Circlon | group converts mobile terminals from Windows Mobile to Android at fht
The Circlon | group has developed a Windows Mobile-based solution for the compulsory activity recording in dangerous goods transport for fht (Flüssiggas Handel und Transport). This user-friendly solution optimally satisfied all requirements and is now to be converted to Android in the course of purchasing new hardware. According to fht the Circlon | group is again the best partner for this task.
Mobile computers with handy full-touch displays in every special gas tanker
The Circlon | group can draw on extensive experience from a wide variety of customer projects for the currently planned conversion to Android and can provide optimum support thanks to its extensive practical experience. With the porting of the existing solution to Android, the processes will also be checked and the ergonomics optimised, as full-touch displays are now going to be used in favour of more convenient user-friendliness. With the aid of Angular, the devices are platform-independent in use.
In the past, the Circlon | group has already developed a Track & Trace solution based on its proven modular system. The mobile computers were Zebra (Motorola) devices from the MC75 series with voice, data and GPS services as well as a laser scanner, a 2D imager and a camera for mobile data capturing. A high-resolution 3.5″ VGA colour display allows images, including videos and maps, to be displayed in detail. On the hardware side, the devices form the foundation of this Track & Trace solution.
fht supplies private households, trade, industry and LPG petrol stations with DIN-compliant liquefied gases and offers services for all aspects of liquefied gas containers. The company has over 200 employees, the fleet comprises over 150 special gas tankers at 80 locations throughout Germany. A special, in-house software from fht suggests the best economic and ecological route to the dispatcher and transmits the route to the respective driver. With the new equipment and software solutions from the Circlon | group, this is now even more efficient.
Circlon | Track & Trace for a quick solution
Based on the mobile computing framework of the Circlon | group, ready-made modules were selected in order to quickly and easily implement an individual software solution for use in the fht tankers. At fht, the software of the mobile computer captures the measurement data of the vehicle, evaluates it and makes the information available to the drivers. It navigates the driver to the required location and provides all necessary documents digitally, which significantly reduces manual receipts. Since every mobile computer can read and display the data from the measuring system, it also notifies the driver when services are due; it gives him an overview of all relevant technical data, such as temperature or filling level, and supports him in documenting transport processes and damage or repairs in full. The range of functions extends from the evaluation of the data to the generation of the invoice.
The Circlon | Track & Trace software can be adapted and extended quickly and cost-effectively based on the framework. The mobile computing framework is regularly updated and expanded by the software experts of the Circlon | group.
Documentation as paperless as possible
The transport of liquefied petroleum gas is regulated by the ADR provisions – a European agreement on the international carriage of dangerous goods by road. A central aspect here is the documentation of the transport process (transport documents, written instructions). The driver must be able to produce the required accompanying documents at all times. In the past, this involved a lot of paperwork. But this is no longer in keeping with the digitisation age.
With the Circlon | group solution, which is directly connected to the fht back-end, the legally required accompanying documents are stored both in the mobile device and in the IT system, so they are always up-to-date and always available. If required, they can also be printed during the trip. With the integrated camera, drivers can record damage immediately. Since all activities are recorded and documented directly with the mobile computer, manual documents are reduced.
Precise overview on the full-touch display
When handling LPG, the driver must observe certain loading conditions, such as the correct temperature and maintaining the pressure. The mobile computer draws his attention to these facts. Various measuring systems are connected to the mobile system for this purpose. The driver thus always has a precise overview of the most important parameters and information directly on the mobile device. This also includes information on which activities have to be carried out at the customer’s site and how much gas has already been delivered.
Willy Ridder, Head of Administration at fht, comments on the concept: “The documentation obligation poses major challenges, especially if it is to be as paperless as possible. As a solution partner for hardware and software, this is where the Circlon | group offers outstanding services. Due to the procurement of new hardware, we would like to port the optimally developed Windows Mobile solution virtually 1: 1 into the Android world in terms of its functions. Some adjustments that have been planned for a while can also be implemented at the same time. In the future, all mobile computers will be able to read data and access peripheral devices via Bluetooth.”
Android project underway
At present, the mobile devices are still integrated into the special gas tankers by cable in order to access data from the measuring section and the CAN bus or to address printers. This results in disadvantages: impractical brackets, cumbersome connection cables, no application flexibility and the like. For this reason, new devices are currently being examined that use Bluetooth to access the data. Each driver receives their own mobile device – this leads to responsible handling of the hardware and reduces downtimes.
At the same time, the adaptation of the software for mobile computers is in full swing. When changing systems for mobile data capture, it will always be necessary to clarify how existing software solutions will continue to be used in addition to selecting new hardware. Can the functions used so far be implemented in the same or similar form in the new software environment? Are complex adjustments necessary when changing systems? Should upgrades be implemented in the course of the migration? In answering these questions, it is also important to know exactly the different types of apps.
Due to its complexity, the fht project is set to run for several months. The new software is to be tested in the field towards the end of 2019. The rollout of mobile devices with Android software is planned for early 2020.
Are you also planning to switch to Android?
The software specialists of the Circlon | group can help you with advice and practical support when switching to Android and developing apps. Learn more in the blog post “Efficient migration to Android-based mobile devices“.
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