Uralkali’s new mobile inspection system


Russia-based Uralkali has launched the commercial operation of a digital system for monitoring the condition of production equipment via mobile inspections.

The technology was piloted at the Berezniki-4 plant in Russia’s Perm region and the system is now being introduced across all of the company’s plants. The full roll-out of the technology is expected to be completed in 2021.

Mobile inspections enable technical staff at the company’s processing plants to monitor the technical condition of equipment on a shift basis, using smartphones and portable vibration meters that can also measure temperature. Data on equipment vibration and temperature levels is sent to the smartphones via Bluetooth. The technology recognises electronic near-field communication (NFC) tags on the production equipment and the inspection data is transmitted from the smartphones to the database via WiFi. Once the data has been gathered, further analysis of the vibration and temperature levels of production equipment units can be carried out using SafePlant software; based on a corporate information system, the company has developed a specific module for recording defects and issuing repair orders in accordance with the results of the mobile inspections.

The dedicated mobile application used for recording the monitoring data is a proprietary development of Uralkali and a part of the equipment reliability control system introduced within the company.

This system has made it possible to centralise information on the technical condition of equipment in a single database, control the frequency and quality of inspections and improve the completeness of equipment condition data and the speed of the response to malfunctions.