Inspectioneering Journal

A New Era: Digitalized Field Reporting Rules the Day

By Ryan Streeter, Divisional Vice President of Digital Operations at MISTRAS Group. This article appears in the September/October 2021 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


Conducting effective and accurate inspections of plant assets is a crucial task for inspectors and inspection management, but issues with traditional inspection execution and reporting processes can add to the challenges these personnel face. Relying on paper-based scheduling and inspection reporting can result in inefficient nondestructive testing (NDT) inspection work processes, miscommunication with related trade support (such as scaffolding, insulation, and surface preparation), project delays, and inconsistent quality of mechanical integrity (MI) data.

Solutions now exist to shift MI programs away from traditional inspection and reporting methods to digital, paper-free techniques. Solutions like field service management (FSM) platforms give inspection professionals the opportunity to transform their inspection processes and enhance the quality and effectiveness of plant operations.

In 2021, as industries and companies across the world are searching for opportunities to digitally transform their operations to increase their efficiency and productivity, facilities can utilize a forward-thinking, modern solution to unlock their plant’s highest potential.

Common Traditional Inspection Process Pain Points

Traditional, paper-based inspection programs have a slew of pain points that make the entire process a challenge. Planning and scheduling work while balancing compliance due dates with the location of assets in relation to each other can be difficult and often overlooked. Dispatching work to inspectors already in the field can be challenging and inefficient as work requests and supporting documentation must either be hand-delivered to the field or the inspector must return to the office to retrieve work packages.

Following field execution, data, reports, and isometric drawing redlines can take significant time to be delivered and reviewed, and field data verification efforts can further delay project deliverables. Inspection results are typically hand-written on paper in the field with varying form templates and terminology, which introduces inconsistencies and inaccuracies that may lead to data and report quality issues. There is also a resounding lack of visibility while working remotely, which can make it difficult for inspection managers to gain the insights needed to drive important business decisions.

How Digitalized Field Reporting Works

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