Ecom Debuts New Intrinsically Safe Rugged Handheld

By Jessica Binns, Contributing Editor — June 11, 2012

Ecom instruments Inc. and Intermec, Inc. of Everett, Wash., are pleased to announce the Canadian premier of their new intrinsically safe handheld mobile computer for use in hazardous environments that include oil refineries and drilling platforms, petrochemical, pharmaceutical production, agriculture processing and other explosion-classified environments. The new i.roc Ci70 -Ex is the first product offering resulting from the strategic partnership between Intermec and ecom instruments announced in December 2011. The i.roc Ci70 -Ex will be exclusively sold and distributed by ecom.

The i.roc Ci70 -Ex is the latest edition of the award-winning i.roc series of handhelds from ecom and the first to be jointly engineered and developed with Intermec. A new paradigm in intrinsically safe mobile computing, the i.roc Ci70 -Ex offers an unmatched feature set among hazardous environment computers, carries the widest range of explosion-hazardous area approvals worldwide, and is fully compatible with applications originally developed for Intermec 70 series devices operating under Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5.3.

The unique modular concept of the i.roc Ci70 -Ex includes a number of industry-firsts among intrinsically safe mobile computers.

Key features include:

  • Comprehensive wireless networking capabilities--including WWAN (3G CDMA or UMTS via the Qualcomm Gobi 3000 embedded module), WLAN (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n), and Bluetooth 2.1 allow for flexible data exchange even in areas with challenging reception conditions.
  • Advanced, long-range bar code imaging technology pioneered by Intermec and now adapted for intrinsically safe environments.
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) capability is achieved through modular design that supports a wide range of frequencies, from low to ultra-high LF to UHF and ISO Standard frequencies.
  • Like other devices built from the 70 series platform, the i.roc Ci70 -Ex is fully compatible with Intermec Development Library tools and applications.
  • A wide range of peripherals and accessories make the i.roc Ci70 -Ex a truly complete enterprise business solution.
  • In addition to ecom's worldwide service support, this device carries global certifications from NEC to ATEX and IECEx. Providing intrinsically safe mobile computing expertise for more than 25 years, the strategic partnership with Intermec leverages more than a 40 year legacy of innovation in rugged enterprise solutions to provide an uncompromising product to meet the demands of the industry's toughest environments. Combining Intermec's leadership in rugged mobile computing solutions with ecom's expertise in hazardous environment computing, this new product is ready to face the most challenging applications.
"Today's mission-critical hazardous area operations demand mobile computing solutions without compromising on current industry-leading technologies," said Rolf Nied, president of ecom instruments. "Intermec and ecom combined their engineering expertise to integrate these state of the art technologies into this cutting-edge intrinsically safe handheld solution."

"The i.roc Ci70 -Ex offers a best-in-class answer to the growing demand for specialized communications solutions for use in hazardous environments," said Earl Thompson, Intermec senior vice president, Mobile Solutions business unit. "Already equipped with the various worldwide certifications required for explosive atmospheres, this product offers a rugged, efficient and reliable mobile computing solution to empower enterprises in these critical markets."

The flexible i.roc Ci70 -Ex design was influenced to a high degree according to end user requirements and customer needs.

Michael M. Haley, technology consultant, BP Chief Technology Office, said, "At BP, we believe technology can make a significant impact on the enterprise. We focus on a few technologies with immediate impact that will also benefit long-term business needs. The integration of current and emerging RF communications for large industrial sites could yield greater efficiencies for business operations."

"Explosive environments – such as those found on oil rigs, in petrochemical plants or in pharmaceutical production facilities – are among the harshest and most challenging environments in which to operate mobile computing and communications devices. In the i.roc Ci70 -Ex, Intermec, a leading rugged mobile computer vendor, and ecom instruments, a leader in the field of intrinsic safety, have co-developed a uniquely differentiated intrinsically safe rugged handheld computer targeted at these environments. What is especially compelling about this device is that it conforms to all key global certifications – from NEC to ATEX and IECEx – making a truly global platform," said David Krebs, VP mobile & wireless at VDC Research.

Ecom instruments and Intermec are pleased that the latest version of Wonderware's industry-leading mobile-workforce and decision management software, IntelaTrac Version 4.2, will be demonstrated at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary running on the new intrinsically safe handheld i.roc Ci70 -Ex. This is the first product to be jointly developed and engineered by ecom instruments and Intermec.

Mark Wolfe, product manager for Wonderware Mobile Solutions, added, "This is an exciting collaboration between the two companies that have a long history of support for the IntelaTrac solution and now all three organizations can bring together a world-class intrinsically safe handheld solution."

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