C20+: Towards more sustainable and productive construction
Incorporating technology into project planning, design, construction and operation is taking Techint Engineering & Construction to another level. Learn about the array of digital tools able to streamline task management, improve quality and save costs.
EQM, HR Mobile, GeoVictoria, EMHA, DFR, EPCPlan, ArcGis, QHSE Mobile, Pipetrack, Online Reservations and Power Automate are just some of the recent applications that have added value to the C20+ (Construction of the Seawater Drive System), a project carried out by Techint E&C in the Tarapacá Region, in northern Chile, particularly in terms of speed, reliability, decentralization and efficiency.
The IT area has implemented a set of cutting-edge technologies to enhance productive processes at the project, enabling employees to carry out their work more efficiently. In the immediate term, the benefits have led to improvements in decision-making processes that are decisive for the success of the work, in addition to enhancing quality and achieving cost savings.
“There are still many manual processes in a number of construction phases, both as regards the control of the works and planning. That’s why at the C20+ project we are working to promote widespread digitalization, supported by training, commitment, smart tools and apps, and, above all, an investment in new digital processes,” says Ricardo Juan, Sr. Project Manager.
Edwin Melgar, IT Site Manager at C20+, explains that, “the technology that Techint E&C has managed to develop and implement has allowed C20+'s leadership line to obtain and manage information in a much faster and easier way. All this, helps to achieve greater efficiency, precision, safety and lower costs.”
Paul Gutiérrez, IT Business Applications Specialist at C20+, highlights the role played by key users, as, “They’re the representatives of each department who have a full understanding of the processes and their applications. They’ve been key partners in the implementation and adoption of new applications at the project, as they’ve been encouraging people to use them and training new users, in addition to proposing improvements,” he states.
Juari da Silva, IT Business Applications Expert, goes into detail about the benefits of using mobile applications. “You can obtain information quickly and easily and store it in one place, as well as create opportunities to carry out project overview control and monitoring, such as setting up productivity indices at managerial level. We will definitely continue to digitalize projects, aiming to gradually reduce the use of paper, in order to take care of our environment," he points out.
Equipment Management (EQM)
The C20+ project is being developed over a distance of 200 kilometers, a pipeline running from the coastal edge of the Tarapacá Region to the Andes mountains. For the Equipment Management area, it’s essential to have as much information to hand as possible about the machinery, to manage a comprehensive maintenance schedule, in both preventive and corrective aspects. Additionally, it’s necessary to effectively and efficiently manage and certify the rental of some 800 pieces of machinery and equipment.
“EQM has proven to be a complete and powerful tool. We’re no longer losing records and we get reports on time which can even be sent from a mobile phone. It’s easy to use, we can optimize time, and we’re being environmentally friendly, dispensing with the need for paper. In short, we’ve managed to streamline processes. I’m proud to have the technology I need to manage the equipment, enabling us to review the status of each machine online, check usage records, failure and breakdown reports for each unit, etc.,” says Alexandre Fernándes, Heavy Equipment Sr. Manager.
Also with the objective of reducing paper consumption, which means less document printing and less space taken up by physical files, came the Online Reservations application together with the Materials and Systems Management areas of Techint E&C.
This tool enables greater control of the warehouse, as it employs an approval process that runs all the way through the project (going from supervisor to manager). Likewise, the interface is very easy to use, fostering its rapid acceptance by C20+ staff.
“In the first instance, we analyzed the procedures to see how we could migrate from a manual process to a completely digital one. Materials order processes, the core of our warehouse operations, was obviously a priority, and is the backbone of how we worked together with the Systems area to develop the mobile app version of this process,” explains Ignacio Duarte, Plant Materials Leader.
Like EQM, HR Mobile is an application that obtains information from the work front, replacing a physical format and designed to cover the area of logistics. How does it do this? Every time a worker uses a service, such as personnel transportation or accommodation, they have to file a report, which was previously done using a spreadsheet. However, the sheer size of projects where there are thousands of employees, made it difficult to manage this data efficiently.
How does this app work? In order to ensure greater security, and thus avoid the possibility of counterfeiting people’s cards, HR Mobile uses NFC (Near Field Communication) proximity or identification cards, a secure technology popular with banks. The tool allows for the real-time visibility of the entire project, enabling the user to see how many people have entered the project and used services such as personnel transportation or the canteen, for instance.
This tool is also used by the QHSE (Quality, Environment, Health and Safety) area to record the results of its alcohol testing practices. It’s also a key tool for Human Resources Management, as it enables the team to keep track of any deadlines or expiry dates both for Techint E&C personnel and subcontractors, such as medical examinations and site entry authorizations, crucial for compliance with labor laws and health and safety regulations.
“HR Mobile has become a fundamental tool for this project, particularly given its complexity, as it creates secure and reliable information, which is digital and immediate, allowing for efficient and effective traceability,” says Carlos Zani, Project Logistics Sr. Manager, adding that the application is quite simple and intuitive, and allows employees to access the key information they need instantly.
GeoVictoria is a market application that has allowed the C20+ project to replace the staff attendance book with a completely digital process (similar to HR Mobile). It uses NFC proximity cards to record work attendance rates, such as at the logistics center or the work front.
“Compliance with legal regulations regarding the employer's obligation to record worker entry and exit has been carried out for years using manual registration in attendance books, making it very difficult to be efficient when working on geographically extensive projects such as pipelines. GeoVictoria has allowed us to optimize functions in the area, helping us to focus more on people,” indicates Francisco Henríquez, Project Human Resources Manager.
Medical Examinations and Qualifications (EMHA)
Like the previous applications, EMHA is a technology developed by Techint E&C and designed to optimize a project's medical examination processes. This means that when a worker is new, they must complete a series of health examinations followed by a medical evaluation. EMHA manages the entire process from the very start and registers the stage each worker is at online.
The tool also offers a module which authorizes and delivers driver's licenses to project personnel, as, in addition to medical examinations, each worker must be authorized internally to drive vehicles. EMHA makes it possible to centralize drivers' resumes and licenses, as well as whether they have completed the defensive driving course organized by the QHSE area, so that, finally, when approval is granted by the project PM, this can be communicated swiftly and efficiently.
Furthermore, according to Henríquez, “EMHA has helped us to organize how we manage people’s medical examinations and operator authorizations, enabling us to obtain significant savings in the administrative processes required to certify services and comply with internal procedures.”
Pipetrack and HMSWeb
Pipetrack is a tool that Techint E&C began to use for the first time in the C20+ project and is essential for the construction process, since it enables full process traceability, from surveying or transporting pipes, to lowering and capping.
“Pipetrack is a software that’s available on the market which we’ve adapted for use based on our experience as pipeline builders. We’ve worked together with the developer to see how we can use it to generate information which is immediate, online, constantly updated and reliable. The data informs us about the status, progress and quality management involved in the pipeline, allowing supervisors to plan and execute work using real-time data, meaning that our customer can confide in our ability to comply with all the quality requirements applicable to the contract,” explains the Project QHSE Sr. Manager, Gustavo Parron. The data and protocols are uploaded into the system so that each area can view them online, both in numerical format and as a georeferenced graphic. Additionally, the HMSWeb system is being developed for application so that it provides the same project solution as Pipetrack, specifically for the plants.
“Both tools are super user-friendly and their interface has been especially designed for users in the field. This means that supervisors, inspectors, superintendents and managers can make quick decisions based on reports and graphs,” indicates Harold Rojas, Quality Specialist Engineer.
For more information about Pipetrack, see: https://www.techint.com/es/noticias/2023/techint-ingenieria-y-construccion-implementa-un-novedoso-sistema-para-la-gestion-de-obras-de-ductos
Digital Field Report (DFR)
C20+ also offered the opportunity to implement DFR, a mobile tool for use in the field which digitally prepares daily work reports which can be uploaded to the centralized system. Using this technology, managers and supervisors can receive daily updates about crew performance, the activities carried out and the productive and unproductive working hours of the employees in their team, all of which can be accessed quickly and reliably. In the interests of obtaining a more fully-rounded daily report, the app has been extended to monitor other teams performing similar functions.
“DFR enables the Project Control department to document the field work being carried out at the C20+ project, making it easier to collect data regarding the use of resources, development of activities, etc. The app can be used by employees to file and submit daily field reports. This enables us to use the data to draw up reports and analyzes,” explains Guillermo Eyherabide, Project Control Sr. Manager.
The information collected is integrated into the EPCPlan application where, together with records of physical progress, productivity can be evaluated as well as the correct allocation of hours worked and equipment costs incurred.