Sensitive Inspection is part of condition-based maintenance in industries of all sizes. But as simple and basic as the technique may seem, it should not be underestimated or done without planning.
In this sense, there are some basic steps for implementing or making better use of Sensitive Inspection for industries that already use it. But in addition to the basic steps, there are also tools that help make the technique even more efficient, as well as optimizing inspection routes.
Here are some tips for optimizing and applying sensitive inspection in your industry.
What is Sensitive Inspection?
Sensitive inspection is a condition-based maintenance technique that uses the human senses to detect problems in assets. In other words, the inspector uses sight, hearing, smell and touch to identify possible problems in the assets.
Do you want to know more about Sensitive Inspection? Watch the video What is Sensitive Inspection?
What are the advantages of sensitive inspection?
The possibility of using human senses to assess the condition of equipment, when used strategically, can make a difference in asset management. In other words, using the guidance and direction of the inspector’s knowledge, it is possible to identify a series of anomalies, or even serve as a double-check for signs of failure pointed out by software, such as Dynamox’s Visual Management Module.
Sensitive Inspection Advantages
For this reason, the technique is widely used in industries in various sectors and has advantages such as:
- Low implementation costs. That means that a large part of its operation is linked to a professional with experience and tools for recording information.
- Human versatility in identifying problems. A professional can identify anomalies where there are no sensors to do it. In this way, by analyzing the assets, they can identify damaged cabling, possible strange noises from the machine, points of corrosion, loosened belts, misaligned motors, conservation status and many other situations not identified by hardware, for example.
- Higher reliability and availability. Regular inspections make it possible to identify faults at an early stage and thus avoid extended shutdowns. This has an impact on reliability indicators, availability, and maintenance costs.
- Better visibility of asset condition for assertive planning of corrective actions. Knowing and monitoring the evolution of the problem, you can take advantage of shutdown opportunities to deal with the problems found and optimize the management of the backlog of corrective actions.
Generally, Sensitive inspection is part of the maintenance strategy and should be part of performance management planning, for example. However, to achieve full potential of the technique and the effectiveness of the information for decision-making, it is essential that sensitive inspection takes place at set intervals, and in a structured and well-planned manner. Therefore, it must be aligned with the condition-based maintenance strategy of the industry in question.
Sensitive inspection in condition-based maintenance
Condition-based maintenance is the periodic and constant monitoring of assets, in which data is collected through monitoring or inspections. In this way, it is possible to identify faults at an early stage and avoid prolonged shutdowns, as well as maximizing the life cycle of parts by minimizing urgent corrective maintenance.
Inspection Plan and Sensitive Inspection
Sensitive Inspection is part of the inspection plan contained in the maintenance schedule. Therefore, a well-designed one encompasses the maintenance strategy and all its sub-levels. In this way, the alignment of planning and execution will have a positive impact on reliability and availability indicators.
Additionally, when properly applied, maintenance strategies can lead to gains in personal, operational and environmental safety, as well as awareness of compliance with organizational standards and guidelines.
Consequently, the maintenance strategy must be based on reliability studies aimed at maintaining the asset’s function and availability. The implementation of the right strategies will thus have a positive effect on maintenance costs (OPEX) and will help assess the need to invest in CAPEX.
Read more about the relationship between OPEX and CAPEX reliability here.
However, back to the maintenance plan, it serves as a guide which means it is an important item for any industry. The reason is that the inspection plan is built on the general definition of the maintenance plan. This document should provide check schedules and define quality standards. It contains information on which items need to be inspected (assets, fleets, facilities, products), the type of inspection that needs to be carried out, the frequency of checks and who is responsible.
In industrial daily life, especially in the maintenance area, the inspection plan can become synonymous with Sensitive Inspection, even though it refers to broader processes. In this context, the plan must be clear and detailed at the same time, being much more than a simple schedule with dates and responsibilities. After all, it is from there that the sensitive inspection route is drawn up.
How to set up the sensitive inspection route?
The inspection plan is a document used to create a practical tool, the Sensitive inspection route. In other words, the plan serves to establish standards and guidelines that will guide the technician in the process of gathering data and then transforming it into important information.
For this reason, when setting up the sensitive inspection route, it is recommended to follow a few guidelines in order to achieve the desired results. This means taking into account the view of the plant as a whole, the stages of the production process and, naturally, the critical nature of the equipment. Therefore, the plan has 6 basic steps:
6 steps to set up a sensitive route:
1. Mapping of assets to be inspected
2. Identification of inspection requirements
3. Drawing up the inspection form or checklists
4. Drawing up the schedule with the inspection routines
5. Defining the inspection route
6. Reviewing the stages and the data collected
By following these steps, it is possible to get a good idea of what has to be inspected, when and how. However, the task can become challenging depending on how large and complex the industrial plant is. Not to mention the high costs n man-hours for inspecting equipment and, above all, preparing reports, which can represent more than half the time spent on the activity.
In addition, manual management of this information is not the most efficient way, neither is it the best way to get insights on asset health and performance. For this, there are tools and methods that contribute to planning and executing the process. One of these is Dynamox’s Inspection Module, which allows you to plan routes, create customized checklists for the assets and monitor the technician’s performance of the task.
Furthermore, the tool is available in an application, which has the completed survey during the execution of the route, even if there is no internet. Check out more about this solution:
Thus, the inspection module is designed to optimize sensitive inspection processes, through industrial technology in favor of asset maintenance management. The tool is ideal for developing an integrated maintenance inspection, especially when linked to data systems related to predictive maintenance, such as Dynamox’s wireless sensors.
Check out 7 Benefits of Sensitive Inspection with Dynamox and take advantage of them in your industry!
Tools required to execute the route.
The first item in the sensitive inspection is technical. It is important that the professional has broad knowledge and experience to notice as many anomalies as possible. In fact, the technician must be one of the most qualified members of the maintenance team. That is, he must be observant, with technical curiosity, methodical and organized in relation to inspection planning.
However, it is also important that he demands quality of equipment and maintenance, very attentive, conscientious and, above all, responsible. Furthermore, it is essential that he has technical support for his decision-making.
Following, besides the conventional sensitive inspection, it is possible to use tools to improve the perception of signs of anomaly. Thus, instruments are used to measure quantifies with greater precision, or as assistants to the human senses. In this case, it calls “instrumented” Sensitive. In this category, some of traditional tools are:
In the conventional method, the technician has to write down all the data on a clipboard and then transform it into a report. This can be a time-consuming task, subject to typing errors and human error. Now, with the Dynamox solution, this activity becomes digital, much faster and more practical.
With the Inspection module, the professional fills in the data directly in an application by answering questions about the condition of the asset. Furthermore, they can attach image and audio files to make the inspection even more complete. And at the end, they can automatically generate a report based on what they have filled in during the inspection route. This eliminates manual reporting and possible errors.
Do you want to know how Dynamox solution’s inspection routes management works? Chek it out here.
How do you monitor the execution of the sensitive inspection?
Another challenge is monitoring the execution of the route. This means, has the technician carried out the inspection correctly and in the most appropriate way? In traditional methods, it’s difficult to get this answer. After all, you have to trust that the technician has carried out the inspection, noted all possible anomalies and made the necessary notes.
Unfortunately, if any of these tasks has not been carried out correctly, the problem may become a serious fault before it is noticed. For this reason, industries looking to strategically manage maintenance and assets performance choose tools that offer a higher degree of reliability.
In this respect, the Inspection module is a great ally, offering the option of monitoring the route via GPS, for instance. When you fill in the checklist, the application also collects the technician’s location. This guarantees that the professional was actually on the spot to be inspected.
In order to efficiently manage the inspection route, it is necessary to go beyond the traditional method. In other words, starting with an organized and appropriate plan, it is essential to invest in tools that enhance human knowledge and make it easier to carry out the task.