Apple iPhone Software for Pumpers
Development funded by a grant from the Stripper Well Consortium
Supported by Oklahoma Marginal Well Commission
Project Blog: Systems of Merritt
By Frank Braswell
January 6, 2011
Folks in the oil patch have been looking for and hoping for electronic tools that would help them efficiently convey data from the field to the office with a minimum of hassle. The data should also be available to help them do their job more efficiently, plus it shouldn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
The major oil companies have been working on automation and communication products for the wellsite for years, but it’s not just the cost that is a problem. You need a team of engineers and technicians to develop, manage and repair it. All of this is overkill for stripper well operators.
It’s hard to keep up with new technology these days, but several things have converged that will help to put this technology to work for the stripper well pumper and operator. First, miniaturization of electronics has put tremendous computing power in the palm of our hands at a low price, in the form of smart phones. Second, communication capability has increased in speed and range, while at the same time dropping in cost. And third, touch-screen interfaces, along with high-resolution color graphics have combined to allow the creation of highly intuitive user interfaces.
Many of you have these devices in your pockets right now, or are planning to purchase a smartphone sometime in the next year. About a year ago, I began discussing a project that would develop specialized pumper software for the Apple iPhone (Android devices will have to come later) with Jim Revard and Rick Torix from OMWC. With their support I applied for and received a development grant from the Stripper Well Consortium.
What makes the project different is the focus on the user interface and experience. With the use of the touch-screen interface, it is possible to create a much more intuitive user experience. With the high-resolution color screen, visual content can be effectively used. Additionally, part of the project involves visiting pumpers in the field, observing their work and getting feedback for the project.
Putting all this together, the user interface will feature images familiar to pumpers, such as tanks, pumps, measuring tapes, and various gauges. By touching gauges, moving dials, or scrolling measuring tapes on the screen, the readings can be entered without typing in numbers. The picture below shows the graphical display of a storage tank. The tape along the edge can be scrolled to the correct reading, and the red mark shows the previous day’s measurement for reference. The picture of the tank shows the measurement relative to the capacity of the tank. All the conversions from feet to gallons and barrels are done automatically.
There is only space here for a brief overview, however the project details and status are all available on the project blog here.
. We’re a few months away from field testing, and if you have questions or wish to receive email updates you can contact email@example.com. Also, please let the OMWC know of your interest in the project and thank them for their support!