Tasks and Requirements For “TubeTrans” and many other large industrial organizations, the practice of using regular, scheduled actions performed by employees at specific points of a route is common. The primary purpose of these routes and inspections is the real-time control of the general condition and the absence of defects at control points (pipeline sections, remote technological equipment, etc.), as well as the detection of any violations or deviations at the route locations.
In addition to the “standard” routes, “TubeTrans” has specific regulations for the inspection of specialized equipment, specifically radio stations, which number in the hundreds, each of which needs to be checked.
While there are regulations for routes and inspections, questions remain about their quality execution on-site. Route and inspection journals do not resolve the issue of real-time control and do not always allow for timely detection of problems, let alone deviations from the inspection protocol by the end executor—a notorious human factor.
In summary, the company’s management set the following tasks to be addressed when automating the route management process:
Have accurate and real-time data in electronic form on the results of the routes (with the capability for photo capture, input of parameters, etc.), recording the responsible route executors. Have a monitoring and control tool for the routes performed in real-time and the ability to set up automatic notifications for route violations. The system should be easily deployable without requiring additional equipment purchases, minimizing employee time spent on route management. Centralized collection of all route information at different locations (including those in different time zones) in a single service, while preserving a history. Capability to generate reports based on routes and points, as well as export them to Excel and external systems. Create route-checks for expensive radio stations (with a frequency of once a month for each radio station).
Solution for the Set Tasks To implement the set tasks, the following components were required:
Mobile phones with Android OS with constant/periodic internet connectivity. Internet access is used for data upload from the device to the TARGPatrol. RFID tags for placement at the facility and on radio stations. Web application TARGPatrol (). The first step was to register in the TARGPatrol system. Then, employees who need to perform routes were added to the web application, giving them the ability to register and replace tags.
The TARGPatrol Routes (TARGPatrol) application was installed on mobile devices with Android OS, after which the administrator registered the devices in the TARGPatrol web application. Subsequently, tags were registered in the system using the mobile application, meaning they were read by an NFC reader on the device and entered into the system with specific names.
After all the necessary tags were entered into the system, system configuration could commence. Using the TARGPatrol web application, specific routes were defined, and certain points and their sequence were selected. Simple routes consisting of a single point (RFID tag attached to a radio station) were created to organize radio station checks.
Next, schedules were created for all routes. For “standard” routes, a daily schedule was created for each day of the week, followed by enabling the “Weekly” repetition since these routes are uniform. A strict order of route execution was set, and a strict start time rule was applied.
For radio station checks, a task with a one-month duration and “Monthly” repetition was created. Responsible personnel for route execution were assigned to each created task (route schedule).
After these actions, employees could log into the application using their personal number and PIN code and access the route assigned to them at the designated time.
Operating Principle After completing all the setup steps, the route management operates as follows:
An employee takes the device and authenticates using their personal number and PIN code. On the device’s screen, they can see the routes scheduled for today and start the available route. After starting the route, the employee uses the application to proceed along the route. Upon reaching the first point, the employee scans the RFID tag and, if necessary, takes photos and/or videos. This information is immediately displayed in the TARGPatrol system if an internet connection is available. In case of no internet access, the data will be uploaded to the system once the connection is restored. The employee proceeds to the next point and repeats these actions until completing the route. When the device connects to the internet, all actions performed by the employee during the route are uploaded to the TARGPatrol system, where the responsible employee can review the necessary reports. If a route was created with violations, the responsible person receives an email with detailed information about the route, time, violation, and the violator. Subsequently, if necessary, responsible personnel can export reports in Excel format or to external systems used within the organization.
Results of Implementation The implementation of the TARGPatrol Routes system has resolved several issues: