Remote has become the new norm in so many fields and the energy sector is no exception. Cutting-edge technology has enabled people to collaborate thousands of miles apart, whether that be video conferencing or working on central documents. These innovative remote technologies have not been restricted to those office-based positions, solutions are being designed for all sectors, aiding those in manufacturing or on construction sites, and of course, the energy sector.

Eagle Eye

Typically, inspections take place onsite, with manual testing of equipment to ensure safety and performance of projects. As a result of travel bans and maintaining social distancing, remote video inspection has come into the forefront to enable these critical infrastructure projects to continue. These remote technologies deliver live feeds from onsite via smartphones, tablets and digital cameras.  

A growing number of companies are embracing digitalisation in their operations and more recently a move towards virtual site visits. The global market for digital inspection is projected to reach US$28.9 billion by 2025.

Technologies can bring inspectors and surveyors to a site virtually in order to verify the quality and integrity of equipment and assets to both company and industry standards. The latest developments have taken video inspections way beyond a live video feed, some companies are now offering a suite of additional features such as document sharing, on-screen chat and even on-screen annotations to make the inspection as collaborative and thorough as possible. Virtualmeetings can be created to bring together the onsite individual and other quality assurance team members to collaborate and discuss the inspection as it takes place. Advancements in video technology mean these solutions can deliver exceptionally high-quality images, so users can see granular-level detail on equipment.

Quality control is an all-encompassing process, involving the inspection of various types of equipment, in numerous environments. A solution needs to be able to accommodate the full entirety of the process to make it valuable to the inspector. Video inspection can be applied in practically any environment where inspections would take place, even in the remotest of locations.

A Long-Term Solution

Whilst the adoption of remote video inspections may have experienced a sharp spike in the wake of the pandemic, it is not just a temporary fix. This revolutionary method delivers long-term efficiency, costs and safety gains, extending its value way beyond the short-term.  

Virtually conducting inspections delivers efficiency in so many ways. First of all, it has the ability to bring other team members onto one inspection and gain their input immediately, so decisions can be made faster. The removal of travel from the equation means that more inspections can be completed in the same timeframe. The efficiency benefits also transfer onto the client, by reducing the time they would need to wait for an inspector to become available.   From a safety perspective, this remote method means fewer individuals will be required in-person, limiting the risk on-site.

Bolstering Green Credentials

Aside from the monetary benefits, remote video inspections limits travel to site locations, which are often dispersed across the country. Travel accounted for 34% of all carbon emissions in the UK in 2019, and each of these site journeys contributes to more emissions. Limiting these visits and conducting inspections virtually could help to reduce a company’s carbon footprint.

The deployment of remote inspections is a new concept and whilst many are still in the early phases, some firms are now depending on this type of technology. The ability to conduct real-time co-witnessed inspections delivers transparency and can be applied in hundreds of scenarios, and can even be scaled globally. One thing is for sure though, remote inspections will not be going away anytime soon

Author: Andrew Murphy, Account Director at TAAP