What You Need To Know, When You Need To Know It.
In essence, that’s what our customers repeatedly tell us they need. It’s a simple request, but not so easily fulfilled.
In significant operations, which are large operations that manage significant assets where safety, compliance and financial consequences depend on human operators, it’s critical that the right information reach the right person at the right time.
But, how is this done? Big operations deal with lots of data – too much for any human to consume continually. There are almost always SCADA systems, control systems, and historians collecting mountains of data continually. But, there’s also the bigger picture: special operating conditions, orders, repairs and a host of details that are not electronically controlled nor monitored.
Often, everything the humans deal with is digested into an operating log. This is a human log, meant for humans (aka, operators) to read, understand, communicate and use to make critical decisions, along with inputs from the various electronic systems in place.
So how, in a fast paced environment, does one ensure that the right information gets to the right person at the right time? It’s very difficult to achieve this, and it doesn’t happen by accident.
Modern LogBooks Can Help
As we’ve discussed before, modern logbooks allow you to create structured operating records. Where once there were only unstructured textual log entries, there can now be structured entries that contain detailed fields of information that can be examined with logical expressions to detect important conditions. So, instead of someone saying in text “RO system A was tested and the salt rejection is now at 62%.” they can add entries that distinctly indicate that “RO System A” was tested and that the “Salt Reject” is 62%. This enables one to write expressions based on such conditions that will detect, for example, when the salt rejection for a given system is less than some tolerable amount, and as a consequence actively notify certain operators about the condition.
Considering the above, instead of operators having to carefully read their logbook for a message about the salt rejection of a given reverse osmosis system, they can “teach” their logbook to find this condition and make sure the right people are notified, immediately.
While that’s a trivial example, not all significant conditions are anywhere near that easy to identify. Many times, important conditions are more complex to express, yet the concept remains the same: 1) identify the condition, 2) notify appropriate personnel. In order for this to be possible, you must begin to capture your log entries as structured data so that reliable comparisons and expressions are possible. With that, you can begin to build the intelligence necessary to identify the right information at the right time and cause the appropriate notifications to the operators that need that information in order to more effectively run your business.