In an industry report looking at the future of field operations, energy and utility providers named their top challenges. Major concerns included meeting response time targets, ensuring worker safety and providing rapid dispatch to outages.
For more and more oil and gas companies, mobile field service solutions such as phones and tablets are crucial to solving these challenges. In fact, uptake of rugged mobiles and tablets – highly durable, enterprise-grade devices – is rapid. Around 90%* of companies in the energy and utilities sectors are expected to be using them within two years.
In this post, we look at: the benefits of introducing rugged technology to oil and gas operations; why going rugged is the only viable answer for your organisation; and how to procure the right devices for your people in the field.
6 benefits of rugged mobile field service solutions for oil and gas companies
According to the report above, energy and utility companies that introduced mobile devices achieved 56% increased productivity and 49% increased accuracy.
Here’s six key benefits of integrating rugged devices into oil and gas operations:
1 Streamline operations with real-time remote monitoring
Rugged devices combined with IoT (Internet of Things) technology can provide real-time asset visibility – communicating the status of drills, pumps, distribution systems and other assets. This helps to better monitor and maintain assets, maximise facilities uptime and minimise planned outages.
2 Fully coordinate entire work order operations
Providing they are aligned with a powerful rugged device, your work order management systems (WOMS) and computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) can coordinate departments, formalise workflows and support efficient service, whether your people are at their desks or in the field.
3 Accelerate dispatch and routing
In field operations, the speed and accuracy of dispatch and routing is crucial. The right rugged mobile field service solutions will help you service customer requests and direct workers with GPS and real-time traffic data. This will provide technicians with the necessary input onsite to complete their tasks and record events as they happen.
4 Ensure full compliance – efficiently
Safety inspection and compliance reporting take time and resources. You’ll make the whole process more efficient and accurate by deploying rugged devices. Apps like Rugged Data enable field workers to instantly record information directly into digital compliance forms, and generate reports on the spot.
5 Respond quickly to maintenance issues
Plan, schedule and complete maintenance with optimum speed and accuracy using rugged devices, along with Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technology such as barcoding and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Identifying and tracking assets will become more accurate and transparent, helping your people to target issues quickly and organise maintenance and repairs efficiently.
6 Optimise inventory management
Use rugged devices to link teams, assets and systems to keep your field workers prepared with the right tools and parts. The result? Work orders completed in one dispatch.
Why should I choose rugged devices over consumer-model devices for field service operations?
Can you afford your devices to fail? And how much will it cost you in repairs – and more importantly downtime – if they do?
These questions get to the heart of why you should go rugged. Good-quality rugged devices will have passed industry-standard drop and ingress tests. This ensures they will stand up to knocks and falls, and keep functioning in wet, humid or dusty conditions.
Furthermore, the very best will meet all the requirements of oil and gas companies in terms of data capture, speed, and screen resolution. Also, the leading models will offer an ecosystem of add-ons to create a bespoke solution for your sector.
Which rugged technology provider should I choose for field operations?
In our view, Zebra Technologies is the market-leading choice for field services in the oil and gas industries. Its powerful, affordable devices are engineered for the toughest and most demanding environments. Crucially, the large range of add-ons – from vehicle mounts to power supply cradles – are backwards and forwards compatible, which means your tech won’t become redundant.
Zebra also offers an exceptional support plan. This can include next-day, ‘like new’ device replacement, so you can continue operations without costly downtime.
Nuffield Technologies can supply oil and gas companies with Zebra hardware and accessories, consulting closely with you to match your requirements.
We are confident we can do all of this at a price no other provider can match.
Get in touch to find out how we can quickly dispatch the right mobile field service solutions to you at the right price – and support your rugged revolution.
*Source for all statistics in this article: The Future of Field Operations: A Look at the Energy and Utilities Sector through 2025.