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How technology is revolutionizing visual inspection and time-based maintenance work

Welcome to the third post in this operations, maintenance, and reliability series:


In this post, we continue our dive into work order triggers. Whether a work order is preventive or corrective, it will be generated based on one of a few triggers or activities. In our last post we considered the traditional management of, and impact of technology on, CBM and predictive maintenance tasks. Now we’ll consider work orders triggered by visual identification, and regular, time based maintenance tasks.


Visual identification work order trigger

Work orders can be triggered via digital inspection or human observation. DIgital inspection including UAV and aerial inspection, borescope, light detection and ranging (LIDAR), photogrammetry, ground penetrating radar (GPR), video, pictures, bathymetric mapping, infrared, intelligent pigging, and other devices and methods. Human observation is exactly what it says; humans inspecting assets and objects through operator rounds, magnetic particle inspection (MPI), and other on-site activities and processes.


Visual identification: Current state and challenges

Digital inspection

Subcontractors manage the data capture and deliver it back to the asset owner in a visualization tool (pix4d, Drone Deploy, Huvr, drone to map, or other web solution). The client inspector receiving or analyzing the data then enters a work notification into CMMS as a separate/siloed step.


Human observation

Humans go to site, walk around, take pictures and videos and make notes. They then upload this data into a work identification system using phones, laptops, desktops and then enter a description into the system. It is time consuming and impacts site exposure risks. The data is only uploaded to the work identification system and is siloed.


Visual identification: Optimizing the current state with technology

Digital inspection

With VEERUM’s new visual way of working, stakeholders from across the asset portfolio can collaborate on the same visual information in near-real time, reducing the need for ad-hoc reports and manual inspections. Now, all users have access to the same visual data, and can plan for maintenance based on the digital inspection delivered in VEERUM’s cloud-hosted application.


Human observation

VEERUM acts as the single-source-of-truth for all on-site information. Reality and CAD data can be updated and enriched by on-site photos, object status updates, and linked to active work orders. On-site users can upload photos directly to the VEERUM application, ensuring all stakeholders have access to the latest site information for decision making.

Time based work order trigger

Time based maintenance (TBM) is maintenance that is planned, and performed based on a calendar, therefore time is the trigger. This type of maintenance may be performed whether it is needed or not, and as a result does not always strike the right balance between risk and reward.


TBM: Current state and challenges

The current state of TBM is relatively self explanatory. CMMS sourced work notifications are produced based on the planned maintenance schedule. This doesn’t sound like it presents too many challenges, until you look at it with the lens of what technology could do


TBM: Optimizing the current state with technology

Let’s start with imaging that every piece of data related to your asset is in a single application. It is all aggregated. It is fully contextualized. And you can visualize the entire site and all of its components in 2D or 3D, including 360° panoramic views with full high res zoom capability, all in a single web-based interface. OK, what does that actually mean? It means that:

  • You can search for and easily find the time based work order and visualize all other work orders in the area so that you can coordinate resources more efficiently.

  • You can retrieve all the documentation you need for the order from the same place including inspection records, compliance documentation , permits, imagery, diagrams etc.

  • You can also conduct the required quality assurance audits right in the 3D visualization platform.

  • You can collaborate with your team and subcontractors on the work order within the application and tie all commentary to the relevant object.

In our next post we’ll continue with the series on maintenance work management and move from the work identification phase to the planning phase.


Interested in learning more about digital transformation in operations and maintenance? Download the full white paper on solving the biggest maintenance challenges in the energy and mining industries here.


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