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Data Collection in the Field

Capturing Oil Production Data

Buttons Enhance Stadium Security

Data Collection in the Field

Handpicked crops such as strawberries, chili peppers, raspberries, and cauliflower are harvested on a piecework basis. As workers bring their filled containers to trucks, a field manager keeps count using paper records. During harvest time, large farms may hire as many as 2,000 workers. With paper tally systems, three to four office workers are needed to tabulate the daily picking records and calculate piecework compensation. That is, unless touch/button memory systems enter the field. Buttons may be attached to badges worn by field workers. As workers bring full containers to farm trucks, a manager touches the button with a reader. In less than a second, the system records the worker's name, date, time, field, crop, crew, and task, along with the number of cartons completed and the produce grade. This data is uploaded to a laptop computer for analysis on the spot or input into an accounting system. In addition to labor savings, more accurate pay data, and faster paychecks for workers, button systems help farms plan and expedite work flow, ensuring that crops are harvested at their peak.

Capturing Oil Production Data

A gas and oil company uses buttons in conjunction with handheld PCs to collect oil and gas production data in harsh field conditions. A typical oil well site consists of a series of pumps that feed into holding tanks. The tanks collect the oil and water that are pumped from the ground. The fluid levels must be measured every day in order to calculate how much oil has been collected and to determine the amount of water to be disposed. Buttons are attached to each well, tank, and meter using epoxy or industrial Velcro. When employees arrive on site, they read the data stored in the buttons, which includes location codes and the last two days of readings input by workers. Software on the handheld PC verifies the location and prompts the user to enter current fluid levels on the handheld's keypad. The handheld computer stores this data and transmits it to the button for backup. At the end of the day, these measurements are downloaded from the portable and sent to the host computer at headquarters.

Buttons Enhance Stadium Security

At the newest baseball stadium in the U.S., ballpark guards are responsible for checking a considerable number of doors and gates to make sure they are secured. One hundred buttons installed at key gates and doors are used to verify that guards have stopped at all required checkpoints. During the patrol, the guard touches the button with a reader. At each contact, the reader stores the button's identification in memory along with the exact date and time it is read. A laminated menu with buttons attached to it allows guards to report exceptions such as "Maintenance Required." At the end of a shift, data is downloaded from the guard's button reader to a host PC, where a shift supervisor can run a report to verify that all entrances are indeed secure.

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10/5/2016 » 10/6/2016
Medtech Ireland

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