Extreme work environments, time pressure, high demands on safety and the need for documentation are challenges that face the O&M sector every day and are not easy to handle.
Furthermore, the variety of bolted joint design today results in many different types of bolting tools being used by the workers. Hydraulic torque wrenches, bolt tensioning, electric nutrunners, battery tools, and even manual torque wrenches can all be found in use on-site at the same time. For all of these tool types, there is a requirement for appropriate operator training, calibration process, and maintenance cycle monitoring, and for the most part, documentation becomes a manual process.
These challenges can result in mistakes being made, and corners being cut, and the ultimate impact can be a dangerous and costly equipment failure or rework required. Even worse catastrophic failure in the field.
If the process control and documentation capability used in production facilities today were to be deployed in the O&M environment, this would have a significant positive impact for OEM’s, contractors and wind Industry as a whole relating to the higher quality delivered work, cost reduction, and improved operational efficiency.
This was not possible in the past, however, the new availability of mobile connectivity, cloud and smart devices are enablers that make this very much a reality today. The availability of these solutions now makes it possible to take the “smart factory” into the field-based, operational, work environment.