Strict travel constraints enforced by the Covid-19 pandemic, in tandem with extraordinarily volatile market conditions, are seeing a growing number of operators considering and deploying digital technologies to allow for remote on-site inspections and surveys.
By applying remote technology to a wide range of its services, DNV GL is supporting operators and their suppliers enhance safety, quality and performance whilst realising significant cost benefits. Remote inspection methods use proven and readily available digital equipment such as smartphones, tablet computers and digital cameras. Inspectors and surveyors can remotely visit and verify the quality and integrity of equipment and assets to fully comply with company specifications or industry standards.
Streaming ‘live’ online inspections from distant locations ensures performance is maintained, compliance is preserved whilst limiting travel and site visits. This assures that cost is lowered along with the associated carbon footprint.
To realize the benefits that digitalization brings and to reduce the safety risk, inherent financial, logistical and environmental implications of transport and travel, our clients in the Caspian have always shown an avid interest in remote monitoring and inspection.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy in March 2020, DNV GL was tasked to continue conduct vendor surveillance and witness activities for a BP-operated project at vendor sites across the country.
Strict travel restrictions had meant that quality assurance activities on essential equipment were severely restricted and more complex to carry out.
DNV GL solution
DNV GL has been working closely with the project since 2018 to promote the ease and advantages of remote inspections across the vendor supply chain.
Remote technology can be used across a variety of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) operations. To limit roadblocks and barriers and maintain simplicity, the approach has been refined through lessons learned. With real-time access, it brings experts together in any internet-connected location, at any time, for quicker resolution of on-site issues.
In this case, a local Italian DNV GL inspector worked from their home or office to direct vendor personnel to live-stream equipment or processes via a smartphone or tablet camera. Tripods, stabilizers or wearable technology can be used to improve the quality of the filming. High-definition images, video and reports are then stored on military-grade servers to let experts share insight and support critical decision-making.
Whilst no specialist equipment is required, a specific, inspection-related application provides more functionality to accurately collate, analyse and share data. Vendor training can also be provided remotely.
Outcome and benefits
The remote inspection approach is efficient, straightforward, and intuitive to use. Crucially, it can allow the operator to participate in the activity from any location. In addition, technical issues can be discussed directly with the supplier to identify potential improvements to productivity and better support decision-making or manage delays, without concern for the wellbeing of personnel, impact on carbon footprint, or the increased cost associated with scheduling and travel.
DNV GL has found that the application of remote technology to its inspection, verification, and marine assurance services has increased efficiency and cut down waiting time.
This cost-saving model identified that significant savings can be made with larger uptake of the approach and adoption through the supply chain.
As an independent, third party authority, DNV GL provides assurance to stakeholders that inspection, whether that is onsite or remotely, has been performed meticulously and is accountable from a regulatory perspective. This ultimately ensures that critical quality activities can be maintained and that delays do not impact on the manufacturing schedule.
While the aim of the remote inspection is to use it as extensively as possible, it cannot be used to cover all inspection purposes. It is simply another means to perform this essential service more effectively in the long run.
Trust in the technology
DNV GL has integrated remote technology on multiple assurance projects across four continents. Working in partnership with companies across the supply chain DNV GL has developed rigorous risk-based processes and guidance so that our customers can trust it to deliver. The remote technology we employ can be more accurate than the naked eye and is in use by a broad range of industry players. Please contact us for more references.