This particular gas facility is a highly advanced, integrated gas production facility that produces LNG, domestic gas, condensate and LPG. Located about 1260 kilometres north of Perth, the plant covers approximately 200 hectares and incorporates five LNG processing trains, two domestic gas trains, six condensate stabilisation units and three LPG fractionation units.
The operator’s Digital and Geospatial Teams extended their relationship with Advanced Technology Products (ATP) after completing business development work with Extronics. This Tier 1 operating company was looking to capture improved data on the location and associated intelligence of vehicles, equipment and personnel on-site. Extronics presented the IoT technology to the company, which developed into the proof-of-concept project.
Proof of concept – what does that mean?
A proof-of-concept project allows us to demonstrate in a small-scale installation that the technology does what it says it will do, and that it works in the environment as intended. The benefit of the proof-of-concept project is that potential clients can essentially ‘try before you buy’ on a much smaller scale and budget before deciding to commit to a full-scale deployment.
Delivering a proof of concept also helps us set out the full scope of the job and allows us to address any security or privacy concerns that anyone may have on-site before committing to a more wide-scale project.
What was the issue that needed to be addressed?
The use of location intelligence at the gas facility was to investigate enhancements in current health and safety practices, emergency response (including security) in and around the operational facility as well as improved asset performance via improved intelligent insights.
Use cases included improved safety for mustering, critical area management and locating personnel. With a 2km2 gas plant, determining if everyone is where they should be, becomes far more critical.
Using an online asset manager, the system allows for automatic mustering and the ability to locate personnel that did not appear at a specific mustering point. The site critical area management requires that specific areas are fenced off to certain personnel, for example, visitors are not allowed in process areas, or non-HV trained personnel are not allowed in HV switch rooms.
The new technology would give the ability for the operator to geofence an area off and provide alerts and reporting to ensure the right people remain in the right areas. Locating personnel and assets would also allow for improved tracking of productivity and efficiency, allowing accurate reporting on the time it took to complete a task and identifying any hold-ups in the flow of work.
The ATP solution
The project was delivered in two distinct streams, using Personnel and Asset Monitoring, as well as a Plant and Equipment Monitoring system combined with Workforce Intelligence. It was determined that using GPS-based tags (instead of just Wi-Fi tracking) was the best option to address the location accuracy required by the client. The iTAG X30 from Extronics was the perfect solution offering GPS location positioning to meet the client’s requirements. Supported with the enterprise-class MobileView Visibility Platform, the client was able to easily track the location of personnel in real time from a central location. In addition, the client used the API to extend their analytics capabilities with an existing third-party platform meaning the solution was fully integrated with the clients existing systems.
The solution involved deploying everything remotely on Amazon Web Service (AWS) which is a secure cloud service while interfacing with the onsite Wi-Fi. After this was completed, we could deploy to the site with tags in hand. We then ran a collection of user case scenarios to demonstrate the functionality of the system and ensure the product was working as intended.
Outcome and future plans
The pilot system developed by our team exceeded our client’s expectations. Working with GPS tags is a relatively new technology for ATP and this project was one of the first deployments using the tags. However, working with Extronics as a technology partner meant we were able to provide the client with all the necessary support and expertise to deliver a successful proof-of-concept using a GPS solution. Following the success of the proof-of-concept project, we would be looking to continue to develop the relationship with the client and explore similar or upscaled projects to execute.
June 30, 2022