Paperless inspection technology23 November 2020
Karl Ahlgren, marketing manager at Pervidi, discusses the benefits of digitalising inspection.
Whether using leased or rental assets or your own lifting equipment, it is fundamental that you have a lifting inspection procedure in place. In order to meet the recommendations that are set by LEEA (The Lifting Equipment Engineers’ Association), you must consider how you will use your lifting equipment and how you wish to conduct your lifting inspection. This goes for the refurbishment and repair, maintenance, hire or end use by an operator of machinery. For this to occur it is imperative to have a dynamic, tailored and powerful inspection solution in place. Overhead lifting equipment can be used for many different non-construction applications. This means that even though you may be using that equipment piece for one logistical task, you may be using another for a different manufacturing application in another instance or setting.
The perks of digital lifting inspection are farreaching, and the checks can be completed via a paperless inspection application run on any mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. For non-construction applications, overhead lifting equipment is currently being used in a variety of sectors such as the pharmaceutical, distribution centres, warehousing, manufacturing, food and aerospace industries. What these all have in common is a reliance on thorough systems that can perform with reliability and accuracy. Often at the forefront of technology, these organisations are using complex machinery and expensive overhead lifting equipment; highlighting the obvious choice to pair this with an industry-leading inspection method.
Run via Android or Apple operating systems, mobile devices lend their features such as the built-in camera to the inspection application. This can for example be used heavily in logistics where barcodes and RFID might need to be scanned as part of a prestart check for the lifting equipment or even to check what is being moved. Using the camera, it is also possible to take pictures of hoist equipment for the lifting inspection and add them with or without annotation to the report or the certificate. In a setting where there are many different moving parts, vehicles or cargo, this quick visual inspection documentation provides data which is much more reliable than pen and paper reports. The mobile
device touchscreen gives the possibility to make drawings or highlight certain wear or faults with lifting equipment, highlighting focal areas for maintenance crews to look at. This can reduce the dead time spent in repairs, as the maintenance crews will likely receive the data from the inspection before the hoist equipment has been scheduled for service. If replacement parts are needed, these can therefore be ordered or located ahead of the repair schedule.
In areas where lifting equipment is leased or where it is moved about to several locations, GPS timestamps become a valuable piece of information. These can of course show where a report is made which inadvertently catalogues the equipment piece’s current use, but also provides the time of report stamp, which can tell the management team or inspector other things such as the overhead lifting machinery up or running time. Derived directly from the device itself, these GPS timestamps can be useful across a variety of industries, providing analytics insights to machinery assets.
A dynamic checklist system can provide several different types of checklist. Where a bridge crane may be used to move shipping cargo one day, it may have a different load the next. Then there are the different inspections any overhead lifting equipment may need. Passing industry regulations that are set by third parties is one common need, whereas organisations may decide to implement their own safety inspections and pre-start checks.
Where digital solutions really shine is their integration of these within the inspection ecosystem. Different overhead lifting equipment pieces are catalogued in the back-end system, where historical inspection reports are stored. Their performance against other equipment pieces can be tracked in a full cradle-to-grave styled lifecycle tracking, as well as against their own value depreciation and previous inspection performance. This can be inspection report dependent, or through common metrics. Once data is uploaded from an inspector’s report, it instantly matches the asset and is stored in the right place for access via web-portal accessible 24/7, 365 days a year. For organisations that operate several facilities or warehouses, performance metrics can also be recorded to give yet another data dynamic. The lifting inspection application also makes it easier to keep track the status of lifting equipment whether it is portable or fixed, temporary or permanent, as all company assets can be assigned to certain employees, teams or areas, giving management more oversight of assets. Such access and dependability on the system is unparalleled when compared to regular pen and paper inspection procedures. Instead of storage via a cabinet in a stacked filing room, digital lifting inspections can be based on servers in-house or via the cloud (SaaS).
There are also many benefits for management besides access to historical asset tracking and a reduction in storage needs and paper forms. Management can easier calculate ROI of their assets via analytics provided after every lifting inspection report. They can also configure pre-approved corrective actions that are triggered via the inspection interface by certain data inputs. Overhead lifting equipment for food industry or pharmaceutical supply chains can often be dependent on other processes, and other processes can also highly depend on them.
Digital inspection solutions can therefore give quick and appropriate solutions to lifting inspection queries that may occur in the field, reducing a factory or warehouse downtime. All lifting inspections tend to require assets and equipment to be identified and recorded which means that management and maintenance teams can make strategic decisions long-term. By automatically categorising reports after their data, and by making use of features such as barcode/ RFID scanning, this can be accomplished a lot quicker than by using traditional methods. This means the lead time for strategic decision making be it in about a warehouse, factory or port facility can be sharply reduced as unnecessary wait times are eliminated.
Overhead lifting equipment can vary in shape, size and type. So it’s only natural to employ a solution that can roll with these punches. The only true way to realising just what a lifting inspection solution can do is to understand the customisation abilities of the provider, and how such a solution can tailor itself to your organisational needs. To learn more about digital inspection packages, or how paperless can be customised for your overhead equipment lifting needs, visit Pervidi.com.au