These tools also enable machine monitoring for more effectual repair and replacement scheduling.

Related customer story: Tunneling crews use rugged technology to minimize downtime and reduce personnel costs

Fleet management
Oil and gas vehicle fleet management is significantly more efficient with vehicle-docked rugged tablets and PDAs. These mobile computers — equipped with features such as built-in GPS, cellular network capabilities and ports for connecting to industry and communication peripherals — allow fieldworkers to streamline all kinds of navigation, communication, inventory management and surveying tasks. Rugged computers running fleet management software not only improve communication, enabling real-time status updates, payloads, locations and other information, but also help dispatchers and drivers manage details related to legal, safety and environmental considerations.

Related customer story: Transport fleets manage logistics and communication and improve efficiency with vehicle-docked rugged handhelds

Safety and compliance
Oil and gas are heavily regulated industries that strive to keep job sites and workers safe through many compliance and reporting tasks. Digital reporting makes compliance simpler, faster and more accurate, reducing regulatory burdens on workers and keeping fleets and crewmembers much safer. Natural resource professionals perform site inspections of pipelines, tank farms, oil rigs and other onshore and offshore facilities to identify and address health, safety and environmental (HSE) hazards. These inspections require technology that’s fully rugged, fully mobile and fully capable of running inspection software.

Lightweight ultra-rugged tablets and PDAs can be carried in hand or docked in vehicles, and used off shore without concern for breaking or damage. One-handed data entry and built-in data capture tools allow quick, easy, accurate and secure completion and submission of digital forms. HSE risks can also be communicated to stakeholders in real time for fast resolution, directly from a mobile device.

Related customer story: Rugged tablet computers improve safety and efficiency for railway maintenance operations

Data collection and analytics
Predictive maintenance saves time, extends the life of equipment, and reduces risk of workplace injury for oil and gas workers. Natural resource organizations can use wireless monitoring technology with rugged mobile computers and predictive maintenance software apps to collect and analyze important data related to equipment maintenance. This data includes usage and lifecycle details, running temperatures, load weight, air quality, fuel consumption, and speed, plus specific information about maintenance needs and trends. All of this can be delivered directly from a wireless sensor to a worker’s handheld device, far away from dangerous machinery — keeping people safe and allowing timely scheduling of maintenance and repair orders.

Related customer story: Predictive maintenance made safer and more affordable with rugged tablets

Contact us to learn how Handheld’s rugged tablets and PDAs are helping oil and gas operations become safer, more productive and more efficient.