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Fit for purpose

20th March 2018

Chris Bye, President Getac (UK) Limited, talks to Oil and Gas Technology about the requirements for rugged computers in the Oil and Gas sector.

Chris Bye, President, Getac (UK) Ltd

OGT: Are all rugged computers equal? If no, what differentiates the better products?

Rugged computers are by no means all the same. Some are commercial products that have been 'ruggedised'. This means they have merely been encapsulated in a rugged case or had other protective mechanisms applied to them. Getac products are rugged from the ground up with every component built to withstand the harshest of conditions. This is why our products last so long without performance degradation. We are so confident in their capability that we offer up to five years warranty via our bumper to bumper service that includes accidental damage. We are confident our rugged devices will not let you down.

What are the important attributes of a rugged computer?

Rugged computers are built for demanding professionals in hostile environments. They are designed to withstand vibration, knocks, drops, dust, extreme temperature and water.  Our ATEX range does not pose an ignition risk and are ideal for use in explosive environments.

Can you tell me about the different products in your range that may be valuable to the oil and gas sectors?

The F110, T800 and ZX70 are ATEX Zone 2/22 certification, for use in volatile environments. The highest rated EX80 is certified for use in ATEX & IECEx Zone 0 and NEC Class I Division 1.

What innovations are contained within your range?

Getac’s extensive experience in the field mean that technology developed for other sectors, in battery/power management, wireless connectivity, touchscreen and materials engineering innovation are utilised in this range. Products are developed in collaboration with operational end users to best match their needs to these capabilities.

What are the challenges faced in the oil and gas sector that require a rugged computer?

Explosive risk
Digitising processes in challenging / hostile environments
Maximising productivity
Wireless connectivity
Safe cross zone operations
Usage in a wide range of light conditions
Usage in wet conditions

How do your products fit in with the needs across the oil and gas sector value chain?

 The Getac range of ATEX certified tablets are specifically designed to meet the challenges. Engineered from the ground up, rather than adapted for the environment, with safety being the highest priority.  Ideal for cross-zone operations these truly intrinsically safe devices utilise silicon potting internally and double injected anti-static material for the chassis to provide the highest levels of safety.

 Getac ATEX devices are thin and ergonomically designed, featuring programmable buttons and wearable options. This, combined with full shift battery life, drives productivity across the oil and gas workplace.

The latest EX80 devices are equipped with next generation Intel Atom x5 processors capable of operating all Windows 10 business applications.

 Our revolutionary LumiBond 2.0 technology bonds the display glass to the touch panel and LCD, creating a single panel that is more durable and readable, with enhanced contrast and crisper colours than any other rugged display. The bonded panel responds effortlessly to every touch. Advanced touch modes allow operation in the rain with gloves and the hard-tip stylus is included, making the EX80 ideal for signatures and precise note taking, especially when you need to work outdoors in bad weather. 

The ATEX devices are engineered to withstand drops, shocks, spills, vibration, dust, liquid, and more. Independently tested and certified to MIL-STD-810G and IP67 standards, the tablet is also salt fog resistant. It is ideal for use in the harsh environments found on offshore oil platforms and in oil fields, where a less-rugged device may not survive.

The new devices are designed for reliable connectivity, high-speed data transmission and low power consumption, incorporating proprietary antenna design with the latest 3G/4G Sierra Wireless.

They also provide advanced data capture needed for asset management, contactless HF RFID, an HD webcam and 8MP rear camera compatible with barcode scanning software.

 Operators in volatile environments have traditionally been restricted to paper and pen reporting to avoid ignition risk. The Getac ATEX range eliminates this risk. Getac is partnering with process specialist TAAP, to provide digitalised solutions for dangerous oil and gas environments.

What sort of areas of the value chain would these devices best service?

Cross functional. 
Upstream – drilling and maintenance.
Midstream - oil and gas transportation, production sites, refineries, office and field based.
Downstream – refineries.

When it comes to ATEX and DSEAR compliance in the oil and gas sector how do your products perform?

The highest rated EX80 is certified for use in ATEX & IECEx Zone 0 and NEC Class I Division 1, these truly intrinsically safe devices utilise silicon potting internally and double injected anti-static material for the chassis, to provide the highest levels of safety.

What are the environmental limitations of the rugged computers?

Our products are designed specifically for the challenging conditions in an oil and gas production environment. As such the products are mostly only limited by where the operators can realistically work.

How important are other regulations such as MIL-STD-810G and MIL-STD-4361F along with IP ratings?

These military standards address the environmental conditions that rugged computers may be exposed to. In Getac’s case this is part of our rugged DNA, ensuring pressure, temperature, temperature shock, rain, humidity, salt fog, dust and vibration resilience.

Can you tell me about the company and their pedigree in rugged computing?

Getac Technology Corporation, a key subsidiary of MiTAC-Synnex Business Group (2017 consolidated revenue $34.07 billion USD), was established in 1989 as a joint venture with GE Aerospace to supply defence electronic products. Nowadays our products are found across the globe in a wide range of sectors from defense and security, public safety, utility, field service, transportation, automotive, manufacturing and of course oil & gas.

Getac’s mission is to assist organisations in optimising their mobile computing to improve productivity, customer service and to get the most out of the resources at their disposal, saving both time and money. And with our strong R&D capabilities we provide a high level of customisation and all-aspect hardware-software integration solutions.

For more information about Getac's range and Free Form Digitisation offer got to