In today’s world of technology, software is everywhere. It’s a valuable tool used to monitor programs and track information in just about every industry out there, so it’s no surprise that successfully implemented Mechanical Integrity (MI) software can help your process facility improve operational efficiency and meet reliability goals.

As a Mechanical Integrity (MI) Manager, you know the importance of successfully managing your MI program in order to maintain the desired level of reliability at your plant; and more likely than not, you use some sort of Inspection Data Management System (IDMS) to do it.  If you are still using spreadsheets to manage your readings and data, you may want to consider these three reasons why you need MI software at your facility.

1. Protection of Your Data

Managing risk is one of the primary aims of a good Mechanical Integrity program, and to do that, you need to be confident that your data is protected and controlled. The problem with spreadsheets is that they are very hard to regulate and control from a user perspective.

Without a clear and concise process utilizing accurate data, there is often confusion and frustration for all parties involved. For example, when you have multiple contractors supporting inspections at your site, it can be difficult to lock down who has rights to change data. But if you’re using a software program that allows you to have audit controls, it gives you a lot more capabilities. You can set up user identities and have separate controls for an Inspector versus a Reliability Manager. Using MI Software helps to control data and makes sure it is very clear from a user perspective.

2.  Make Informed Decisions Quickly

Oftentimes your teams must make timely, informed decisions at a moment’s notice. With a few clicks of MI software, decision-makers have the answers to many questions, including, but not limited to:

  • What mitigation tasks need to be performed if a turnaround is moved out
  • When to retire a vessel
  • The current asset risk levels in the plant

When information is scattered in spreadsheets or homegrown databases, these questions are often difficult to answer without significant work and long hours from your team members. A successfully implemented MI software program allows users to quickly make these and other important decisions that are critical to the reliability and operational efficiency of your plant.

3. Compliance

Even though compliance can be maintained without MI software, it’s much easier when you have one controlled application that houses all of your data. With a successfully implemented MI software program, reports can be easily built that identify overdue condition monitoring locations (CMLs) and assets that need inspection ahead of their due dates. Managers can utilize the information contained in the software to effectively plan and manage their inspection programs, and when an external auditor visits the plant or there is an internal review, the onsite team can run reports from the software to identify the inspection, maintenance, and overall history for specific assets. This saves considerable time and resources when generating an audit trail.

Conclusion

Mechanical Integrity software is not new to the industry, but choosing to make the leap from spreadsheets to a successfully implemented program can help you to improve reliability and operational efficiency at your plant by allowing you to protect and control your data, make informed decisions quickly, and maintain compliance more effectively.

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