“We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.”

– Wernher von Braun, V2 and Saturn rocket scientist.

Most of us know exactly where Herr von Braun was coming from. Our working lives have been diverted into compiling mountains of paperwork in order to comply with the statutory regulations, corporate standards and risk management regimes that are increasingly heaped upon us. Whilst it’s true that in the world of 2016 the paperwork may not actually be on paper, it is still work. Extra work. The struggle to document our compliance with business processes often has the undesirable effect of shifting our attention away from doing those things we are hired to do. Worse still, compliance often adds an extra layer or three of effort and interferes with productivity and innovation; the two dictates of current economic reality which have been laid at the feet of industry.

We need to comply, but surely there must be a better way? There is. Inatex has been working closely with Silverhorse Technologies to refine HA Connect, an implementation of Silverhorse’s Completions Connect technology; one focused on Hazardous Area audit and inspection. Hazardous Area inspections are an important and integral aspect of plant construction and maintenance programmes, and a perfect illustration of the compliance dilemma. HA inspections seek to demonstrate and document compliance with statutory and industry regulations. Most importantly, the inspections are carried out to ensure that the operations are kept safe, which is the goal of the regulations in the first place. Whilst juggling the demands of compliance, those tasked with managing and performing the inspections are required to support and enhance operating and maintenance efficiency. The paperwork and reporting overheads associated with hazardous area inspections can be onerous, even before considering the need to maintain complex interactions with plant maintenance systems. Little wonder then that HA Inspectors often spend a lot of time collating the documents, drawings and data they need to perform the inspections, and then burn more precious hours collating and communicating their findings, updating systems and writing reports. Lots of paperwork? Sure. Productive? Hardly.

Whilst many companies have tried to remove some of the compliance burden by implementing databases to track documents and data, Silverhorse’s HA Connect and Inspection Connect products allow a greater step change in inspection productivity. Cloud based and quick to implement, HA Connect facilitates data exchange with plant maintenance, document management, engineering and other systems. Using Connect, equipment tags are associated with the data objects which make up the hazardous area verification dossier, and planning of inspection campaigns can then be carried out within the HA Connect system. Once an inspection task is allocated, Inatex staff synchronise the inspection img_0039pack into Inspection Connect, which runs on tablet devices certified for use in hazardous areas. Inspectors are then free to concentrate on their tasks, free of the burden of missing information or paper forms; everything they need to effectively carry out the inspection is available at their fingertips. Literally. Drawings can be marked up noting discrepancies, photographs of equipment can be taken and comments and recommendations attached in the field, all associated to the equipment tag, adding a richer level of detail to the inspection record. As soon as the inspector has internet access, all the captured information is available to anyone who needs to use it, triggering action by maintenance teams, informing planning and management decisions, and allowing easy generation of up to the minute dashboards and reports. All the while, transparency is improved and audit trails created, improving governance, ensuring compliance, and saving time. Without more paper. Without more work.