From business case to best practice
In October 2020, bp had started their digitalization journey with a contextual inquiry of their NDT practices, performed by bp Solutions und I&E Intelligent Operations. In early 2021, this evolved into a business case with the aim to digitalize NDT processes and to optimize management of NDT data at the different sites. In cooperation with DIMATE, bp Refinery Rotterdam initiated a proof of concept which was realized by a multidisciplinary team. In a first step, user stories were defined focusing on the end-to-end workflow of the NDT process and integrating maintenance, plant inspection and NDT service contractors.
A first iteration of Scrum sprints provided proof that implementation of the DIMATE PACS can enable all user stories. The new digital E2E NDT workflow offers the following capabilities:
- management of pipe wall thickness-readings from images feeding into Meridium at CML / TML level
- transmitting NDT order and isometry data from Meridium to all parts of the plant
- online access of all NDT data sets, including historic image data, enabling the inspector to assess corrosion development over a period, by comparing images
- more efficient management of residual pipe wall thickness readings due to automated processes replacing manual Excel loads
- higher level of maturity with regard to cooperation with and integration of NDT service contractors; shared data responsibility and governance, increased data integrity in Meridium thickness monitoring
- development of a platform for future inspection methodologies, e.g. drone-based images, GPS-based data analysis by AI
Digital NDT with the DIMATE PACS and the data analysis function allows better and faster decision-making in stressful TAR periods. TAR planning is optimized and the workload reduced. In a nutshell: shorter TARs and lower costs.
Introducing the DICONDE IT-standard
Migrating existing NDT data sets optimizes data analysis since recent as well as historic data can be accessed at any time and from anywhere. Processes could be further streamlined since the DIMATE PACS is based on the recognized DICONDE standard – a precondition for end-to-end data management between all bp sites and NDT service contractors at different sites and working with different NDT test systems. Maintaining data integrity across systems by different vendors is no longer a major hurdle since the new data management with defined data ownership roles and responsibilities and DICONDE-compliance ensure data quality and data integrity.
The transition from pilot to standard operation in late January meant that service contractors as well as the bp Refinery Rotterdam Plant Inspection Department had to adopt new ways of working. The transition was facilitated by quick reference cards that explain the key steps. In mid-February the system will also transfer to a standard support model. So far feedback by users and contractors alike has been excellent.