Tips on developing mobile apps in hazardous-area applications

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connects people, machines, plants, logistics, products, processes, and systems. Mobile devices and smart HMI systems form the cornerstone of this new industrial age. But a lessor known advantage of the IoT emerges with digital and mobile solutions integrated with industrial processes, especially those in hazardous environments.

With its intrinsically safe mobile devices, ecom instruments – a part of the Pepperl+Fuchs Group since 2016 —  helps companies in hazardous-areas take advantage of mobile apps to get the most out of the IIoT.

The advantages include:

  1. Better collaborative work

With intrinsically safe 4G/LTE smartphones and tablets, certified up to Division 1 and Zone 1/21, employees can use industry applications in hazardous areas.

One example app is video conferencing on mobile wireless devices. This use opens up new methods of communication for documentation, remote diagnostics, and maintenance in hazardous areas. During maintenance, a mobile worker can stream video directly from the hazardous area to experts at the control center or anywhere else who provide diagnosis and repair advice.

Further, with Push-to-Talk applications, smartphones or tablets can be interconnected with existing radio infrastructure such as LMR, Tetra, or DMR to share and receive real-time information on assets.

  1. Better decisions

Getting the most out of the IIoT requires a high level of information density along the entire decision-making chain. An example of this is mobile dashboards. The data on these dashboards help identify trends for better decisions.

Planning apps integrated into ERP systems, for example, can record on the mobile device which process steps and tasks were completed, how much time was needed, and what materials were used. These data are automatically transmitted to the ERP system.

  1. Data capture redefined

Data are uploaded directly to third party applications, eliminating the need for mobile workers to manually read in results in the field or back at the office. ecom’s CamScan Keyboard application is an example of such an application.

Such an application eliminates inconsistent descriptions which often cause confusion and waste time. Data can also be scanned directly into input fields of various applications, minimizing free-hand text and the potential for error.

The ecom App Library provides more than 200 useful apps tested by application engineers for use in hazardous areas. They let companies take advantage of proven technology in new scenarios to streamline workflows and improve the way assets are operated and managed.

Pepperl+Fuchs
pepperl-fuchs.com

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