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The advantages of an electronic operations logbook

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to Honeywell, improving operational reliability requires a team effort by operators, engineers and various specialists in a process plant. These people will benefit from software tools that help to ensure the facility is always operated within the right limits and each new team of operators fully understands what is happening, and what activities remain to be done.

Electronic operations logbooks can substantially eliminate the deficiencies of current shift handover management systems, and deliver significant economic benefits in operational efficiency and risk reduction. The advantages available to process plants come from a variety of sources, including:

  • Reduced number and severity of incidents.
  • Lower operating and maintenance costs through increased asset reliability.
  • Better safety and environmental compliance.
  • Increased production through learning from and avoiding incidents.
  • Automatic documentation of the state of the plant for shift handover.
  • Reduced time for analyzing disturbances.
  • Easier evaluation of messages for diagnosis and optimization purposes.
  • Simple collection and maintenance of plant know-how.
  • Better identification of weak points and opportunities for optimization.

Honeywell emphasises that even experienced operators can make mistakes if the information that they have is incomplete or difficult to understand. A well designed electronic logbook helps to solve this problem by enabling a structured shift logging and handover program. Operators record what they do, and everyone can see what really happened in the plant.

Today’s advanced operational logbook tools are designed to capture and make data available across an industrial organisation to a wide variety of users. They can replace the myriad of paper logs, spreadsheets and disparate databases and integrate information from many different sources in one location. Providing a sound structure for operator logging, based on key categories of situational information, is the answer to optimizing the effectiveness of shift handovers.

Key benefits of a structure shift handover solution include:

  • The ability to quickly find relevant information.
  • Saved time in terms of capturing data and pulling information together for the shift summary report.
  • Improved reliability/reduced downtime; enhanced communications across all organizations at the site, not just operators.
  • Improved regulatory compliance (where applicable) given automated recording and archiving of reports in a format that is not editable.
  • Consistent situational awareness for all users; and improved data for process improvement activities and incident forensics.

Adapted from a report by Emma McAleavey.

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