Week 5: Smart QC Yields Better Field QA

It’s Week 5, and as our data set grows it’s all the more important to ensure accurate field data collection. With over 6,500 components already accounted for and 1,000 to 2,000 retagged components added daily, potential mistakes are a very human reality we want to avoid. That’s why our integrated systems have never been more important. In fact, they are integral to our quality assurance processes and help us uncover issues in the data immediately.

While traditional LDAR tagging and flagging procedures may dictate updating the team about problems as they arise, our tools actually let us do this in meaningful ways across quality assurance platforms.

Software-based fixes, enhancements, and new features. 

We address systemic problems with systemic solutions. For example, when we found frequent location description inconsistencies, we built a Location Description Builder which automates most of the location description building process, and controls the placement of Location Description elements to minimize human error. When we uncovered erroneously entered LDAR Tag numbers with too few digits, we built a project-configuration that allows us to define the tag number range for a project. (The tablet won’t accept a number it identifies as not aligned with an applicable value.) Finally, when old tags were being entered that were registered as ghost tags in the database, we built a ghost tag validation feature, which makes the tablet user double-check to make sure they entered the right Old Tag number if it is not found in the database, and makes them “check-off” that it is in fact a Ghost Tag.

It’s common to divide a process unit into smaller sub-areas for documentation purposes. If you focus all of your efforts on a single subarea at a time, and then commit to field and data QA before “closing out” that subarea, you make QA a more manageable process. We divided the large process unit we’re retagging into over a dozen subareas, and we put all of our field documenters in the same area. When they say they’re “done,” we do both field and data QA on that subarea’s data, including tag gap reports, old-tag linkage reports, and iP&ID documentation completion completion reviews (more on this to come in a later blog post).

QA Check with FieldTech Toolbox and iP&IDs. 

This QA review is one that is unique to our use of iP&IDs and FieldTech Toolbox, but is hands-down one of the most valuable compliance-based reviews we do. By validating the inventory against individual components highlighted on the P&IDs, we’re able to identify specific components which have been overlooked during the first pass of field documentation. This past blog post summarizes the advantages of this QA functionality.

As we close out an area, we utilize our FieldTech Manager to generate two reports a “Blue Circle Valve Report” of P&ID valves which have not yet been documented, and a “Red Circle Valve Report” of P&ID valves which have been documented, but are shown on the P&ID as being in non-LDAR service. We share these reports with the team, and ensure each and every one of these is addressed (either through field tagging / documenting or by updating the P&ID).

This week's freebie is an inventory data QA checklist, click below to get it!