Bringing mobile applications to specialist pipeline testing

The Challenge

A part of the IK Group, a leading supplier of specialist products and service for pipes and pipelines, Online Electronics has a mission to provide operators and installation companies with tangible new solutions to achieve significant cost savings.

An innovative and flexible company with over 20 years of experience designing and manufacturing pipeline pig locating and signalling, Online Electronics engaged xDesign to help bring modern Bluetooth connectivity to their advanced pipeline and data logging systems via a specialist mobile app.

The Solution

Online Electronics had installed a new electromagnetic receiver system (EMRx) to provide a means of tracking and locating stuck pigs in onshore and offshore pipelines, and now needed a way to display that information in the field on a wide range of mobile devices.

Using our vast experience in IoT and Bluetooth development technology, we were able to create an app that communicated instantly with the EMRx System via Bluetooth.

The app connects automatically when the device comes in range – checking every 7 milliseconds, or providing the option to connect to multiple devices at once. It then takes the data it gathers, processes the signal on-device and provides up-to-date charting.

As there was a prevalence of older devices in use by Online Electronics, we built the app to perform optimally even on low-spec devices and to be capable of logging 24 hours of data to allow for long periods of time in the field.

The app was specifically designed with the environment in mind – allowing for one hand operation and minimal to zero training in advance.

Going Above and Beyond

Online Electronics solve complicated problems and we knew that this app was only a piece of the puzzle in a roadmap that extended far into the future. To help future-proof the app and the business, we built a modular system with the review of a single “Parent App” in the future.

Building a modular system with a view to the future meant that we could have a dynamic solution that allowed users to access the information they need now, as quickly as possible, and Online Electronics could easily integrate the app into future builds.

The Results

What’s unique about the Online Electronics solution is that the business uses a number of different devices and hasn’t standardized on a single device family or operating system. Further to that, employees were most frequently accessing the app in remote locations or challenging working environments, so it was crucial that we develop an app that delivered insights quickly, easily and efficiently, while future proofing for a distributed environment.

This solution continues to reduce costs and increase efficiency across the board.


Augmented Agile Delivery Teams
Web Application Development
Product and Technical Consultancy
Mobile Application Development
Sprint Design and Discovery Workshops
UX and UI Design

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