One of the buzzwords heard today among many facilities is “silos.” Silos between departments prevent open communication, which can hamper performance and even cost a facility its competitive edge. Recently, managers of smaller facilities have been searching for ways to improve communication and tear down department silos. To that, we say: work on integrating inspection and engineering.

The old paradigm that inspection lies wholly underneath the umbrella of mechanical integrity is no longer true. Over the years, the codes and standards of the oil and gas industry have been rewritten to be heavily laden with integrated engineering and inspection guidelines, which naturally brings the two together.

To that end, the majors and larger facilities have managed to successfully integrate inspection and engineering; it’s the smaller facilities that struggle. This is partly due to budget constraints and lack of onsite engineering. Even when a smaller facility does have onsite engineering, it seems that they are often not housed together and are frequently left out of the information loop.

Conversely, when smaller facilities put inspection and engineering together in the same office, or at least in the same building, integrated communication naturally comes together. Each group is now hearing what the other group is doing on a daily basis, and that improves interdepartmental communication. Gone is the silo mentality; instead of bickering among groups (e.g. “We’re the engineering group, listen to us” or, “We’re the inspection group—we know how to fix this vessel”), these groups are now collaborating with each other before making decisions.

Want to hear more on this topic? We are opening up the conversation with our Common Reliability Questions video series, in which we discuss processes, best-practices, pitfalls, and opportunities for the future. Join Steve Wells, Vice President of Integrity Services, and Mauricio Olivares, Client Solutions Director, as they discuss the importance of integrating of inspection and engineering. Tune in to receive practical takeaways that will help your facility become more reliable.

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