Teesside University students visit for Demonstration Day
Teesside University students visited MHT Technology Ltd this week for a Demo Day of their solutions. Lecturer Dr Sina Joneidy wanted to immerse his MSc International Management students in a real-life example of digitalisation of work processes and MHT’s product Safe Ops was a perfect example of this.
MHT Technology Ltd, a company based in Richmond North Yorkshire, is a global supplier of tank gauging, terminal automation and stock management solutions for bulk liquid storage and handling. MHT recently launched a new solution called ‘Safe Ops’ that digitises paper-based checklists, enabling operators to carry out their checks quickly and efficiently with an easy to use app.
Damian Wroblewski, Operations Manager from the largest independent bulk liquid storage provider in the UK, Inter Terminals, gave a presentation on how Safe Ops was created in collaboration with MHT. A long-time client of MHT, Inter Terminals suggested the idea of Safe Ops originally to provide a robust checking system which reduces the level of human error during product loading or discharge processes.
The dangers of manual paper-based checks became evident when assessing their operations for risks. Despite years of experience there is always the possibility of shipping the wrong product to a customer. A simple mistake can result in the forced shut down of the customer’s factory and the destruction of contaminated stock. Operators using paper-based systems often become unintentionally complacent using the same procedures day after day resulting in unintentional shortcuts being taken.
People are not robots
Damian Wroblewski commented; “When working for many years people turn onto autopilot. People are not robots: they might be tired, they might be bored, and find the job mundane. We must take the human factors into consideration, we are not perfect, however in this business one mistake might lead to a serious disaster. You can’t be distracted, even for a second."
This is how Safe Ops can help:
- MHT’s app for ATEX certified Android smartphones gives clear and instant feedback to the operator, displaying a green icon for successfully completed checks and a red icon to highlight any errors made, providing the ability to instantly correct the mistake before the next stage.
- QR codes can be added to signage around the Terminal so the operator can simply scan the QR code with the smartphone to check they are in the intended location.
- RFID tags can be attached to physical equipment such as hoses, pumps, and valves to ensure the correct device is being used at the right time.
- Operators’ interest is maintained by gamification of checking order details. For example, a random list of customers is presented and the one relating to the order must be selected.
- An optional final fail-safe is available in the form of an ATEX hazardous area Zone 1 certified physical controller. The operator simply presents the smartphone to the controller which then grants the permission only if all checks have been completed successfully.
- The smartphone app features several security considerations including PIN access, the ability to lock phones if removed from the site, and encryption of data between the phone and server.
With the aid of MHT, Inter Terminals can now make the handling of hazardous materials such as petrochemicals, fuels and chemicals, controlled, measured and safer, reducing the human element of risk associated with product loading and discharging processes.
Dr Sina Joneidy stated; “Safe Ops is an outstanding digital solution. Not only because of how the algorithm and potential technology behind it has been maximised, but also because of how the human factor sits at the centre of this solution right from the beginning. When it comes to digitalisation, there is a great tendency to see data and technology at the core. But I strongly believe the human element is equally important and key. Safe Ops is an appropriate model for digitising operational processes.
The Demo Day was a unique learning experience for them, but also encouraged them in personal social and study skills. It was good to see them coming out of their shell and getting engaged with digital devices. The purpose of this field trip was to bring their classroom lessons to life and that is exactly what happened today.”
Master’s degree student Jia Li said; “it was very interesting to see how digitalisation supports the whole process of business by connecting machines to computers and therefore improving data. The Demo Day will help me with my masters because it has shown me how important it is to plan ahead to reduce risk.”
MHT hope to expand Safe Ops into other companies and help them digitally transform their operations. Contact our Sales team today to see how we can future-proof your operations.