An Intrinsically Safe IoT Solution for Oil & Gas Mobility

An Intrinsically Safe IoT Solution for Oil & Gas Mobility


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By: Thomas Ventulett, CEO of Aegex Technologies LLC

I was invited to speak to a group last night about how incorporating intrinsically safe mobile technologies into the Internet of Things can transform the way oil and gas companies do business. I pointed out some of the important lessons that we at Aegex have learned about the industry’s needs and the right formula for successful mobility deployment in this sector:

     
  1. Mobile devices must be lightweight, portable, cost effective and have functions that match all other PCs in the organization.
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  3. The most sought after device is one that tracks personnel and assets, is intrinsically safe (ATEX or C1D1 certified), and is wearable.
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  5. Mobile devices should run apps that expand the organization’s existing office environment, like email, messaging, video collaboration, file sharing, and an IoT automation platform. In other words, Windows 10 operating system.

With these points in mind, Aegex has developed a Windows-based intrinsically safe tablet. Regular mobile devices that already offer all of these features cannot enter hazardous locations like oil and gas operations because they present too great a risk of spark. So the first step in helping an oil and gas company take advantage of real-time collaborative technologies is to put them into a device that can safely be used in HazLoc environments.

At a time when oil is half the price of last year, efficiency is the new normal. That’s why the ever-present push towards IoT makes sense. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and power of the Internet of Things. But the implementation is the hard part. To connect everything, you must first:

     
  1. Connect the people and the Cloud
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  3. Get a computer to operate in a Hazardous Location
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  5. Provide a single Windows Embedded platform so that when a sensor triggers, a mobile worker is connected and can react

At Aegex, we think we have all the elements for success in IoT for hazardous industries:

     
  • Windows 10 universal user interface for a uniform and secure access to cloud infrastructure such as Azure
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  • Secure Intel architecture
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  • Globally certified intrinsically safe devices for multinational IT organizations

It all begins with the intrinsically safe device. The next step is changing the workplace culture to want to use the IS device, rather than the clipboard or two-way radio, so that oil & gas operations or other hazardous industries can take advantage of all the efficiencies that mobility has to offer.

    The question is two-fold:   
  1. How can we change the mindset of hazardous industries to move away from the clipboard and embrace the intrinsically safe mobile technologies available to them?
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  3. How do we make intrinsically safe tablets the most cost-effective solution?