A Chemical Company Replaced an Aging and Unsupported Data Solution with the Viewport Solution, Providing Ready Access to All Types of Critical Information for Everyone in the Organization
Operating from 42 facilities around the world, the company is an international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers, and building products that enhance the daily lives of people around the world. Many customers have acquired a daily dependence upon a variety of the company’s products throughout much of the world—including tires, plastic wrap, water pipes, windows, and doors. The company products can be found in virtually all aspects of everyday life.
The facility at Lake Charles was developed back in the mid-1980s, with a string of extensions and expansions up to the present day. Both Health & Safety and Design & Maintenance documentation for most assets had been managed in several systems. The primary system was Mockingbird, in which content was made accessible by manually establishing links between relatable content. The process was labor-intensive, with heavy reliance on the operator having intimate knowledge of the data and relationships. This proved to be a major pain point for the company as it no longer allowed the operations and maintenance teams to perform a “virtual” walk down of the P&ID, without having to search the system for the next drawing. With a lot of the documents outdated and the Mockingbird system unsupported, it was time for a drastic update.
Since the Mockingbird solution was unsupported for quite some time, the initial approach by the company was to find a solution that supports viewing of the documents and secondly, have an engineering firm manually re-establish the links between the files. When the Viewport solution was first shown, there was a true sense of magic happening. The company realized that the manual labor to update these records could be 100% automated in the future. With a high degree of skepticism, they provided us with a sample set of documents. In a matter of hours, Kinsmen Group configured the correct patterns and tuned the machine learning, which illustrated to them that these documents would be fully connected in the future across hundreds of thousands of documents. The test proved lethal for the competition, not only was the viewing component more cost-effective, but the need for a long high-risk engagement to update drawings was removed from the project, and a decision for the solution followed almost immediately.
Initial discovery workshops were held on-site at Lake Charles. Subject matter experts and data owners took part in the workshops over a period of several days. Data sources were clearly identified, and a plan to consolidate different data sources was established. Users were introduced to Viewport gradually with short, 15-minute sessions. Given how easy Viewport is to understand and operate, there was minimal disruption to normal operations.
Viewport makes the information accessible with a simple browser client. By starting with whatever information is available (a tag number, drawing number, or even some simple text), a user can search and be presented with reliable matches across all data sources. Viewport has worked out in advance how the various sources are connected, making it simple for users to navigate complex information by simply pointing-and-clicking. End-users can now easily search and quickly find all content related to any type of equipment. The Viewport implementation also helps prevent loss of knowledge that can occur as experienced workers get older and decide to retire. Vital asset data and connections can now be preserved, even when key personnel leaves.
Drawings and documents at the company now come to life with a rich mix of information, all displayed in a logical and intuitive way. Once obscure, relationships are now readily apparent. All of this enables Viewport users to quickly find information, irrespective of its original source. To date, there are over 600 active users across all departments, and the company has seen a dramatic drop in the support that was needed to help people find information. In the past, only the most experienced employees would be able to find information quickly in Mockingbird.
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