One of the most important challenges in maintenance and integrity is the correct register of maintenance data. Information about failures, diagnostics and services execution are extremely important for the background history of equipments and future analysis. Field personnel usually supply the information in the CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) in the form of few words (or key words) written in a notepad, agenda or at the backside of a maintenance work order. Therefore, most of the time the quality of data is very low, registries are very poor, information is generic and does not add value to the background history of equipment. Sometimes these data are not really true; they are only remembrances from the maintenance worker’s memory. In natural gas pipeline companies, like TBG, with large extensions of pipes and installations distributed so far from each other it is usual that maintenance personnel go to the field job and sometimes do not come back to the office at the same day. In addition, the need to access the corporate network to input maintenance data in the Maintenance Module of Enterprise Resource Planning means that maintenance registries are something that do not flow easily from field to database. Technicians also spend a lot of time in front of the computer decreasing their productive working hours. Being aware of the importance of data to a consistent integrity pipeline program and to solve the problems related above, TBG implemented Maintenance in the Palm of the Hand project and distributed handheld PCs to all technicians, with software that works like an electronic maintenance work order. This system permits to collect maintenance data in real time (timesheet, measurements and information about the job and related problems) and also providing important information to help technicians perform their jobs (equipment data, set points and task list). If necessary, they can start a maintenance request. At any moment it is possible to connect to the corporate network and download data to CMMS. This project allowed TBG to increase quality and reliability of maintenance data and speed of information flow from field to CMMS, eliminating the need to print work orders and data sheets, increasing the productivity of technicians and reducing the time spent on boring tasks such as taking notes.

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