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OIL & GAS


CLOSING THE GAP


The acceleration of digitisation during the pandemic has highlighted the opportunities digital training offers. Keith Tilley, CEO, Intoware, explains how digitisation addresses the ‘skills gap’ challenge Digital technologies are becoming critically


the pandemic. This means the industry is increasingly looking to digital technology to enhance efficiency and deliver greater value. Technology, however is only part of the answer here – companies must also retrain their workforce and change their culture to create organisations that integrate digital technology across the enterprise. A recent survey by Ernst & Young found a


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major digital skills gap among the oil and gas workforce, and the pandemic is increasing the urgency to close it. ‘About 92% of oil and gas executives surveyed believe their companies need to change the way they operate coming out of the downturn, but less than half said they have a robust plan to reskill staff and capture the value of digital transformation.’ Despite digital transformation being vital to


future success, the issue of how to bring employees up to speed has yet to be properly addressed. To make this work, companies need to consider how they use ‘digital tools’ in their daily operations. The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0)


includes cloud computing, the internet of things, big data, the cloud, AI and augmented reality. It’s where IoT systems collect process data in a transparent, comprehensive and interactive way. It provides real-time visibility into physical assets and equipment, quality of processes and plant resources.


he oil and gas sector is facing huge challenges right now, with low oil prices and decreased revenue brought on by


important to the oil and gas industry, as they allow companies to maintain remote operations for a large number of employees, reducing the number required in the field or processing plant to help safeguard employees’ health, reduce production costs and increase flexibility. The growing skills shortage has been


exacerbated by successive lockdowns and furloughs, with older workers from the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age and taking decades of experience with them. By adopting connected worker strategies


featuring digital workflow instructions and augmented reality you can help protect the knowledge and expertise of retiring staff before it’s too late by training future talent and up-skilling workers. Prior to the pandemic, Intoware developed


its connected worker platform WorkfloPlus using mobile and augmented reality (AR) wearable technology from Realwear. This platform converts out-of-date paper-based and manual processes into easy to follow, step-by-step digital work instructions. It gives frontline workers access to the data resources, information and support they need to complete critical procedures. It also provides the data analytics needed to help streamline asset maintenance for staff. So how does digitalisation help bridge the


skills gap? It’s important that when digitalisation programmes are adopted, skills


Oil and gas companies need the skills to harness the use of technology to maximise its potential – which means using ‘digital tools’ to both upskill and retain the next generation as part of their daily operations


and training are not overlooked. Companies are increasingly moving towards more engaging interactive, video-based learning. Millennials and Generation Z are tech savvy and they don’t want to learn with physical manuals or clipboards. In industrial settings, wearable, head-


mounted tablets with extendable boom-arm displays integrated with digital workflow software are attached to safety helmets enabling hands-free, voice-controlled access for trainees who are learning on the job. They provide an AR environment in which


workers can easily use voice commands to watch short training videos, access manuals, view mechanical drawings, look up spare parts and access other materials critical for experiential training. Wearable computers can use lenses that make it appear as though the worker is looking at a 7-inch screen. A front-facing camera can be used to make


video calls and show a remote expert any problems that a trainee experiences – without requiring the use of his or her hands. These devices can also streamline the


creation of videos for microlearning. Experienced workers can quickly make bite- sized, easily consumable training videos as they work and upload them for instant access via voice search or a QR code on a piece of equipment. Through this process, knowledge transfer can be achieved far more rapidly. Connected worker platforms are also more


appealing to younger front-line workers, who are comfortable with using mobile technology for daily tasks. This is welcome news, given that the industry


is at a critical period in which the adoption of digital technology is accelerating, the volume of data is growing and the competition for new talent will, therefore, inevitably increase.


Intoware www.intoware.com


APRIL 2021 | PROCESS & CONTROL 31


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