The commission, configuration, and maintenance of water pumps for groundwater management in a strip mining area can only be done on-site. Thanks to an Industrial App on an Android tablet the service technicians are able to complete their tasks in a fraction of the previously needed time.


  • Service times are significantly reduced thanks to the optimized availability of data as well as the workflow oriented design and user navigation.
  • Hardware requirements are relaxed thanks to the Industrial App.
  • Affordable rugged Android tablets can be used and may be replaced by models of other manufacturers if desired.

Initial situation

Hundreds of independently working water pumps are deployed in the strip mining area. The commission, configuration and maintenance are done on-site. Service workers travel to the individual water pumps by car and connect to the pump's PLC using a proprietary handheld device. The service tasks detailing the configuration parameters are supplied on paper. The typical amount of time for servicing one pump is 30 minutes. The service works are carried out regardless of the weather conditions.

The necessary service work is being hampered by media breaks leading to insufficient data quality and by the complicated user interface of the heandheld device. The device's display is hard to read in bad lighting conditions.

Digitalisation in strip mining

Digitalisation in strip miningInformation on demand, anytime, anywhere

Each morning the service technician fetches his tablet from the charging station. His work assignments have already been transferred to the device and he is good to go.

Optimised Work Plans

Optimised Work PlansGPS and Cleverness

The Industrial App always points the service technician towards the current water pump from his list of work assignments. However, the actual route planning in the difficult terrain of the strip mining area calls for the knowledge of an experienced worker. Man and machine form a powerful unit.

Work Efficiency

Work EfficiencyConnecting, ready, set, go!

Thanks to the optimization of the Industrial App the work steps can be done with a few taps. All necessary data from the PLC and the details of the work assignment are available. After the work is done the work protocols are transfered to the adjacent systems and new work assignments are supplied.

The next day can come.


  • Data transfer via Bluetooth using a proprietary protocol
  • Reduction of the necessary time to service each water pump
  • Reduction of cost for the replacement of the proprietary hardware
  • Optimization of the Industrial App design with respect to the the abilities and needs of the service personnel
  • Optimization of the user navigation with respect to the necessary work steps and the efficient completion of the work goals
  • Improved integration of the solution with the IT infrastructure targetting a reduction of the media breaks and an improvement in data quality
  • Easier deployment of updates of the Industrial App

Technical solution

An Industrial App on an Android tablet is provided to facilitate the commission, configuration and maintenance of water pumps on-site. The user navigation and the design has been developed in close collaboration with the service technicians and is tailored to the necessary work steps.

The data is transmitted directly via Bluetooth, no additional infrastructure is required. Android saves the ID of the PLC automatically during the first connect to speed up subsequent connection attempts. There is enough storage capacity on modern devices to save the data of all water pumps in the strip mining area.

The exchange of work assignments is done automatically using Microsoft Excel™ files thus servicing the interfaces of all relevant adjacent systems.

The deployment of the Industrial Apps and their updates is done via a company-owned app store. Only authorized personnel is able to access the Industrial Apps for the deployment, configuration, and maintenance of the water pumps. Thanks to the flexible access rights management the company-owned app store supports the user life cycle optimally. Workers are granted access to the Industrial App only when the completion of the work assignment demands it.

ELCO 360°

Our all-round service for you!

We offer you a complete product portfolio — from data collection with our Automation products (sensors, encoders, connectors, I/O systems) via data connection with IoT hardware to data collection in our IoTHub and data visualization in the form of Industrial Apps — from our Business Unit Internet of Things. At Elco you get everything from one source!

We supplement our product portfolio with holistic services for you. We accompany and support your projects from start to finish — that's ELCO 360°.


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