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.
For the NORCAT mining team, their mission is help accelerate mine maintenance schedules by reviewing contractor certifications and health/safety compliances prior to allowing them in to the 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.
The Customer Challenge
To review 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 can lead to traffic and safety concerns.
NORCAT had been using large, stationary kiosks where contractors swipe an assigned access card to grant them 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.
For NORCAT, they saw a need to expedite this process in an alternative manner which would be less stressful on the town as a whole.
The MobileDemand Solution
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 worker’s health and safety compliances.
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.
Being that the Windows tablet they selected is ruggedized, 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.
In addition, the entire process as a whole 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 didn’t come to halt due to a maintenance shutdown,” said Ed Wisniewski, IT Director at NORCAT. “The MobileDemand tablets were the perfect fit and worked hand-in-hand with the technology used here at NORCAT. We are always striving to find advanced solutions for the companies that we deal with and the MobileDemand tablets have not let us down in furthering that advance.”