Explosion-proof mobile computers for strategic maintenance and live video conferencing systems not only improve work flow and asset management, they also increase the availability and flexibility of systems and optimise processes. Read here about the opportunities presented by maintenance based on Wi-Fi networks in hazardous areas.
Wireless technologies are the lifeblood for the intelligent networking of devices and systems of all kinds. What began in the consumer sector, is now also to be found in office environments and industrial applications. Wi-Fi networks help companies not only to save cabling costs, but open the door to a range of new usage scenarios and innovative applications that increase productivity and reduce costs.
So far so good, but can these modern approaches also be transferred one-to-one to hazardous areas? "Yes," states Jan Rieks Zonderman, Head of Automation Technology at Bartec. "Their cost-effectiveness is even better in hazardous and offshore environments where cabling, throughputs, connections and personnel are very expensive." In 2002, Bartec Pixavi, the Norwegian subsidiary of the Bad Mergentheim/Germany-based explosion protection specialists, brought the first access point onto the market, which can be installed directly in hazardous areas.
The EX-AP-A is certified for Atex Zone 1, can easily be retrofitted into existing facilities and individually adapted to customer-specific needs. The Scandinavian company is a pioneer in Wi-Fi infrastructures in hazardous areas. The Northern Europeans specialise in the oil and gas industry and have equipped onshore and offshore facilities with safe networks all over the world. The powerhouse has long been the preferred provider to the reputable energy corporation Statoil.
The Problem Comes to the Expert
Bartec Pixavi's mobile video collaboration systems are the best example of how users can profitably use wireless networks for maintenance and repair work in hazardous areas. Live transmission makes it possible to take expertise into the field, regardless of where the specialist is currently located. In times of skills shortages and ever-smaller engineering departments, it is much more difficult for companies to find the right member of staff on site.
The user simply streams videos from the hazardous area and, as he walks through the plant, is "accompanied" remotely by an expert in real-time. "The cameras enable us to take the problem to the expert rather than taking the expert to the problem," stresses Zonderman. "Wireless video conferencing equipment is becoming increasingly attractive to users as enterprise collaboration devices, because customers can solve their problems without having technicians on site."
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