Electrical systems are the basis of nearly every single organisation on the planet. But how often do organisations carry out a simple audit to verify there are no issues? What most of us take for granted when systems work is that there are no issues that are not yet causing problems. This is the kind of thing that electrical systems inspection can find before it does become a problem.
Electrical systems inspection is a term that can be applied to a safety inspection of electrical lighting wiring, the dashboard of your agricultural machinery or a step in a vehicle pre-start check. Because it is just so broad, it’s important to realise that this can mean different things in different circumstances. The overriding issue of electrical failures is that the issues causing them can sometimes be found before they cause the breakdown. This clearly demonstrates that not only are electrical systems inspections important for a safety standpoint, but that they also represent an important check to prevent unnecessary budget allocation to replacements or repairs. Electrical systems inspection, in its broad nature best fits with a broad and customisable inspection solution; today that is being provided through electronic reporting. Digital inspection solutions allow inspectors to carry out electrical systems inspection using mobile devices in the form of tablets or smartphones. By recording data on the inspection application, many issues can be identified earlier and hence actions can be taken to mitigate the issues if necessary.
Perhaps the biggest bonus of using electronic reporting to inspect electrical systems is that it makes the process easier. Electrical systems often have values that showcase how a system is performing, or at times showcase visuals. These can be recorded easier on an electronic reporting solution due to the fact that they can record values or visuals using speech-to-text, images (via the device camera), or through standardised response checklists. This makes the process much less tedious as it is instantly quicker to record values that may the same or are difficult to capture with a pen and paper. If the electrical system is one that requires an electrical shutdown of the facility; hence eliminating Wi-Fi connectivity, electronic reporting solutions will still work. The device in the form of a tablet or smartphone often only needs a connection to the internet when the report is to be uploaded to the back-end computerised maintenance management system (CMMS). Another benefit of using an electronic inspection solution is the combination of tools that it can provide. If you are inspecting a back of a lighting solution panel, you will at the very least likely need a torch, a wiring manual or guide, an inspection checklist and a pen; but as any good inspector knows, the human body only has 2 hands and can therefore only use 2 things at once. An electronic solution can provide the manual in the checklist, which is on the device that also has a built-in flashlight. This means that those 4 previous items can be replaced with the one electronic inspection tool.
Electrical systems inspection is also a benefit for management. When inspection reports are uploaded to the centralised reporting system, the facility or asset can be allocated that inspection data against its historical reporting data. This means that it becomes easier to follow performance and the audit trail becomes drastically simpler than with a manual inspection implementation. With electrical systems inspection being so broad, this is also a good way to separate inspection reports for each asset or type of inspection so that reports never get confused or lost. With automatically suggested corrective actions another feature that management can set for inspectors, the field personnel will always have all the tools at inspection that they require.