Increase Safety with Better Inspections
The insights from data on pipeline inspections can literally save the lives of people working and living nearby. Maintenance crews, construction teams, and the general population are all impacted when the integrity of a gas pipeline is compromised. Inspectors working in the field are often independent contractors, each working for multiple gas utilities. Since training and inspection requirements differ across companies, it is no surprise that data quality issues are abundant and analytic insights are lacking.
For the Northeast Gas Association (NGA), the issue of worker training and safety is paramount. NGA’s member companies
provide natural gas to over 12 million customers in nine states. NGA needed to standardize inspection processes for sub-contractors so that consistent business rules and best practices would be applied. They knew that addressing data privacy for member companies and ease-of-use for field crews would be critical elements to get right, so that the teams would adopt this common approach.
Collaboration Sparks Insights
NGA selected Field2Base to develop and deploy a common set of inspection forms based on input from members. Across the member utilities, this will enable operations and safety leaders to spot failure trends for pipeline components and undertake root cause analysis of failures. It also provides more insights on materials installed, their age and wear, contract teams involved and other insights that increase safety.
Field2Base’s Field Service Automation (FSA) solution provides the mobile inspection forms that can be used on any mobile device, data analytics, and performance reporting. Field2Base collaboratively built the standard asset data model with input from member companies to support PHMSA Standards (hazardous materials transportation standards). Field2Base Data Analytics Platform will allow each NGA member to analyze their own inspection data and allow NGA to analyze a sub-set of data across all member utilities.
Consistent training and business processes for field inspection crews leads to increased safety, higher job satisfaction and more completeness of data gathered for the use of local gas distribution companies and NGA. Since the solution is a cloud-based mobile platform, it is easy for inspectors to add details such as GPS coordinates, photos, video, and time/date to provide a total picture of what happened with validation of time and location. For NGA and their member companies, consistent inspection forms with validation of all data in the field means reduced re-work to correct or fill-in missing and inaccurate data.
But it’s not only pipeline companies that can benefit from this technology. Field2Base has clients globally in all business verticals including healthcare, utilities, government, construction, and field services. On average, Field2Base customers save $12-16 per transaction with mobile forms versus paper. With up to 10 million inspections each year, this will be a significant savings in cost and efficiency.
Founded in 2002, Field2Base is a software company that provides full-service field service management solutions to customers including customized mobile forms, automated workflows, and real-time analytics. Field2Base offers easy-to-use technology that allow customers to mobilize their workforce and grow their business, while saving time and money.
Located in Morrisville N.C., near Research Triangle Park, Field2Base has customers throughout the United States and around the world, which includes a variety of industries such as construction, engineering, utilities, healthcare, manufacturing, farming, and government agencies.
A printable copy of this Story of Innovation can be found here.