Rugged Windows Tablets Accelerate Mine Maintenance Procedures
The Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT), located in Ontario, Canada, is a non-profit organization who empowers clients and community partners to drive a culture of innovation, productivity, and life-long learning. NORCAT handles several different industries, one of which is mining.
The NORCAT mining team's mission is to help accelerate mine maintenance schedules by reviewing contractor certifications and health/safety compliances prior to allowing them into a mine. Whenever maintenance to a mine is required, hundreds to thousands of contractors flock to a community for weeks at a time to assist in reviving that specific location.
Reviewing thousands of contractor credentials over the course of several weeks isn’t necessarily time consuming, but small Canadian communities taking on that amount of additional vehicles and foot traffic lead to safety concerns.
NORCAT had been using large, stationary kiosks where contractors would swipe an assigned access card to grant access to the mine and facilities. This one-at-a-time process leads to traffic congestion and an overwhelming amount of people flooding the small communities.
NORCAT saw a need to expedite this process in an alternative manner that was less stressful for the entire town.
After several internal discussions at NORCAT, they concluded that the best solution would be to move the checkpoints off-site and implement a mobile tablet solution to scan all workers' health and safety compliance cards.
NORCAT selected the MobileDemand xTablet Flex 10 as their tablet hardware of choice. The lightweight, rugged Windows tablet was paired with a Bluetooth scanner and printer to efficiently scan more credentials in less time.
Once a contractor’s documents are scanned and approved, the workers are loaded on to busses and shuttled to and from the mine location.
With a ruggedized Windows tablet, there is less concern of the device breaking in rocky, wet and dirty conditions. The value-priced device provides satisfactory protection in a demanding work environment.
The entire process has been simplified. NORCAT can now quickly scan the necessary documents and load workers on to busses, relieving traffic congestion and safety concerns in the community.
“For the first time in decades, small townships in Canada don’t come to halt due to a maintenance shutdown,” said Ed Wisniewski, IT director at NORCAT. “The MobileDemand tablets are the perfect fit and work hand-in-hand with the technology used here at NORCAT. We are always striving to find advanced solutions for the companies we work with, and the tablets have not let us down in furthering that advance.”