Digitalization is the Overarching Theme at Hexagon PPM User Conference

By Mark Sen Gupta

Industry Trends



This year's conference highlighted Hexagon PPM solutions that enable companies to overcome some of their current challenges around information access and integrity.  The conference also showcased customer success stories where participants could ask questions, network, and engage with industry peers and leaders.  Hexagon’s PPM division provides users tools to transform unstructured data into a smart digital asset to visualize, build and manage structures and facilities of all complexities, ensuring safe and efficient operation throughout the entire lifecycle.  The company believes its offerings allow users to put data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, and quality across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, safety, and mobility applications.  The track sessions featured several industry trends showing how Hexagon technologies enable better efficiencies and quality.  It also provided attendees the opportunity to learn from Hexagon experts, partners and customers as they shared insight into real-world problem solving.

Digitalization at Deepwater Subsea

Because of my focus on safety related issues, one keynote from Michael Fry, Founder of Deepwater Subsea, resonated with me.  Mr. Fry took the audience through his background serving on submarines in the US Navy and his transition into the oil and gas industry; subsea to be specific.  He then said, “It’s not today that you should be worried about.”  With that, he took the room into his involvement with the Macondo work and the Deepwater Horizon.  At this moment, industrial accidents became personal as he spoke about monitoring the situation from on shore and seeing the names of colleagues listed as unaccounted for. 

Mr. Fry then spoke on the challenges in an industry that continues to be so reliant on paper.  The challenges of multiple copies of multiple versions kept in multiple places and not knowing for certain which copy correctly depicts the actual situation, or if any version really does.  He also spoke about how the lack of real-time monitoring hindered the ability to get the right help at the right time.  With that, he moved into Deepwater Subsea’s move to digitalize.

He dove into what it takes to verify compliance.  There are over 500 properties that must be verified.  All are mandated by the Federal Government.  All must be completed prior to deployment of a blowout preventer.  All must be completed during a defined maintenance period.  This process includes drawings, procedures, maintenance history, pressure testing, function testing, manuals, part numbers and certificates of conformance, and shearing calculations.  His company brought all this together with real time monitoring utilizing products from Hexagon, including those from its recent acquisition of j5.  This system, named Janus24, brings all the different pieces of data together in a manner that meets the company’s “top 3 things that digitalization must provide.”  These are making it easier for employees to do their job, providing instant results, and being easy to learn.

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He recounted a real scenario where the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) needed the last inspection report with all supporting documentation within 15 minutes.  The Janus24 system was able to meet the need, but it would have been impossible if the company had relied on paper, Acrobat Documents, and spreadsheets.

ARC has written on the importance of digitalization for reasons such as this.  Getting the right information to the right people at the right time is crucial in so many industries.  End users need to evaluate their current systems, many of which are simply iterations of 20th century “technology.”  Many suppliers have offerings leveraging current technologies that will make companies faster-better-safer, but industry lacks the stomach to change its culture to fully reap the benefits.   Deepwater Subsea bit the bullet, changed its culture, and is now reaping those benefits.


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