Case Study

NARL Moved from Paper Based to Digital Operator Round Readings

Implementation Type

On-Premises to SaaS

Client Since



About NARL

Founded in the early 1970s, North Atlantic’s oil refinery, located in Come By Chance, Newfoundland and Labrador, produces 130,000 barrels of oil per day. Their output not only warms homes and powers cars in the local market, but also does so abroad; North Atlantic exports approximately 90% of their petroleum products to foreign markets, including Europe and the United States.

With 5,000 locations, tracking, maintaining, and documenting work is essential. North Atlantic had been using Maximo in the Projetech cloud for many years, but until now, they had been relying on paper to track readings from their operator rounds. This limited their ability to use this data effectively.

With Projetech’s help, North Atlantic initiated a project to switch from paper to digital so that data from their operator rounds could be uploaded and tracked in Maximo.

The Problem With Paper

Before making the switch, North Atlantic was producing daily operations data from 5,000 locations and documenting everything on paper. Their process used 97 unique templates created and printed in MS Word and MS Excel, some of which were up to 17 pages long.

Doing this as a paper-based task created many problems:

  • The completed forms were stored in different file cabinets and were difficult to organize and retrieve.
  • Weather and dirt damage during rounds rendered some paper forms hard to read, and legibility also posed significant issues.
  • Inconsistent methods of recording data across Operators meant some people reported readings indifferent ways.
  • Dates and shifts were sometimes omitted, limiting the usefulness of the data.
  • Excessive printing of templates on paper was not aligned with the business’s aims to reduce its environmental footprint.
Because of these problems, the data they collected was of little use. It was hard to find what you needed to create reports and nearly impossible to trend data to find changes over time and spot problems.

Maximo Has The Answer

Maximo already had most of the functionality necessary to solve this problem: PMs to generate work orders at specific intervals, Job Plans to document specific tasks for particular pieces of equipment, and Meters and Condition Monitoring Points to store data for future reviews.

All North Atlantic needed was a way to take readings that would enable them to upload the data to Maximo in a user-friendly format. The solution chosen to achieve this was DataSplice, which provides a platform-agnostic mobile interface into IBM Maximo. This meant that Operators could use tablets on their rounds to upload the readings they take into Maximo.

North Atlantic worked with Projetech to extend its existing Maximo functionality to support these new processes. Steps taken included:

  • Consolidating the 97 templates into 1 Excel workbook with 22,637 rows of data. This workbook became the primary source of information for creating the new application.
  • The creation of more than 22,000 monitoring points and more than 1,000 meters.
  • The creation of more than 7,000 job plans with details of the required Operator tasks.
  • The creation of more than 7,000 PMs to generate the work orders at the required frequencies.

How Switching to Digital Operator Round Readings Helped North Atlantic

Following successful completion of the project, Operators can now use tablets to log into DataSplice at the beginning of their shift. The application automatically shows all Operator Round job tasks they are due to perform that shift. The Operator performs each one, enters their readings, and then – upon completion of their rounds – uploads that data to Maximo.

This new process has multiple benefits:

  • Rounds Made Simple – When Operators log in, they immediately see what they need to do that day without having to search for the information. Locations are listed, along with a description of the reading required. All the workers need to do is input the new reading and add any additional comments.
  • Search for Historical Data – Using Maximo, it is easy to input search queries to find historical data. This enables North Atlantic to track changes over time and proactively identify anomalies.
  • Offline Synchronization – Daily tasks are downloaded, so the Operator can continue their work even when they visit a location without an internet connection.
  • Improved Data Entry – Drop-down selections(characteristic meters) and manual write-in (gauge meters) make it clear whatinformation is required and reduce mistakes.
  • Supervisor Overview – All tasks not marked ‘complete’ are flagged and sent to a supervisor at the end of the shift. The supervisor can then complete the task themselves or follow-up with the Operator.
With this data now stored in Maximo, North Atlantic has improved both the accuracy and usefulness of the information they track, enabling them to make better data-based decisions regarding their assets.

Get the Maximo Application Suite E-Book

Discover the comprehensive guide to gain a deep understanding of the Maximo Application Suite. Uncover valuable insights and unlock the full potential of this powerful tool.
What is Maximo?
What's Different with IBM Maximo Application Suite?
What Modules are in the Suite?
Why a Managed Solution Makes Most Sense for MAS
How to Compare IBM Maximo Support Providers
Dashboard mockup