Tag Archives: rugged industrial computers

Industrial Computer Selection Criteria for the Oil and Gas Industry

Technological advancements have led us to areas we have never had access to before, such as horizontal drilling in the Bakken region. Conventional drilling techniques have only been able to extract a fraction of the available crude. Producers flock to newly available areas that provide the oil and gas extraction. As technology creates new business in the oil and gas industry, computing systems must keep up to support these harsh environmental activities.

The substantial growth in unconventional oil sources like shale deposits, subsea deposits, and oil sands has created a much more complex system. The technology that supports these efforts must be more advanced as well. For example, oil extraction produces massive amounts of data that must be reviewed in order to prevent a rig from shutting down. Field staff members need to connect with experts so they can make critical decisions based on the evaluation of easily accessed data in real time.

Whether collecting and reviewing data or automating processes, computer systems need to be able to withstand the harsh environmental conditions. High-end, rugged industrial computers are now available to accommodate the needs of the oil and gas industry.

The Need for Rugged Systems

The computing industry has made immense progress for accommodating the processes and systems that are newly connected to the oil field. There are new advancements in computers that improve equipment control and data processing. Developers now face new challenges for design and performance. Additionally, the must be able to perform reliably while handling harsh conditions like extreme desert heat and below freezing temperatures.

When it comes to embedded system design, the oil and gas industry requires some of the most demanding and complex systems. They require optimization for reliability and mean time between failures (MTBF). Avoiding downtime is critical in most embedded environments, especially in the oil and gas industry. System failures cause downtime in oil production, resulting in significant losses.

This is an especially big problem when drill sites are located in remote sites, requiring more resources and time when systems go down. In-field operational costs are greatly reduced with reliable, rugged systems. Computer systems designed for the oil and gas industry ideally include specific design features, uninterrupted supply lines, and support readily available. Time and money can be saved when debugging of a system can be done remotely with a connected system.

Most computer systems are built to withstand the traditional office setting; however, oil and gas office settings are much different. Command centers consist of temporary structures filled with contaminants like dust. The command centers are on location in close proximity to pump systems and drilling platforms. Computing systems are transported by vehicles, so being shockproof and vibration resistant are important factors in the design of a rugged system.

Due to environments much harsher than traditional office settings, computing systems have been developed specifically for the oil and gas industry. Capabilities and new features have been created, such as eliminating dirt entering systems with removable dust filters. Shock and vibration are now reduced with hold-down brackets for I/O, expansion cords, and cable tie downs. Operating near a source of constant, heavy vibrations is no longer an issue. Systems are protected during transport with shock-mounted drive bays adding stiffness in the chassis design. There are many features and designs created for computing systems in the oil and gas industry.

Choosing the Right System

With so many technological advances in computing systems, which one is best? Not all industrial computers are created equally so it’s important to choose the right system for oil and gas operations. Here are the three most important qualities to look for in an industrial computer system:

  1. Tough Design – An ideal rugged, industrial system can manage dust and temperature extremes, meet shock and vibration considerations, be optimized for connectivity and computing power, and ensure reliable and long-term performance that is required for oil and gas installations.
  2. Low Maintenance and Long Life – A developer with global service presence is critical for oil and gas installations, providing the necessary support to meet the goal of maximum system uptime. They provide this vital support and require minimal field manage maintenance. A system should be supported by the manufacturer and in-field maintenance made easy. It should have a long-term availability of components for continued performance and guaranteed longevity.
  3. Technical Support – Ideally, system support will be available in the region where the system is deployed. There are only a few manufacturers with global presence for both design and manufacturing. This is important due to the complexity and global nature of oil and gas companies. Advanced systems make a difference in oil production by connecting with critical data with people around the world, improving productivity and safety of operations.

Additionally, experts in embedded computing solutions provide engineering resources and share knowledge of computing platforms to ensure the systems’ faster deployments. Global technical support substantially reduces downtime.

Due to the new technological advances in drilling and access to more remote areas, rugged systems are necessary now more than ever. Previously undrilled areas are now accessible and enabled with the assistance of new computing technology. Systems must adapt to these changes and withstand the harsh environments. The demands for high MTBF, higher performance, extended product lifetime, and reliability are met with the right system.

Check out these fully customizable, rugged industrial computers>>>>

Industrial Computing: Changes in the Oil and Gas Industry

The field of industrial computing has evolved to such a degree that the devices that are currently available transform the very industries that they are deployed in. There are a number of computers suitable for a variety of industrial working environments. Some working conditions may require the use of computers designed to respond to its stringent demands. The oil and gas industry is an area where specialized computer devices need to be employed. In this industry, it is common for prices to fluctuate due to the changes that occur on a production level. Recently, prices for gas and oil have been less expensive due to the high production rates the refineries. The availability of advanced technological tools like rugged industrial grade computers have contributed to this production boom.

New Sources of Fuel

Growth in oil and gas come as a result of the ability of refineries to tap into previously unheard of sources of fuel. Now, it is possible to extract oil from oil sands, shale deposits, and subsea strata. This new way of extracting energy resources requires the use of industrial computers that are capable of handling the complex tasks that are associated with the process. One of the biggest requirements for computers that are deployed in the oil and gas industry is the ability to withstand punishing working environments.

Harsh Working Environments

The amount of data that is associated with the process of extracting oil is considerable. With refineries tapping into new sources like subsea deposits, it becomes imperative for the devices that are being used to withstand the stresses associated with these working environments. Every computer device that is deployed in the oil and gas working environment needs to be able to withstand the harsh environmental conditions long enough for producers to capture and analyze the data that they gather. Should these devices fail in the middle of data gathering procedures an oil rig could shut down resulting in a substantial loss to the company.

Industrial Computers as a Vital Work Hub

Apart from the ability to withstand a host of environmental pressures, industrial grade computers are being used to connect a host of equipment that is being used in oil rigs across multiple locations. The ability of these industrial computers to function as a hub enables users to remotely access the data that they gather. Remote access to critical data enables professionals to make critical decisions in real time as developments occur. A greater degree of communication between field staff, oil producers, and other experts results in a safer and more proactive working environment.

Reliability

It is vital that industrial computers possess a high quality of reliability. One of the most important features that oil producers need from devices that are to be deployed in the oil and gas industry is a high mean time between failures rate. Ideally, there should be a complete lack of downtime when it comes to the devices that are being used in the oil and gas industry. A critical failure in a device that is used for oil and gas extraction can result in lengthy downtime periods that result in massive losses. Given the nature of the locations of these rigs, maintenance procedures require a great expenditure of financial resources, time, and manpower. Purchasing reliable rugged industrial computers reduce the possibility of system failures and prevent the producers from wasting resources in maintenance procedures.

Product Life Cycle and Maintenance Needs

One of the most critical areas that producers need to take a look at before they purchase a rugged industrial computer is the life cycle of the device. Oil and gas producers need to look for a device that is supported by its manufacturer on a long term basis. This ensures that parts and components that are needed for repairs and maintenance procedures will be available long after the device has been purchased. Given the nature of the locations of oil rigs, it is critical for the manufacturer of a device to possess a global presence as well. The oil and gas industry span multiple locations across the globe and the manufacturer of your industrial grade computer needs to be able to respond to maintenance needs accordingly. With new sources for oil and gas being discovered, it is critical for oil producers to utilize technology that is capable of keeping up with the demands of the industry. As the industry continues to evolve, the growth of rugged industrial grade computers can be expected to reflect those changes as well.