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01 Oct 2019 - GIM Suite – Technology, Business Management

Greater mobility: How new technology improves field data capture

Evolving software and hardware technology for the mining industry is creating smarter ways of working with mobile devices in the field. Smartphones are increasingly being adopted for field data capture as the range of apps increases and smartphone technology improves. Find out how new mobile apps and smartphones are bringing a new dimension to mobility in the field.

Smartphones lighten the load

Smartphones are an increasingly attractive option for mining and exploration companies. They are lighter and smaller in comparison to the often cumbersome and heavy range of ruggedised field devices available today. Extra load often gets added to field workers who need to use add-on devices for barcode scanning or location tracking. Carrying a few extra devices may not sound like much, but add set-up times across all devices ensuring they interface with each other, times that by a few hundred workers in the field – and it all starts to add up. More devices also means more money spent on equipment and then additional time and resources to use and maintain.

Operating system limits

Miners and explorers using conventional field devices are often limited to using software that only works on one type of operating systems and this is usually Windows. This can result in:

Higher overheads for software upgrades

Tablets need to be brought in from the field and manually updated by IT staff for every new version of software rolled out. Recalling tables from the field is time-consuming, IT-intensive and expensive. Companies often start to skip upgrades and stay on older versions of software which means they don’t get to take advantage of major improvements introduced in software releases.

Lack of direct integration with central geological database

If you can only use one type of operating system on your field device, there is a high chance it doesn’t have a direct integration with your central database. Non-integrated systems means there are often extra and manual steps required for feeding data back into the corporate database. Once manual activities are introduced in your data capture process and not maintained effectively, data errors can creep in, minimising data integrity and data confidence.

All of this starts to contribute to less than optimal way of collecting data from the field.

Smarter mining with smarter software

acQuire’s next software release, GIM Suite 4.1, introduces a new field data capture mobile app which is available for both android and iOS operating systems.

This is good news for GIM Suite users who can start to take advantage of a range of benefits for greater data capture mobility:

  • Lower operational costs from managing less field devices and hardware add-ons
  • Utilise relatively inexpensive android or apple smartphones to capture field data
  • Easily manage regular software updates direct from the relevant app store to mobile devices in the field.
  • Minimise field workers’ loads by using in-built smartphone technologies for barcode scanning and location tracking.
  • Direct integration with GIM Suite streamlines the data capture process.

The new mobile app, called acQuire Arena, is available soon from the Apple App store or the Google Play store. acQuire customers who upgrade to GIM Suite 4.1, can start using the app with their appropriate GIM Suite licences. As soon as a data capture form created and shared by the database manager is synchronised to the smartphones, your teams can collect field data.

For more information about acQuire’s next software release contact us or subscribe to our monthly updates for the latest in GIM technology news.

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