A tablet for use in extremely hazardous areas in the offshore oil and gas industry will be available to users for the first time in early 2015, Aberdeen-based Motion Software has informed.
The company has said that it expects heightened demand for its zone 1 ATEX-compliant tablet solution following a sharp rise in the use of tablets offshore in the past year.
Motion Software, a software and hardware specialist, has more than 10 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry.
According to the company, mobile devices – including Windows 8, Android and Apple tablets – are becoming an ever more familiar feature of front-line work, in areas ranging from asset tracking and stock control to integrity and inspection work.
Andrew Ayton, software manager at Motion Software, said: “What was once seen as a leisure tool or something to play games on is now becoming pivotal equipment for supporting business operations.
“We’ve seen a 150% rise in the use of tablets with our software solutions in the past year. That’s because more companies are recognising the gains of deploying technological solutions in terms of accuracy, reliability and productivity.
“In effect, it’s added another technological dimension to the industrial arena, not least in areas which have often relied to date on time-consuming, pen-and-paper-based systems.
“The availability of the first zone 1 hazardous area tablet opens up new opportunities for oil and gas companies looking to increase efficiency, collaborate and collect data for tasks performed in high-risk areas.”
Tablets have a number of benefits from asset tracking, Motion Software says, – where entire order processing systems, in particular order picking and mobilisation – to being deployed in onshore operations such as warehouse or depots. In addition, tablets and other handheld devices can complement tagging processes such as barcoding and RFID (radio frequency identification).
The screen enables desktop applications to become mobile in hazardous areas, allowing workers to view and interact with a series of systems including those for data collection, access to documents, technical drawings and even video conferencing, Motion Software further explains.
In addition zone 1 RFID readers and tags will also be available to complete the software, hardware and tagging solution.
Ayton added: “The devices frequently provide a platform for two key products: our inspection and integrity software package Motion Inspect, and our equipment sales and rental management solution Motion Aspire.
“Based on our experience, it’s a growing trend. Tablets are being used for an increasing range of practical applications in industries more used to conventional tools and techniques.
“They offer greater speed, accuracy and efficiency in operational areas where those attributes can make a genuine difference in terms of business performance and safety.”