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Inspectioneering Journal

The Four Dimensions of Mobility for Asset Integrity Management

By Floyd Baker, Vice President at Antea USA. This article appears in the March/April 2022 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
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The “great reshuffle” refers to the substantial shift occurring in the workforce for operators of asset-intensive facilities in the oil and gas, chemical, and power generation industries. Multiple factors are occurring simultaneously that combine for a seismic shift in the landscape of asset integrity management (AIM): a large portion of the workforce that is retiring or leaving en masse for new careers, an influx of new talent that requires training, and an increased push for remote work and digital operations in this post-COVID climate.

What does it all mean for operators attempting to manage their mechanical integrity? For many, it means fewer resources – not only to perform the inspections and maintenance but also to train and educate. For others, it means an increased need to digitize AIM technology, including data capture and analysis, to facilitate remote work requirements and more efficient methods in a digital market. One possible solution to both challenges? Mobility. Specifically, AIM software platforms that are enabled to work with mobile and remote assistance technologies.

In response to the changing workforce climate, mobility can help operators bolster their asset integrity programs via the following:

  • New workforce training. Increased productivity and knowledge transfer rates with on-the-job training using the remote assistance and mentoring features.
  • Efficient workflows. Structured, directed data capture can ensure nomenclature and severity are consistent between users. This will improve data quality by decreasing inconsistencies and creating trendable data that provide meaningful, actionable analytics.
  • Instant access to data from anywhere, at any time. With asset data that has been integrated from all platforms (including CMMS, ERP, SAP, AIM, Data Historian, etc.) and accessible via the AIM software platform on your mobile device, actionable intelligence is more readily available on the go.
  • Remote assistance. Subject matter experts, mentors, or office personnel can view in real-time (via wearable technology with the field technician) exactly what the worker is seeing and provide guidance as he/she works. With the right technology, this can include processes that substantially expedite workflows and maintenance, including hands-free inspection reporting.
  • Remote collaboration. With a built-in collaboration tool, workers can meet with one or many team members at the same time, interconnecting staff between disparate offices with the technician live at the asset.

How are these achieved? There are different tiers of mobile technologies currently available for mechanical integrity management – let’s call them the four dimensions of mobility for AIM. They include:

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