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Touchscreen mobile computers for oilfield service trucks
  MDT believes that providing accurate data and information, presented
  through an easy-to-use interface, leads to improvement opportunities for
  service companies in the petroleum industry.
 
 

Client

Mobile Data Technologies, an Edmonton-area technology start-up

 

Opportunity

Oil wells need regular servicing to keep producing at optimum levels. A build-up of natural byproducts often slows the well’s production. 

Service trucks flush wells with liquid at the required temperature, pressure and flow-rate. Traditionally, mechanized metres measured the inputs and recorded details of the service call. 

The graph-paper record, while an industry standard, was cumbersome and lacked the failsafes to ensure data was authentic and accurate.

A small Edmonton-area engineering company was approached in 2008 with a request for a better monitoring system. The resulting prototype, a touchscreen computer, worked so well an idea was born.

The engineers approached Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures (Tech Futures), through its Regional Innovation Network, and applied for an Alberta Innovation Voucher. The program helps small, knowledge-driven businesses move ideas from concept to commercialization.

In this case, the Alberta Innovation Voucher funded a market study, while business advice was provided by novaNait, a Regional Innovation Network partner.

 

Status

With Tech Futures’ support, the engineers launched a new company, Mobile Data Technologies (MDT).

In early 2010, MDT began with one employee and a small manufacturing shop west of Edmonton. Three distinct touchscreen products were designed and marketed on their ease of use and data integrity.

In 2010, approximately 60 units were sold. In 2011, the number jumped to just over 100. In 2012, close to 200 units were sold, while the company currently employs 36 staff throughout North America.

MDT is only one of hundreds helped each year by the Alberta-wide Regional Innovation Network, made up of economic development agencies and alliances, along with educational, research and commercialization institutions.

Tech Futures facilitates the network, connecting entrepreneurs and small businesses like MDT to geographically convenient services to address business and technology challenges.

In early 2012, MDT opened a branch office in Houston, Texas, home to manufacturers of oilfield service trucks for all of North America. The outreach is paying off with service-truck manufacturers beginning to install MDT’s touchscreen computers as standard equipment.

To see more stories and videos, visit our Success Stories Map

 

Put our expertise to work for you

Luigi Simpatico, Senior Business Partner
Business Innovation Services
780.450.5564
luigi.simpatico@albertainnovates.ca