Collaboration Is The Key To Inspection Success
Quality inspection processes and related shutdowns/turnarounds can only come about through a careful and measured approach. Technology is bringing us innovative methods of improved analysis – yet the true power of ‘Tech 4.0’ can only be fully embraced if all the relevant parties work together at every stage.
Such collaboration is, perhaps, not something that the industry has excelled at in the past. However, to take full advantage of the impressive might that robotic tech brings to the field of NDT, it’s time to break down the walls and begin a new era of transparent cooperation.
Inspection Collaboration Requires a Threefold Approach
Plant inspection is crucial to its safety and effective output. Yet for too long the various stages have been carried out in isolation. Industry 4.0 is a novel way to approach these tasks, with collaboration between the key parties at every stage. The benefits of this are many – and it’s especially important to understand that this will equal advantages not only for the inspection today, but – thanks to the data capture – for every inspection that takes place in the future.
The three key players in every inspection are:
- The operator
- The service provider
- The technology & solutions advisor
Working together it’s possible for the operator to achieve the ultimate event – a truly end-to-end solution that encompasses every aspect of the inspection process.
Defining the End-to-End Solution
The crucial point is that a successful inspection is dependent on the quality of the planning. Getting all three parties around the table throughout the process is where the magic takes place.
The 5 stages to execution are as follows:
- Preliminary planning: Here the operator details the job requirements and their expectations. A checklist is put together for all parties to agree on.
- Define methodology and confirm outcomes: This should include all aspects of vessels to be inspected and the selection of equipment.
- Create a visual simulation: At this point a visual understanding allows for complete transparency where all parties can discuss exactly what’s expected and what can realistically be achieved.
- System review: All parties around the table and reviewing 3D simulations. Operators should be satisfied that all areas of inspection are covered: service providers agree that the operation can be carried out safely and within the defined timescales: technology/solutions provider say that their equipment is being used as its intended and within its capabilities.
- Finalisation: An overview report is created, training is defined and feedback from all parties is reviewed.
Only at this stage – and when all have fully collaborated and are crystal clear on the methodology to be used throughout the inspection – will needs-based training be instigated.
Vitally, there’s a big difference between familiarisation and training. The former is becoming competent at using certain equipment: the latter is an in-depth understanding of every aspect of an equipment’s technology. It’s important that we comprehend that the speed of technology advancement means that there’s a big gap between training and the capabilities of certain kits. In other words, the human element needs to catch up – hence training being offered as it is best needed, rather than training every member of staff on every piece of equipment.
Collaboration = Data Capture = Better Future Inspections
The key takeaway regarding this collaboration between the three key players is that it’s not necessarily about saving time or dollars on the current inspection. It’s about capturing data (that is, of course, owned by the operator) that can be analysed and utilised to improve every future inspection. The value of this data is immense, leading to what will undoubtedly mean better use of time, equipment and technology when the next inspection comes around.
It’s about thinking in the long-term. It’s about breaking down those historical barriers and entering a new era of collaboration that can only benefit everyone involved.
If you’re interested in forging a better future, then you need to partner with a solutions advisor that’s committed to changing the outdated ways of approaching inspection tasks. Industry specialist, Nexxis, is leading the way in such collaboration, with a solutions-based approach that makes them unique as an equipment provider to industries such as Oil & Gas, Nuclear, Mining, Subsea and Petrochemicals.