22 October 2020

Very few human-made products are made without any contribution from the chemicals industry. Industrial chemical processing forms the foundation of many other major manufacturing industries, such as construction, agriculture, automotive and pharmaceuticals, making the chemical sector one of the most vital there is.

It’s also one of the most potentially risk-laden, which once meant that digital support in the form of handheld mobile devices simply wasn’t possible. Thankfully, today’s rugged mobile devices are more than capable of withstanding the challenges of the chemical industry safely and effectively, bringing with them a host of operational benefits.

How rugged devices are built for the chemicals industry 

The mixing of chemicals involved in chemical processing creates potentially explosive and flammable atmospheres, and therefore only electrical and mechanical equipment that has been designed for use in such atmospheres is allowable by law. The standard that governs this is known as ATEX certification.

ATEX certified rugged mobile devices have been rigorously tested to ensure they are ignition-proof and safe to use in volatile working environments, making them ideal for use within the chemicals sector. ATEX mobile devices are classified for use within specific ‘zones’ with varying risk levels, for example, operatives working in a chemical or petrochemical plant would need rugged mobile devices with ATEX Zone 1 or 2 classification.

ATEX aside, there are other key characteristics that mobile devices need if they are to meet the demands of a chemical operation. Rugged handhelds and tablets for the chemical industry must be ultra-resistant to oil, dust, moisture and ingress, drop-proof from significant heights, able to operate in extreme temperatures and humidity, usable even through thick gloves, and fitted with an extra-long life battery to keep going throughout. Chemical processing is a tough industry, and only specifically designed rugged mobile devices are tough enough to withstand it.

Streamlined operational efficiency for the chemicals sector

This built-in indestructibility offers mobile chemical operatives invaluable digital backup wherever they are in a plant, lab or factory.

The ability to capture, scan and log operational data and images in real time allows for significant time and efficiency savings, boosting productivity. Chemical operatives can use rugged mobile devices to receive work orders and record progress, or refer to plant infrastructure maps as part of their next task. They may need to schedule repairs or carry out essential safety audits and compliance reports. To keep teams moving and working together, operatives also need to be able to communicate with each other and with HQ.  

Rugged mobile devices for the chemicals industry enable them to do all this and more while on site or in the field, all while providing the processing power and durability that allows them to work with confidence. When devices are connected to a management system, real time data is transmitted back to base as it is captured, offering a full picture of a chemical operation in action.

To find out more about Touchstar’s ATEX certified rugged mobile devices and their suitability for the chemicals industry, please get in touch with our friendly team.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - PETER MARSH

Peter joined TouchStar (formally Belgravium) in a sales manager role in 2001.  Prior to joining the company, Peter held Partner and National Sales Manager roles within the parcel and logistics industries.  

In 2011 Peter was promoted to Sales Director and is now actively involved in promoting the value of TouchStar’s Rugged Mobile Computing solutions to the warehouse, logistics, manufacturing and field service industries. When not involved in the business, Peter is a keen and enthusiastic football and cricket fan.

 


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