Communication technology is transforming the way STATS Group conduct testing on client projects and on the safe monitoring of pipeline isolation tools when deployed
A Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) is an important milestone of every project – providing assurance that STATS equipment is performing to specification.
The FAT is typically witnessed by the client (and where required by an independent verification body) at STATS operational base near Aberdeen in the UK, or at one of its international bases in Canada, America, the Middle East or the Asia-Pacific.
Increasingly, and particularly following the COVID-19, witnessing a FAT at a STATS site is not always possible, so the pipeline technology specialist has developed a system where customers, regardless of location, can witness a FAT without attending in person.
Utilising up to 12 cameras, remote live streaming captures every aspect of a FAT. This high-definition stream, with real-time voice communication, is combined with live data feeds, and securely shared through a centralised web console to any global location. All data captured during testing is securely stored and can be easily accessed for future reference.
Steven Byers, STATS Group director of operations, said, “Clients have been very positive on being able to remotely view Factory Acceptance Tests as they offer not only transparency and reliability, but lead to significant savings in travel and accommodation costs and time out of the office.
“Without the requirement to travel, remotely screened FAT’s also help in reducing the carbon footprint of our customers and importantly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, reduce the risk of spreading the virus.”
The company’s approach to exploring new ways of working has extended to the methods deployed when monitoring pipeline isolation tools post-installation in client infrastructure.
STATS Remote Monitoring Centre has been established to allow the company’s range of Tecno Plug isolation tools to be securely monitored from an onshore location throughout the entire isolation period, while reducing the need for personnel to remain in attendance on site.
With the new remote satellite system, once STATS technicians have installed, positioned and set the tool, all but one of the team can be demobilised and return to base. This approach offers customers both substantial savings and additional offshore bed space, which is often at a premium during maintenance campaigns.
Located at its UK base in Kintore, Aberdeenshire, STATS Remote Monitoring Centre provides round-the-clock assurance to clients that the company’s isolation tool is operating as expected.
Leigh Howarth, STATS Group CEO, said, “Modern communication systems and monitoring technologies are changing the way in which we can test our equipment and in how we can monitor tools at our clients’ facilities. As a company specialising in technology and engineering solutions, we will continue to be at the forefront of developments which enable our products and services to be cost-efficient while operating at optimal safety levels.”