Mobile App-reciation: An Insight into Mobile Apps and how they’re used in the Process Industry

If Marty McFly had swapped Flux Capacitors for centrifugal pumps we’re fairly certain he’d have done his technical tinkering via a touchscreen gadget, tucked into the pocket of his all-singing ‘life preserver.’ Well, that’s not such an outlandish prediction anymore, as the Process Industry goes back to the future with mobile apps that are transforming everyday plant practices.

What are mobile apps?

Mobile applications, or apps, “usually help users by connecting them to Internet services more commonly accessed on desktop or notebook computers, or help them by making it easier to use the Internet on their portable devices.” Thanks Webopedia but what’s the point of them?

Mobile apps

Well, execute a mobile app that’s functional, and adds value to your subscriber, then you’re looking at an invaluable marketing holy trinity of brand awareness, customer interaction and knock-on customer loyalty.

Furthermore, as mobile devices ever-increasingly permeate our working lives, expect to find more and more invaluable Process Industry apps cropping up, which might just change how we work and in actual fact become invaluable tools for in-the-field operations.

So, should we start drafting our mobile app strategies post haste? Well let’s look at a few cold, hard figures first to gain some app-reciation (sorry!) of the current market.

How popular are apps?

download appsAccording to Social Media Today, “research in March 2013 estimated that 1.2 billion people worldwide were using mobile apps at the end of 2012.”

“This is forecast to grow at a rate of 29.8 percent each year, to reach 4.4 billion users by the end of 2017. Much of this growth will come from Asia, which will account for almost half of app users in 2017,” they add.

Just to give an indicator of monetary worth, in a recent press statement Apple announced that 2013 had seen its customers spend over $10 billion, on almost 3 billion app downloads, from its App Store. Remember that’s on Apple’s IOS platform alone, notwithstanding the thriving Android market.

What are the benefits of apps?

Clearly we’re talking big numbers, big business here. But you just want to get your head down and concentrate on what you’re good at right? Well yes, of course, but what if you’re missing a trick?

According to ASME: “The benefits of mobile as human-machine interfaces in process engineering are significant. It can empower more workers to spot and fix problems earlier, it connects decision-makers to what's happening on the production floor from any location, and it puts powerful data analytics and graphical reporting functions into the palm of the user's hand.”

“Process automation companies and independent app developers are creating more tools for process control on the go, and industry observers predict new mobile smartphone and tablet apps […] represent the wave of the wireless future,” they add.

App-lying the theory in practice

All you have to do now is figure out how an app from your business might carve its own niche, bring added value to everyday Process Industry applications and crucially lead to a worthwhile ROI in the form of sales. On that note, we’ll give the last word to Mashable about what to consider when planning any mobile app strategy.

“Getting to what and how starts with asking why. That is, why does your company need a mobile app?” they say.

“The answer lies in the way(s) that your clients use your services and buy your products. If they could be doing so in new - and newly flexible, convenient and relevant ways - there's the why with which your app strategy should start.” Bingo!

Take a look at our 6 favourite mobile app's for engineers, currently available for download now.

To find out more about Mobile App's, click on the images below to read some informative and entertaining infographics.

Mobile app's

Mobile app's 2



Get the latest process industry news

Interested in receiving even more industry-leading news from Process Industry Forum delivered directly to your inbox? Then sign up to our free newsletter. Bringing you the latest news, trends, innovations and opinion from across the process industry, our exclusive newsletter gives you all the industry insights of the moment in one, easy-to-digest bulletin. Stay ahead of the competition with regular process industry news instalments from PIF.

    Our Partners