An evaluation framework for handheld devices within the refinery industry

Benjamin Noah, Ling Rothrock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A framework is developed for evaluating the use of handheld computer devices within the refinery process industry, with a focus on the field operator. While mobile computing provides enormous opportunity, this domain has been a slow adopter of the technology. The framework combines usability components with industry best practices and aims to provide the industry with a tool that can be used as a measuring stick. More specifically, the framework uses lessons learned from industry to assemble 17 recommended practices (pre and post deployment) and 16 usability factors bound within a general system acceptability theory. Finally, the framework proposes five general management goals of implementing the technology: (a) reduce costs, (b) support processes, (c) simplify logistics, (d) improve data collection, and (e) improve safety. The framework is used to evaluate a refinery site within the U.S., by collecting data from both management and field operators. The evaluated site is an experienced user of the technology and uses current technology. However, it was found that system acceptability was hindered by 12 underdeveloped handheld-use goals, 12 poorly met system usability factors, and the absence of 7 industry best practices. The implications of this study are that, while the capabilities exist, successful implementation and use of the technology requires careful planning and evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2015
PublisherInstitute of Industrial Engineers
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780983762447
StatePublished - 2015
EventIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2015 - Nashville, United States
Duration: May 30 2015Jun 2 2015


OtherIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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