Innovative software and communications equipment are essential to keep mining and utility sites operating effectively and efficiently. Here are several products, including satellite, wireless and machine-to-machine communications, software and SCADA systems designed to keep operations organized.

Satellite Communications

Satellite and instant alert keyring device

The T5000 satellite vehicle- and equipment-tracking device from offers affordable, real-time tracking to remote energy production operations in rural, wilderness, desert and oceanic locations. It provides coverage across 80 percent of the Earth’s surface. Vehicles, equipment and personnel can be located via Fleet Manager software on any computer, tablet or smartphone. It is designed for use in areas where there is no cellular coverage, safety and liability are concerns, emergency alerts may be needed, and remote real-time monitoring is crucial to operational success. Combining it with an Instant Alert Keyring Device additionally enables remote personnel to contact base immediately in an emergency situation. 866/320-5810;

Satellite Azimuth Elevation Alignment Device

Nomad azimuth elevation caps from Skycasters make aligning a satellite dish quicker and easier. It is designed for use in situations where an antenna may need to be moved, no matter how often. It features a large, rugged azimuth and elevation wheel, which work together to align the dish with ease and precision. Simply turn the azimuth wheel and the satellite dish glides effortlessly into position. Setting the elevation is just as simple, turn the elevation wheel until you have the right angle, tighten the bolts and the satellite dish is locked down. It comes with an upgraded reflector and rugged hardware to handle the harsh conditions. 800/268-8653;

Site operations system

Terra Ferma developed the Oak Series family of products and services to provide site operations, engineering and management with real-time insight into the detailed operations of each site. The modular system combines off-grid power (solar, wind and fuel cell), sensor integration (pressure, level, flow and leak detection), video surveillance (day/night), remote communications (cellular, satellite and wireless) and monitoring portal with reporting capability. The end-to-end solution will increase revenue, reduce overhead, mitigate risk, and improve operating efficiencies by providing up-to-the-minute monitoring, system alerts and reports for each site. Engineering groups are able to interpolate the data optimizing efficiencies, production and safety. Field engineers are able to focus on any site out of tolerance or in need of attention. Management is able to make sound business decisions with trend analysis information archived from a single site or a region of operations. 855/326-5125;

Related: NexTraq releases new Driver Safety Scorecard report


Equipment tracking software

Checkmate tool and equipment tracking software from Dynamic Systems features metal barcode tags that reduce the time it takes to locate equipment by assuring that items will not be lost or left behind. The software records where the item is, who has it and when it is due back. It includes a maintenance module that records repairs, schedules regular periodic maintenance, records warranty expiration dates, and also tracks vehicle service and registration renewals. Barcode label options include preprinted polyester labels with adhesive backing, two-dimensional labels, custom labels and metal tags, which allow users to track items where the typical barcode label won’t adhere. 800/342-3999;

GPS fleet tracking software

Manageit from Ituran USA is designed for fleet managing and dispatchers, and contains instant and accurate GPS fleet tracking, personalized reporting, recovery services, geofencing technology, real-time notifications via email/SMS, landmark report, Driver ID capabilities and PTO alerts, along with other features. The software provides customers with 24/7/365 live recovery assistance for both emergency and technical support. 866/543-5433;

Driver behavior tracking

OnlineAVL2 fleet tracking with driver behavior feature from Navman Wireless enables fleet operators to identify drivers who are compromising safety and fuel efficiency. The system offers four reports and two dashboard KPIs that pinpoint trouble spots, while allowing drilldown to a specific driver directly from the Dynamic Dashboard, regardless of fleet size. 866/527-9896;

Related: Next-Generation Telematics Intelligence is Here

Company management software

Telogis for Oil & Gas is an extension of Telogis’ software platform for companies that require mobile applications, real-time work order management, dynamic routing, commercial navigation and telematics for their mobile workforces. It is an industry-specific, cloud-based enterprise software suite that monitors a vehicle’s systems and sends instant in-cab alerts for unbuckled seat belts and aggressive/unsafe driving, including hard braking, fast acceleration and speeding. It also delivers mobile workforce applications, monitors vehicle idle time, off-road mileage, utilization, power takeoff (PTO) use, total miles driven and fuel usage. It provides oil and gas companies with the ability to develop and import their existing map layers and track high-value mobile assets to prevent loss and maximize utilization. 949/389-5500;

Complete operational software

Evolution software from WennSoft delivers asset management, maintenance agreements, simple and segmented work orders, field service, advanced dispatching and scheduling, mobile solutions for field technicians, quotes, purchasing and invoicing, and includes Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It can operate as a stand-alone solution, or integrate with Microsoft Dynamics ERP products or other business application software and services. It accurately tracks all tools, equipment and assets to promote efficiency throughout a company. 888/936-6763;

Wireless Communications

Wireless I/O networking

WaveLine 10i, Class I, Division I (C1D1) certified high-performance wireless I/O networking from FreeWave Technologies is designed for applications in hazardous environments. The system monitors pressures, temperatures and liquid levels, while eliminating the need for conduit and installation outside of the C1D1 area. 800/548-5616;

Related: GPS Insight upgrades to Google Maps

Mobile communication application

NexTraq Connect helps employees and managers stay connected between the field and the office. The mobile application allows team members to clock hours, assign and receive jobs, and find the easiest driving route. The Time and Attendance module is a free feature that allows workers in the field to remotely clock in/out and record all breaks during the workday, conveniently and accurately. This ensures managers have the correct hours worked for accurate labor costs for all employees. It works on any Apple or Android device and gives managers a true picture of the hours employees worked during the course of a day, week and month, eliminating the need for manual time cards and streamlining the payroll process. 800/794-2738;

Ritron wireless monitoring, alert system

Quick Talk RQT from Ritron is an industrial-grade radio transmitter with sensor inputs and voice recording storage that automatically alerts radio-equipped personnel when plant conditions change. The system accepts inputs from up to four switches or sensors. The RQT radio operates on six AA batteries or can be powered by an optional 110V AC adapter. The system is available with a 2-watt transmitter or 120 megawatt transmitter. It is compatible with most business-band two-way radios and can be used with UHF radio repeaters for added coverage. 800/872-1872;

Man safety monitoring program

The CommLink man safety monitoring program from SureCall is used in aviation, geological survey, chartering, heavy equipment, energy exploration, well construction, engineering and environmental applications, with full-time active monitoring. The PAR (Personal Accountability Reporting) system automatically texts each user at preprogrammed intervals. The lone worker simply pushes two buttons to acknowledge the check-in. If the worker fails to check in, a second text is sent. If there’s no response, the monitoring center treats the situation as an alarm and activates its notification system. “No movement” notification is in place in case a worker is unable to move. Coverage is available through redundant communication and connection types using multiple satellite and GSM cellular services to provide global coverage in the most remote areas. 877/310-0088;

High-speed wireless networking radio

The industrial FL WLAN 5101 802.11a/b/g/n radio for high-speed wireless Ethernet communications from Phoenix Contact offers high-speed wireless networking up to 300 Mbps, meeting the needs of the most bandwidth-demanding applications such as IP-based video surveillance, plant networking and mobile operator access for programming and maintenance. Cluster Management technology simplifies wireless network management, as all access points can be easily configured and managed via a single Web interface using any access point within the network. The unit is just 40 mm wide in a metal housing, saving valuable space on the DIN rail. The data and antenna ports are conveniently placed on the top and bottom of the housing, eliminating clearance issues with the enclosure door. 800/322-3225;


SCADA control panel

The TCOM control panel from Orenco Controls is a modular, programmable remote telemetry control panel that can be used to track daily flows and alarms. It provides functionality for remote monitoring and troubleshooting, with features that include color touch screens with built-in programming and real-time data acquisition, as well as control over an Internet, cell or phone line connection. It combines the functions of relays, timers, alternators, elapsed-time meters and cycle counters, resulting in a compact panel design. It has built-in communication protocols that are supported by widely used software already installed on, or easily added to, most computers. In addition, the panel’s TCOM Viewer software is free and works on Windows PC computers, providing an easy-to-understand user interface, plus the ability to retrieve, sort and graph data. 800/348-9843;

Intelligent visual monitoring platform

The Osprey Reach visual monitoring platform from Osprey Informatics gives customers awareness and control of their remote operations. By detecting, analyzing and reporting on the status of personnel, vehicles, equipment and facilities, it turns video and images into valuable and actionable information. It is built for the field, featuring rugged cameras and low power and bandwidth capability. The cloud-based platform is optimized to be mobile, is easy to deploy and use, and scales quickly and cost-effectively at an enterprise level. 403/460-4779;

Mobile workforce scheduler

Retriever Scheduler from Retriever Communications allows companies to optimize their mobile workforce by improving job visibility and scheduling capabilities, allowing for fast evaluation of field technicians’ availability. The customizable application provides service managers with a comprehensive view of near real-time status of a job and the activities required to complete a job. This allows managers to assign work to field technicians based on their site proximity and current job status. Using the application, field workers can self-schedule emergency or impromptu work. With enhanced mapping capabilities, users are now able to access additional information such as on-site data and a time-stamped audit trail of when activities occurred. 281/566-2528;

Scalable SCADA system

The wireless ScalableSCADA system from Revere Control Systems provides flexibility for growth and communication technologies. Nonproprietary hardware and communications protocols eliminate common restrictions on growth, application and supplier. Available protocol choices include cellular, radio, modem and landline. Standard features include built-in serial and Ethernet ports, webpages and data logging with FTP transfer to a server. Options include I/O, modems, cellular modems and keypad. NEMA 4X fiberglass, NEMA 12, and NEMA 4X stainless steel enclosures are available, as is radio path testing, ISA certified technicians and CSIA certified systems integrator. 800/536-2525;

Transportation management software

TMWSuite from TMW Systems is a transportation management software system designed to streamline and automate dispatch, order management and billing for well servicing companies that move oil, frac sand, water, crude and drilling equipment. It can be used to eliminate manual billing and rating steps for service on a per-ton, per-gallon, per-barrel, mile or hourly basis or any combination thereof. Order entry can be automated from electronic files or through a Web portal. Dispatch and driver planning functions use integrated satellite tracking and hours-of-service data from telematics devices to optimally match resources to well sites and improve response time. Traditional paper job tickets can be replaced with forms-based messaging on in-cab or portable telematics devices, with drivers entering service data at well sites. Unique service data captured in the customized forms flows directly to the TMS, speeding billing, driver payment and accounting processes. 800/401-6682;

Machine-to-Machine Communications

Vehicle tracking hardware

Smart Antenna vehicle tracking hardware from GPS North America is a tamperproof and scalable device providing standard GPS tracking. It can also interface with third-party hardware for job dispatch, navigation and electronic driver logs. The company also specializes in the development and support of paperless forms for handheld, mobile data collection, and enables companies to control fuel and labor costs by locating and monitoring fleets and assets through their SignalTrack Web portal. 800/760-4477;

PROFIBUS to fiber converter

The ICF-1280I converter from Moxa Americas bridges PROFIBUS to optical fiber, providing total isolation, protection against EMI/RFI interference, and freedom from equipment grounding problems. It can help extend connections up to 2.5 miles on multimode fiber or up to 25 miles on single-mode fiber at data rates up to 12 Mbps. An integrated remote fiber diagnosis function eliminates the need for specialized test equipment and significantly shortens troubleshooting time in expansive installations by allowing one person to examine fiber connections for the overall topology from any individual converter. It has dual ports to build a redundant fiber ring with zero recovery time, and features 2 KV isolation protection and dual power inputs to ensure that PROFIBUS devices perform uninterrupted. It also features a Bus Fail Safe that detects and recognizes noise signals. It will automatically trigger an alarm notification to the field engineer on the location of the failure, allowing them to quickly locate the failed device. 714/528-6777;

Opto 22 high-frequency SNAP I/O modules

High-frequency analog SNAP I/O modules with pulse-width modulation and time-proportional output from Opto 22 are designed for engineers and technicians working with high-speed machinery, equipment test beds and applications that monitor high-frequency analog signals. The SNAP-AIRATE-HFi input module connects to TTL, CMOS and open-collector outputs and is typically used for high-speed (up to 500 kHz) pulse scanning. The SNAP-AOS-29-HFi sends pulse-width modulated outputs to high-frequency transducers and can be used with test bed applications that simulate tachometer outputs. 800/321-6786;

Electronic overload relay

The Allen-Bradley E300 electronic overload relay from Rockwell Automation integrates communications, including EtherNet/IP, current measurement technology and I/O options in a modular design. The dual-port EtherNet/IP option enables overload relays to be daisy-chained and eliminates the need for an Ethernet switch. 414/382-2000;

GPS tracking device

The AT-X5 live GPS tracking device from US Fleet Tracking is compact, discreet and easy to install. It assures turn-by-turn monitoring of mobile assets, and features 5- and 10-second tracking, historical playback and virtual fences. It comes standard with weather overlay and traffic features for safety and efficiency, plus the ability to create and edit up to 20 different logs while in the field. The Web-based system is compatible with every mobile platform. 405/726-9900;

Related Stories