Environmental Technology, News

User-friendly in explosion proof environments

Mobile working environments are already very important, and that importance will only grow for the chemical industry, as well as for the oil and gas industry. BARTEC’s Enterprise Mobility and Automation range for explosion-hazard areas make their mark with excellent...

Mobile working environments are already very important, and that importance will only grow for the chemical industry, as well as for the oil and gas industry. BARTEC’s Enterprise Mobility and Automation range for explosion-hazard areas make their mark with excellent performance and thorough consistency from non-hazardous to hazardous areas. Mirko Lampe, responsible for the global strategic marketing of Automation and Control Solutions (ACS) at BARTEC: “Human Machine Interface (HMI), digital I/O systems, hand scanners, mobile computers, tablet PCs, camera systems and smartphones form an integrated solution portfolio. Common software applications and the ergonomic design ensure intuitive and safe operation.”

In the foreseeable future, many experienced specialists in key industries will retire. At the same time, there is a lack of qualified junior staff who can fill the gaps. The result: fewer employees who then have to cope with the same or an even greater workload. Effortless and careful electronic collection and documentation of data is therefore of the utmost relevance. In this way, the data can be reliably used for evaluation or further processing. Another important factor is the preservation of experience. Lampe says, “Data quality in conjunction with the right balance of data density is of decisive importance for our customers. We support them with powerful devices for data collection and documentation.” Regarding expert efficiency, Lampe adds, “Bring the problem to the expert instead of flying in an expert to the problem – that way an expert can handle seven problems a day instead of one problem in seven days.”

At the interface between data acquisition and transfer for processing, BARTEC has extensive experience in the development of convincing and mature solutions using the latest technical developments. Reliable communications between virtual and physical devices and rapid recording, transmission and processing of process data are essential. Industry Internet of Things (IIoT), recording and forwarding of large data volumes, central data analysis, Industry 4.0 product individualisation and the integration of the devices into existing, often very complex business processes of customers and partners are additional factors that BARTEC always keeps in mind when developing automation and enterprise mobility devices.

Mobile makes you independent

The advantages of using mobile control devices are obvious – across industries. For security reasons such as personal protection functions, for example, a call to the emergency and rescue services can be automatically sent in a crisis situation – especially important in areas with high and dangerous emissions.

And these fundamental advantages also speak in favour of mobile devices:

  • Time-savings during data acquisition and through digitised processes as well as significant reduction in the error rate, since employees no longer have to intervene mechanically and thus physically during measurement and control,
  • Rapid decision-making through direct communication possibilities,
  • Increased efficiency of staff assignments through greater flexibility on-site, and an overall improvement in cooperation in globally operating and organised settings without location-related functional restrictions,
  • Increased safety thanks to availability of the correct information and an information overview that enables the correct decisions.

A uniform device platform enables an uncomplicated exchange of information in hazardous and non-hazardous areas regardless of the devices used. Together with system integrators, BARTEC develops customised and individually adaptable platforms worldwide. A uniform device design and the use of a uniform software solution across an entire industrial area or within a company results in significantly reduced training requirements and costs.

BARTEC offers system solutions for use in Zones 0, 1 and 2/Class 1, Division 1 and 2, whereby the worldwide use of the devices is guaranteed by comprehensive certifications. If no approvals exist for individual countries, BARTEC will find a solution for local certifications together with its customers, according to Lampe. In addition, customer-specific developments and individualisation are, of course, possible at the customer’s request, for example with the AGILE Industrial Tablet PC system.

AGILE Tablet PC System with the user-friendliness of classic IT tools

Daily use in demanding environments and in extreme weather conditions places high demands on the performance and operator comfort of the devices used there, especially in hazardous areas. They must withstand high and extreme physical stress such as falls, impacts, dust and the effects of liquids.

AGILE X models offer consistency across several zones and divisions (Div.) and are the world’s most professional and powerful 10” tablet PC system for hazardous areas thanks to global certifications. AGILE X IS is approved for use in Zone 1/Div. 1, AGILE X for Zone 2/Div. 2. The AGILE Tablet PC is optimised for harsh environments in non-hazardous areas.

The tablets can be equipped with various Windows 64-bit operating systems; an integrated barcode scan capture expands application possibilities and convenience. The battery is replaceable – with AGILE X IS even in hazardous areas. This is not only convenient, but also increases operating comfort and performance. The same key layout throughout is clearly arranged on the device, and thanks to optical bonding and robust Gorilla glass, the display is designed for outstanding usability outdoors in daylight and in moist conditions. AGILE X also has unique dust protection (Zone 22/Class II, III Div. 2).

The innovative carrying system – closely coordinated with customers and unique among tablet PCs – is characterised by its simple handling and its additional benefits such as the integrated kick-stand or the simultaneous use of the docking station, which – also unique – allows its use with all devices from the Agile Tablet PC series. The integrated brackets ensure the handling and the screw-on fastening at the bottom of the casing allows for a very stable installation.

Data acquisition and processing can be done by the built-in scan engine, the internal or external RFID reader as well as by specific, specially developed extension modules – or simply by the integrated cameras. Remote access to corporate data is possible with the 4G/LTE module and WLAN Wi-Fi. In this way, technical data or work instructions can be retrieved and company databases and document management can be used.

The AGILE system offers the widest range of accessories in hazardous areas for tablet PCs. Customer-specific adaptations are, of course, possible, e.g. by using the HART communication protocol, which enables configuration, parameterization, readout and measurement of HART devices in hazardous areas up to Zone 1/Div. 1.

For example: Process visualisation in hazardous areas

The safe process control of process-engineering plants is a fundamental prerequisite for consistent product quality. The Mobile Operations Concept developed by Siemens for status-based process control and process management enables decentralised monitoring and convenient operation of such systems and equipment. In conjunction with the use of the SIMATIC PCS7 process control system developed by Siemens, production processes can be automated throughout.

After an intensive test phase, Siemens opted for the standard ATEX, IECEx and UL Class certified AGILE Tablet PC system as hardware. They were convinced by the needs-based expansion options, including add-on modules and various connection options. The Agile X is equipped with an RFID reader on the back to clearly identify the system. If the operator keeps the mobile device close enough to the transponder, the subsystem is clearly identified, and the correct process image is automatically switched on – this is safe and efficient and contributes effectively to the prevention of operating errors.

This example makes it clear: BARTEC stands for integrated and innovative mobile device solutions, especially in the context of explosion protection. On a technical basis that meets the respective requirements in non-hazardous and hazardous areas, BARTEC ensures that process data is recorded, transmitted and processed quickly and carefully. All mobile devices can be operated on the basis of Windows and Android operating systems, and thanks to their ergonomic design, intuitively. BARTEC thus brings the well-known IT user-friendliness into the hazardous area, which leads to the advantages described above.

In addition to camera systems, HMI solutions and hand scanners, the portfolio includes the entire range of mobile end-devices for hazardous areas, such as mobile computers, tablet PCs and smartphones. Wireless access points form the foundation for safe and reliable communication – here BARTEC has developed Wireless X, the smallest and lightest product in its class worldwide, which is also approved for use in Zone 1/Div. 1. Unrivalled in their class and noticeably easy to handle, the aluminium version weighs only six kilograms, with the stainless-steel model weighing in at 18 kilograms. Compared to competitive products, the size saving is 75% and assembly time is significantly reduced by innovative concepts. Maintenance efforts and costs are reduced by about 50% and it also supports the latest WiFi beaming technologies for securing a solid WiFi connection.

Wireless X offers unique consistency in use, since the same hardware and software are used in hazardous and industrial areas, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming use and maintenance of external antennas.

International certifications make BARTEC devices and system services universally applicable. Service extensions are available. BARTEC cooperates with the most renowned system integrators worldwide and uses proven hardware and software solutions for the development of standard or customer-specific solutions. Already in the pilot phase, BARTEC experts accompany customers comprehensively and are at their side until the entire project is completed.