Gastech Revealed 3 Factors That Will Determine The Future Of Ruggedized Wearable Computers For Oil & Gas

We just returned from exhibiting at Gastech, and after hundreds of conversations with Oil & Gas thought leaders we realized something amazing:

Almost everyone we spoke with had an intuitive understanding of the benefits of wearable computers. Yet few of them had embraced this solution as a means to improve worker safety and productivity.

With that in mind, here are the top 3 things we learned at Gastech:

Every Company That Attends Gastech Could Benefit From Remote Mentor Solutions

If all your workers had expert knowledge about all systems on a rig, you would be able to maintain high productivity at all times.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

It’s far more likely that expertise is concentrated in the minds of your experienced workers. But as more and more of these workers retire and inexperienced workers come onboard, how do you accelerate knowledge transfer? How do you get the right information to the right people at the right time?

Remote mentor solutions on ruggedized wearable computers can address these challenges.

With remote mentor solutions, one subject matter expert at your home office can advise several frontline workers at the same time, even if they’re spread out across the world. If these frontline workers are wearing a wearable computer approved for ATEX Zone 1, the subject matter expert can see what they see and hear what they hear even in the most brutal conditions.

Apart from faster knowledge transfer, an even greater opportunity for Oil & Gas companies is reduced downtime. Each day offline for a typical 200,000-barrel-a-day refinery can mean almost $12 million in lost revenue. Offshore oil and gas facilities often halt operations while waiting to fly experts in by helicopter. And according to Kimberlite International Oilfield Research, many refineries average 27 days offline every year.

Remote mentor solutions can reduce downtime from days to minutes by bringing experts on site virtually, instantly. Whether your workers are located in the Permian or on a ship crossing the Pacific, remote mentor solutions are an easy way to give them real-time guidance.

This One Issue Came Up Again And Again At Gastech

We spoke with individuals from every segment of the Oil & Gas Industry. And time and time again, we heard the same question:

“Can I use this hands-free computer to conduct inspections?”

It doesn’t matter whether your focus is Upstream, Midstream, Downstream, or a combination of all three. It doesn’t matter if your workers are in the North Sea or in Beaumont, Texas. If they can’t complete inspections in an efficient manner it will impact your entire business.

In fact, improving production efficiency by just ten percentage points can yield up to $260 million bottom-line impact on a single brownfield asset. Inspections are a critical part of your business, so anything you can do to improve your efficiency here will have far-reaching effects.

When your workers can take more and better pictures in less time, that makes everything easier for managers onshore, executives at your home office, customers, and regulatory bodies. And there’s nothing easier than looking at something and saying, “Take Photo,” 100% hands-free.

At Gastech, RealWear debuted a video of Carlos at Texmark Chemicals performing inspections with HMT-1Z1
Carlos Quintanilla of Texmark Chemicals inspects equipment using RealWear HMT-1Z1

But if the only thing your workers do with their wearable computer is take pictures, that’s just scratching the surface. The best hands-free computers allow your workers to automatically sync photos to the cloud at the end of their shift. And with the right wearable computer, they can even tag photos based on their location and type of repair with a few simple voice commands.

Digital Transformation Is Happening Right Now

Capturing images hands-free and getting real-time guidance from a remote mentor are technologies available to the Oil & Gas community today. And RealWear is leading the charge.

We conducted hundreds of demos of our ruggedized wearable computer at Gastech. And every time, we got the same question:

“Can you give me an example of where this is being used right now?”

Our response?

  • When National Oilwell Varco needed a remote mentor solution that could withstand the extreme conditions on their drillships, they picked RealWear.
  • Shell is using the ATEX Zone 1 approved HMT-1Z1® to reduce travel costs and improve communication among their frontline workers.
  • Texmark Chemicals used HMT-1Z1 to reduce rail audit inspection time by 89%.
  • Schlumberger has used HMT-1® to improve maintenance efficiency by 33%.

What’s driving these projects? It’s simple. RealWear headsets improve safety by allowing workers to focus on their jobs. They don’t have to worry about dialing a rugged smartphone while wearing heavy gloves. They don’t have to worry about a tablet getting in their way, or lugging around a separate intrinsically safe camera. Now they can do everything they need with a few simple voice commands.

Want to learn how NOV, Schlumberger, and Shell are using RealWear industrial wearables to improve safety and productivity?

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