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Interactive Systems for Providing Work Details for a User in Oil and Gas Operations

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US20150339948A1
US20150339948A1 US14719482 US201514719482A US2015339948A1 US 20150339948 A1 US20150339948 A1 US 20150339948A1 US 14719482 US14719482 US 14719482 US 201514719482 A US201514719482 A US 201514719482A US 2015339948 A1 US2015339948 A1 US 2015339948A1
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Prior art keywords
system
industrial
equipment
job
knowledge
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US14719482
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Thomas James Wood
Alan Roachell
David Truax
Tom Wood
Mike Rowan
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3rd-Eye Technologies Inc
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3rd-Eye Technologies Inc
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06NCOMPUTER SYSTEMS BASED ON SPECIFIC COMPUTATIONAL MODELS
    • G06N5/00Computer systems utilising knowledge based models
    • G06N5/02Knowledge representation
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B1/00Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor
    • A61B1/06Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor with illuminating arrangements
    • A61B1/07Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor with illuminating arrangements using light-conductive means, e.g. optical fibres
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/02Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for holding wounds open; Tractors
    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B1/00Optical elements characterised by the material of which they are made
    • G02B1/04Optical elements characterised by the material of which they are made made of organic materials, e.g. plastics
    • G02B1/045Light guides
    • G02B1/048Light guides characterised by the cladding material
    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B6/00Light guides
    • G02B6/0001Light guides specially adapted for lighting devices or systems
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09BEDUCATIONAL OR DEMONSTRATION APPLIANCES; APPLIANCES FOR TEACHING, OR COMMUNICATING WITH, THE BLIND, DEAF OR MUTE; MODELS; PLANETARIA; GLOBES; MAPS; DIAGRAMS
    • G09B19/00Teaching not covered by other main groups of this subclass
    • G09B19/003Repetitive work cycles; Sequence of movements
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09BEDUCATIONAL OR DEMONSTRATION APPLIANCES; APPLIANCES FOR TEACHING, OR COMMUNICATING WITH, THE BLIND, DEAF OR MUTE; MODELS; PLANETARIA; GLOBES; MAPS; DIAGRAMS
    • G09B5/00Electrically-operated educational appliances
    • G09B5/06Electrically-operated educational appliances with both visual and audible presentation of the material to be studied
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B1/00Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor
    • A61B1/00163Optical arrangements
    • A61B1/00165Optical arrangements with light-conductive means, e.g. fibre optics
    • A61B1/0017Details of single optical fibres, e.g. material or cladding
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/34Trocars; Puncturing needles
    • A61B17/3417Details of tips or shafts, e.g. grooves, expandable, bendable; Multiple coaxial sliding cannulas, e.g. for dilating
    • A61B17/3421Cannulas
    • A61B2017/3445Cannulas used as instrument channel for multiple instruments
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B2217/00General characteristics of surgical instruments
    • A61B2217/002Auxiliary appliance
    • A61B2217/005Auxiliary appliance with suction drainage system

Abstract

A knowledge system is provided that is operable for producing how-to segments of information for use with a maintenance system, an equipment and asset tracking system, and a job function competency system to utilize a plurality of types of display devices for maintaining a plurality of types of industrial assets located at a plurality of locations. In one embodiment, a low energy communicator is mounted to said each of said plurality of industrial equipment assets and operable for providing more precise location information of a selected industrial equipment asset.

Description

  • [0001]
    This application claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Application 62/002,030 filed on May 22, 2014.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    (1) Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates generally to knowledge-based systems, and more specifically to an industrial knowledge system and method that provides improved asset maintenance and operation.
  • [0004]
    (2) Description of the Prior Art
  • [0005]
    In industry, systems or modules of knowledge for asset tracking, maintenance scheduling and documentation, training records, work details, regulations and “how to” information are well known. However, they are developed in different ways, generally for different purposes, and contained in different formats and systems.
  • [0006]
    In working with many different types of assets spread over wide locations, work details, asset specific “how to” information, tools required for specific equipment, personnel qualifications, location of qualified personnel, equipment status, regulations for specific assets, and other factors for a particular asset or piece of equipment may be difficult to quickly locate.
  • [0007]
    As one example, if the job function competency of specific operators within a group of operators to be tasked with assets or equipment utilization is suitable, may not be suitable, or could be suitable with additional assistance for a particular asset, this information may not be readily available to supervisors. Job function competency may not be specifically tied to the existing assets and regulations. Regulator and industry standards, which must be met, may be difficult to locate for an asset or piece of equipment and/or may not be readily available in a practical useable form for the operator that is tasked with the asset or equipment utilization.
  • [0008]
    Further, the individual systems or modules discussed above have internal limitations. For example, maintenance systems may not have information such as the current location of an asset or piece of equipment, the current condition, or the last person to interact with the asset. Maintenance scheduling is often based on calendar dates rather than asset condition, location and degree of utilization.
  • [0009]
    In the prior art, job function knowledge transfer is conducted largely by the following methods: use of peers or a mentor, classroom settings, and manuals. While of benefit, these techniques fall short of providing that an operator is prepared for the desired maintenance or job performance.
  • [0010]
    For example, a peer or mentor may show a new hire the job functions of the position by use of a shadowing method of following the peer or mentor around observing the job function first hand. The issues with this methodology may include, but are not limited to: the peer or mentor may not know the correct or safest procedures, the peer or mentor may not be properly trained or experienced, and the peer or mentor may not have the proper patience to conduct the knowledge transfer. Some mentors or peers may not have adequate time to demonstrate the process step-by-step, and may have trouble clearly communicating the objectives of the knowledge transfer. Further, the mentor must devote considerable time to a very limited number or trainees.
  • [0011]
    Knowledge transfer by class room setting is another method used for specific components of job functions. This methodology uses a group setting within a classroom to discuss and review processes and procedures of the job function. Classroom training is normally scheduled when sufficient numbers of students are available for training, not when the training is required by the individual student. Classroom-based training is typically not able to reproduce the work environment that is required by the job function. Accordingly, this methodology necessitates a high degree of organization, considerable downtime of trainees, and higher costs.
  • [0012]
    In the prior art, training events are not easily scheduled prior or during a job function to confirm understanding or competency of the asset or job function. Records of such training events, when available, are often not updated immediately.
  • [0013]
    Knowledge transfer is also typically made by use of documentation such as books, specification books or procedure manuals. However, the manuals are not always conveniently located for access at the asset location and finding the required information within the manuals or books can be very difficult. Furthermore, printed materials are more difficult to keep updated and can be very costly.
  • [0014]
    In the prior art, the process of identifying, documenting, logging, tracking, scheduling, training for and conducting a job function may typically include the following steps which normally must be performed in a linear way because each step depends on the previous step being completed: (1) documenting the job task and identifying the job functional requirements, (2) documenting and logging the equipment and asset maintenance requirements and maintenance interval schedules, and (3) documenting and logging the location and status of the equipment and assets. Other steps may include (4) conferring with regulatory requirements, industry standards or company policies, (5) developing “How To” information and job procedures, (6) updating or modifying job function competencies, (7) developing training segments or courses as defined by the job task requirements, (8) selecting a mentor or organizing a training course, (9) logging training taken and training required, and (10) scheduling refresher training as required by the job function.
  • [0015]
    This process is strictly linear, and key steps are oftentimes delayed or skipped completely. It is also difficult to have coordination between maintenance and operational requirements, along with personnel capability and availability. Furthermore, there is an inability to coordinate steps effectively amongst the process, with no available status views or overview capability.
  • [0016]
    The prior art systems discussed above have numerous problems that have not been addressed. Accordingly, those of skill in the art will appreciate the present invention, which addresses the above discussed problems.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0017]
    Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a workforce that is more efficiently trained to service a plurality of different types of assets located at a plurality of locations.
  • [0018]
    Another object of the present invention is to provide improved maintenance of a plurality of different types of assets located at a plurality of locations.
  • [0019]
    Another object of the present invention is a system that operates with different types of display devices at a plurality of locations.
  • [0020]
    Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from a review of the specification of the present invention.
  • [0021]
    Accordingly, in one possible non-limiting embodiment, the present invention provides a system to guide industrial maintenance of industrial equipment assets for a user in oil and gas operations. The invention comprises at least one computer for implementing an industrial knowledge system. The industrial knowledge system may comprise a plurality of how-to segments to perform job procedures for maintaining a plurality of industrial equipment assets.
  • [0022]
    The industrial knowledge system is operable for delivering how-to segments for viewing by users for a selected job procedure for maintaining a selected industrial equipment asset on a selectable display device at a plurality of locations. The how-to segments comprise step-by-step instructions including photos, videos, and/or selectable documentation.
  • [0023]
    A maintenance tracking and scheduling system for the industrial knowledge system comprises maintenance schedules and asset maintenance status for the selected industrial equipment asset.
  • [0024]
    A regulations and standards system for the industrial knowledge system comprises regulations and standards for the selected industrial equipment asset. The how-to segments incorporate respective of the regulations and standards.
  • [0025]
    An asset tracking system for the industrial knowledge system may comprise location information for the selected industrial equipment asset and/or location information of competent operators for servicing the asset.
  • [0026]
    The system may further comprise a training delivery and records system.
  • [0027]
    The industrial knowledge system is operable for delivering the maintenance and schedules, regulations and standards, training, and location information for the selected industrial equipment asset for viewing by the user on a selectable display device at the plurality of locations.
  • [0028]
    The system may further comprise a job function competency system for the industrial knowledge system with industry or company defined requirements for the job function for the selected industrial equipment asset.
  • [0029]
    The how-to segments and the training incorporate industry or company defined requirements. The job function competency system is operable for rating the competency of the user for a selected job function.
  • [0030]
    In yet another possible embodiment, an industrial knowledge system may comprise a job task module with a plurality of job tasks to be performed on a plurality of the industrial equipment assets by the operators. A maintenance module may comprise required tooling for each job task for each of the plurality of industrial equipment assets to be utilized by the operators. An asset location module may comprise respective locations of the plurality of industrial equipment assets.
  • [0031]
    A low power near field transmitter/receiver is preferably associated with each of the plurality of industrial equipment assets for a precise location of a selected industrial equipment asset and/or status information of the asset. The transmitter/receiver can be operable for transmitting/receiving electromagnetic waves.
  • [0032]
    An accounting module is operable for producing a purchase order for maintenance of the selected industrial equipment asset and a teaching module may comprise how-to information linked to the accounting module.
  • [0033]
    An intrinsically safe heads up display (HUD) may be worn by the operator to guide by display industrial maintenance on the industrial equipment asset. The HUD is operable to receive information from the low energy near field communicator, which may comprise location, identification, and status of the industrial equipment asset.
  • [0034]
    The system may further comprise a hard hat with an intrinsically safe compartment wherein an extended life battery pack for use with the HUD is mounted in the intrinsically safe compartment.
  • [0035]
    System software is operable for communication with a plurality of display devices which may comprise laptops, tablets, cell phones, and computer workstations at a plurality of different locations. The system software is operable for utilizing display devices including the HUD for training on demand of the operator at a selected location of the industrial equipment asset. The system software is configured to determine and store information of a competency level for the operator of the industrial equipment asset based on the training and records of experience.
  • [0036]
    The system software is in interactive communication with the operator through the HUD to provide instructions for maintenance of the selected industrial equipment asset. The system software is selectively operable for providing that the instructions are adjusted to a competency level of the operator. The instructions to the operator may comprise step-by-step work details with photos, videos, and detailed documentation. The system software can be operable for sending photos or videos that superimpose components on a screen of the HUD to guide the operator in maintaining the industrial equipment asset.
  • [0037]
    In one embodiment, the HUD is operable to receive information from the low energy near field communicator which may comprise location, identification, and status of the industrial equipment asset. The system software is in interactive communication with the operator through the HUD and/or other display devices to provide instructions for maintenance of the selected industrial equipment asset.
  • [0038]
    In one embodiment, the system software is selectively operable for providing that the instructions are adjusted to a competency level of the operator.
  • [0039]
    In one possible embodiment, the system software is operable for sending a superimposed indicator representative of an underlying component of the industrial equipment asset for display by the HUD. The superimposed indictor can be aligned with the underlying asset component requiring servicing when viewed by the operator. The superimposed indicator may change after the underlying asset component is serviced thereby allowing easier tracking of completion of a plurality of serviced components on the industrial equipment asset.
  • [0040]
    In another embodiment, the system is programmed for sending how-to information for the selected industrial equipment asset upon the production of the purchase order.
  • [0041]
    The system may further comprise a job function competency module operable to determine which operator or operators from a plurality of operators are competent to service a selected industrial equipment asset and/or which operators are in a definable vicinity of said selected industrial equipment asset. In one embodiment, the job function competency module cooperates with the teaching module to adjust the how-to information based on a competency level of a selected operator.
  • [0042]
    The system software is in interactive communication with the operator through the HUD to provide instructions for maintenance of the selected industrial equipment asset. The system software is selectively operable for providing that the instructions are adjusted to a competency level of the operator.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0043]
    The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.
  • [0044]
    FIG. 1 is a schematic illustrating systems or modules that are interconnected with the information in each system or module to provide an industrial knowledge system readily available for use as needed in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0045]
    FIG. 2 is a schematic wherein an industrial knowledge system is interactively connected to equipment and personnel through any number of computer devices at widely dispersed locations in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0046]
    FIG. 3 is a flow diagram showing steps in development of the knowledge available in an industrial knowledge system in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 4 is a flow diagram showing an application of the industrial knowledge system for use in pre-job task evaluation, pre-job training, and on the job applications with a wide range of information for particular assets in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 5 is a flow diagram showing interaction steps between an operator and an industrial knowledge system in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0049]
    FIG. 6A shows an HUD (heads up display) device that may be used by operators during operation or training in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0050]
    FIG. 6B shows an intrinsically safe hard hat with a locally available extended life battery pack for use with the HUD of FIG. 6A in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0051]
    FIG. 7A illustrates an asset or type of equipment to maintain in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0052]
    FIG. 7B illustrates an HUD (heads up display) image of the asset and components to service in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0053]
    FIG. 7C illustrates a superimposed picture of an HUD image with the components to service in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0054]
    FIG. 7D illustrates an HUD image with the components to be serviced where the HUD image of the components change as they are serviced in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0055]
    FIG. 8 illustrates a top level flowchart of interaction between an industrial knowledge system and an operator in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0056]
    FIG. 9 illustrates a flowchart of interaction between an industrial knowledge system and an operator during a work operation in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0057]
    FIG. 10 illustrates a flowchart of interaction between an industrial knowledge system and an operator with respect to various notifications that may be received in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • [0058]
    FIG. 11 illustrates a flowchart of interaction between an industrial knowledge system, an operator, and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) signals and/or other sensors with respect to various contextual situations that may arise in accord with one possible embodiment of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0059]
    Detailed descriptions of a preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.
  • [0060]
    Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIG. 1 there is shown an industrial knowledge system 10 in accord with one possible embodiment of the present invention. Industrial knowledge system 10 comprises interconnected modules or systems that may generally be referred to as maintenance system 12, equipment and asset tracking system 14, regulations, standards, and policies system 16, “How To” information and job procedures system 18, job function competency system 20 and training delivery and records system 22. In one embodiment, industrial knowledge system 10 and/or components thereof may also be referred to as system software.
  • [0061]
    It will be seen that each of the systems or modules are linked together so that industrial knowledge system 10 is able to provide and receive information useful for more efficiently utilizing training and asset information to maintain the assets as well as continually updating the information in industrial knowledge system 10. It will also be appreciated that the modules or systems are representative and could be described differently or be organized differently and/or could be further differentiated by function.
  • [0062]
    Maintenance system 12 is utilized to keep track of maintenance schedules, equipment history, provide predictive maintenance, manage inventory, and keep track of costs, accounting and the like. Various software packages may be utilized for this purpose, see e.g. Tabware™. The maintenance preferably keeps track of the equipment status such as whether the equipment is in service, out of service, needs maintenance, needs replacement and the like.
  • [0063]
    Equipment and asset tracking module 14 may be utilized to keep track of the location of equipment whether moveable or fixed. In one embodiment, assets may be fitted with RFID or Bluetooth transmitter and/or receivers such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices that provide precise location information that can lead an operator to a precise location. Bluetooth communicators provide the possibility of different signals being sent as compared with RFIDs, which transmit only predetermined information. Unlike RFIDs, Bluetooth communicators can originate the signal rather than respond to the signal. As well, RFIDs have a very limited transmitter range, usually considerably less than 20 meters. Lowe Energy BLE devices can send longer range signals up to 100 meters, 200 meters, or 300 meters to provide a beacon that leads a user to the very precise location of the equipment asset. GPS or written records may be associated with the equipment to provide general location information. The transmitter and/or receiver devices may include detailed information about the type of asset, asset maintenance history, status of the asset, special instructions or warnings about the asset, and the like. Where applicable, location of operators and the ability to select vicinity ranges of operators is available based on display devices with GPS functions utilized by the operators. Module 14 may also be referred to herein as an asset tracking module or system, or the like.
  • [0064]
    Regulations, Standards, and Policies module 16 may comprise a collection of up to date information for equipment and assets such as API (American Petroleum Institute) requirements and OSHA requirements. Module 16 may also be referred herein to as a regulations module, or the like and can include specific company regulation, rules and procedures.
  • [0065]
    Module 18 comprises “how to” information and job procedures and may be referred to herein as a teaching module, industrial knowledge system, knowledge based job system and the like, which has access to information from all modules. In one embodiment, knowledge system 10 communicates through knowledge based job system 18 as described in FIG. 2. However, the invention is not limited to communication through any particular system or module. The accumulation of information in knowledge base job system 18 is described in the flowchart of FIG. 4 and the application of the knowledge is shown in the flowchart of FIG. 5, discussed hereinafter. Operator interaction with knowledge based job system 18 is shown in the flowchart of FIG. 6. Specific designation of a particular module, such as knowledge base job system 18 for communications is a preferred but non-limiting embodiment. Accordingly as used herein, the industrial knowledge system 10 effectively communicates with operators and assets as described hereinafter.
  • [0066]
    Job function competency system or module 20 can be based on work instruction details segmented by industry standard activity coding. For instance, in one embodiment, the present invention may utilize IADC (International Association of Drilling Contractors) drilling activity codes. These work instruction details are used to provide concise segments covering specific operational details using a methodology that includes: step-by-step instruction of procedures, pictures, videos and links to industry regulations. This information may be utilized by knowledge based job system 18 as described before and discussed again in relationship to flow charts and the like. It will be appreciated that depending on the industry, standards for job competency may be industry standards and/or otherwise developed.
  • [0067]
    System or module 22 can provide training delivery and records of training. The wide range of training delivery is discussed hereinafter but includes pre-job training, on the job training, refresher training, step by step automated assistance, and virtual help by mentors delivered virtually anywhere. The records of job training provide that system 10 knows the competency level of the operator as compared to the job function to ensure that the operator is capable of performing the job function. Moreover, system 10 can further promote success by allowing fine tuning of job activities to the competency level of the operators, e.g., by adding instruction in areas that the operator may be less familiar.
  • [0068]
    Accordingly, the knowledge system 10 is a system comprising an encompassing source of information containing all relevant work instruction details for oil & gas operations such as drilling and services. The present invention is especially useful for industrial applications with oil and gas being an example given herein. In one embodiment, company work instruction details are segmented by industry standard activity coding, known as IADC (International Association of Drilling Contractors) drilling activity codes. These work instruction details are used to provide concise segments covering specific operational details using a methodology that includes: step-by-step instructions of procedures, pictures, videos and links to industry regulations.
  • [0069]
    Accordingly, the software systems and contained functions, knowledge status and schedules of system 10 are linked together. “Information containing” software systems with relationships to each other for a given task or job function with the ability to monitor and report status, condition, schedules, regulations, procedures, policies, training requirements and competencies, as needed and when needed.
  • [0070]
    As non-limiting examples, each of modules 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 22 are linked and viewable from a laptop computer, touch screen monitor computer, tablet computer, smartphone/PDA and/or HUD glasses. There may be any number of devices such as this and these devices may be located at a wide number of different locations.
  • [0071]
    As non-limiting examples, the present invention can directed to the Oil & Gas Industry, the drilling segment of the Oil & Gas Industry, the refinery segment of the Oil and Gas Industry, and/or to rig operations of the drilling segment of the Oil & Gas Industry.
  • [0072]
    In one embodiment, the work instruction details are termed “How To Guides” and include detailed description of the active subject work, required tools or tooling, any specific knowledge or know-how, all precautions, cautions and warning related to the specific job task. The “How To Guides” are used to provide clear role responsibility for all involved personnel.
  • [0073]
    In support of the objective “How To Guides”, all supporting documentation, regulatory requirements, specific training requirements and operational systems access are made available to all involved personnel by use of industrial knowledge system 10.
  • [0074]
    Referring now to knowledge flow diagram FIG. 2, there is shown industrial knowledge system 10 delivering information to and receiving information from numerous locations in system 200. As discussed herein before, knowledge system 10 may communicate through specific modules or systems discussed therein with respect to FIG. 1, such as module 18, which involves a training module linked with other modules described hereinbefore.
  • [0075]
    To accommodate the operator's schedule and preference for training, training can be supplied on many different types of devices at virtually any time and in many different formats including written, video, pictures, communications with mentors, and/or combinations of these. The training materials can be delivered over wide spread locations.
  • [0076]
    Some non-limiting examples of types of devices that can be utilized for training include laptops 202, tablets 204, cell phones 206, and computer workstations 208. System 200 is interactive with these devices and accumulates job competency information for operators. Other information such as operator location information and the like may be received by knowledge system 10, which may be used for dispatching competent operators within a desired vicinity of equipment to be serviced.
  • [0077]
    In yet another embodiment, integrated knowledge system 10 may be utilized to supply and receive information from components of an LMS (learning management system) server 210. Learning management systems are utilized in various corporate environments and are excellent for many purposes, but do not in and of themselves provide the knowledge that must be taught. Integrated knowledge system 10 provides the necessary content. LMS server 210 may be utilized for various purposes, such as, but not limited to creation of class rosters, control over registration processes, and the ability to create waiting lists. Other functions may include uploading and management of documents containing curricular content, delivery of course content over web-based interfaces, most often allowing remote participation by the instructor or pupil.
  • [0078]
    LMS server 210 may be used for creation and publication of course calendars, interaction between students, such as instant messaging, email, and discussion forums, methods of assessment and testing (like creating pop quizzes). LMS systems used in corporate training environments often have additional features that satisfy goals relating to knowledge management and performance evaluation, such as: automatic enrollment and reminders for mandatory courses, options for manager access, such as to approve materials or participation, integration with human resource systems for tracking employment eligibility, performance goals, and similar corporate priorities, and control over access and class groupings according to a number of metrics, such as geography, involvement in a particular project, or levels of security clearance.
  • [0079]
    Logging into system 210 by users such as user 212 may be accomplished by password, RFID, Bluetooth or the like. The devices may comprise RFID readers such as RFID reader 216 utilized with cell phone 206. Thus, RFID readers for devices or other types of sensors such as biometric sensors or the like may be conveniently used for logging into the system. Alternatively, passwords or other types of recognition devices may be utilized.
  • [0080]
    System 200 can deliver on the job information to operators 218 over PDA (personal digital assistant) 220 or HUD (heads up display) glasses 600. HUD glasses 600 may automatically detect operators using RFID devices carried by operators. HUD 600 can detect equipment, such as equipment or asset 226 by Bluetooth and/or RFID 612. Assets such as asset 226 may be connected to data server 228 to provide location data, maintenance requirements, status and the like, which is stored and utilized by industrial knowledge system 10. However, if assets are not connected through servers to system 10, the status of assets can also be provided to industrial knowledge system 10 by operators through HUD 600 or other devices that connect to system 10.
  • [0081]
    Bluetooth transponders, such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices 230 may be used to provide very precise location information for moveable equipment 226. GPS devices 232, transport information, rig records, or the like may be used with moveable equipment to provide general location information. BLE device 230 is not limited to line-of-sight transmission. Fixed or less moveable equipment may also be monitored by similar sensors or at least listed with location information. Device 230 may be referred to herein as a low power transmitter, low energy transmitter, low energy near field communicator, or the like.
  • [0082]
    In another embodiment BLE devices 230 may interact with HUD devices 600 or other display devices to lead operators such as operator 218 to precise locations, provide equipment status and identification information, and the like. The precise location is more than general location information provided by GPS devices, or written records because the operator is led to the BLE device carried by operator 218 by physically searching for it. This may be necessary and highly desirable in some locations. BLE device 230 is preferably limited in transmission to up to 100 meters, 200 meters, or three hundred meter ranges depending transmitter design and the overall metal clutter of the location. RFID is a transponder to an audio signal, unlike Bluetooth which provides two-way electrical wave communication, and does not provide precise location information more than 10 or 20 meters away and may have a range considerably less than that. Accordingly, RFID is less useful for locating equipment 226 on a cluttered or storage location.
  • [0083]
    Referring now to FIG. 3 there is shown flowchart 300, which relates to the systems or modules discussed in FIG. 1. Flowchart 300 describes development of knowledge content for integrated information system 10. In one possible embodiment, the accumulated knowledge could be implemented through system or module 18 from FIG. 1 that provides “how to” information and job procedures, which is linked to the other modules of FIG. 1.
  • [0084]
    The present invention provides an integrated approach to knowledge documentation, knowledge transfer and event scheduling, tracking and logging. With the industrial knowledge system 10 procedures can be concurrently developed, tracked and logged into the linked systems.
  • [0085]
    Current development or procedures is possible due to the inking together of information containing software systems as shown in FIG. 1 by linked arrow bus 336. Linked arrow bus 336 indicates an information flow whereby developers of any particular step or module, as discussed below, can utilize information from any other module. This is not possible in the prior art as discussed hereinbefore.
  • [0086]
    In step 310, the present invention documents job function requirements required for job function competency. In one embodiment, job function requirements can be based on work instruction details segmented by industry standard activity coding for performing work on each asset. In one embodiment, the present invention utilizes IADC (International Association of Drilling Contractors) drilling activity codes to provide job function requirements. Job function requirements are evaluated and documented within integrated knowledge system 10.
  • [0087]
    As one example, utilizing the linked environment as indicated at 336, the job function requirements can be accessed and/or have input directly from regulatory requirements, industry standards, and company policies at step 318; available assets and equipment, including locations and maintenance status, from steps 312, 314, and 316; “know-how” and required knowledge from step 320; “how-to” information and job procedures from step 322; and required training and current training status from at least one of steps 326 and 328.
  • [0088]
    As one example, determining a job function requirement may comprise a series of steps for performing a job task, e.g., changing oil: (1) asset updates (different type of oil required due to new piston rings; predetermined time intervals to change oil), (2) tooling (branched container for oil), (3) locating asset (current location), (4) maintenance requirements (changing oil based on asset's time in operation rather than at fixed time intervals), (5) compliance with regulatory requirements (disposal requirements which change over time).
  • [0089]
    As used herein, a job task is a job to be performed, e.g., changing the oil of an asset. The job tasks involve specific tasks to be used with equipment or assets to be maintained, operational functions, and the like. However, job tasks may also be defined within a company or industry as the tasks that need to be completed for specific jobs.
  • [0090]
    Although straight flow arrows are provided in FIG. 3, the steps of FIG. 3 are not necessarily performed in linear fashion and can largely be performed in different order or simultaneously with links as indicated by bus 336. Steps 312 through 318 can be performed in any sequence including being simultaneously performed.
  • [0091]
    Due to linking, reiteration over time continues to improve the system. For example, step 328 may be repeatedly performed over time as refined information becomes available concerning the effectiveness of the training segments with respect to successful task completion. The related modules are readily available to be updated as desired.
  • [0092]
    Step 312 documents the required equipment, the assets to be worked with, and the types of tools needed to perform any particular job task. Accordingly, each operator will have a check list of tools needed, which makes job success and completion more likely to be efficiently and quickly accomplished.
  • [0093]
    Step 314 provides that the availability and location of the tools and assets be provided within integrated knowledge system 10. In this way, the logistics of these items are available for use by operators in conjunction with step 316, which sets forth the maintenance requirements. This type of complete information available from industrial knowledge system 10 provides significant time savings in coordinating schedules and plans.
  • [0094]
    Step 318 provides that the existing regulatory requirements, industry standards, and company policies for the job tasks is readily available. In one embodiment, this information may comprise API (American Petroleum Institute) requirements and OSHA requirements, which are up to date and preferably include index search capability.
  • [0095]
    Step 320 takes the information of 310 to 318, and any other relevant information, and documents the required knowledge and/or know-how required to complete the job tasks that have been listed. Required Knowledge and Know-How 320 provides an understanding of job procedures and the reasons behind the job procedures.
  • [0096]
    From the above information, in step 322 experts may be utilized to document the how-to information or how-to segments of information for performing the job tasks. This may include listing or developing procedures that have been known to be effective in successfully completing the job tasks. Job procedures are more detailed instructions required to complete the generic steps in the job function requirements, e.g., for changing the oil this may comprise switching to back up motor, shut down motor, and let cool down. How-to segments of information provide training in video/words/voice for the required knowledge and know-how with each detail of the job procedures being explained.
  • [0097]
    With the above developed information, it becomes possible to create, update, and/or modify descriptions of job function competencies as indicated at step 324. Job function competency 324 can be training requirements that document the user has acquired the required knowledge which indicates a competency level to perform the job task. A time-stamp may be utilized to document this. This can be readily changed over time as desired to more accurately reflect the desired level of training.
  • [0098]
    For implementation of step 326, it will be appreciated that considerable information is now readily available to develop training segments or courses that can be used to teach operators how to successfully complete the job tasks because the requirements are known. Training segment instruction details are used to provide concise segments covering specific operational details using a methodology that includes: Step-by-step instructions of procedures, pictures, videos and links to industry regulations. This information may be utilized by knowledge based job system 18 as described before and discussed again in relationship to flow charts and the like. It will be appreciated that depending on the industry, standards for job competency may be industry standards and/or otherwise developed.
  • [0099]
    As noted above with regard to step 326, over time the courses and training segments can be revised and refined for each task. Step 328 reviews the training segments or courses as required by job task. As discussed above, step 328 may be repeatedly performed as information becomes available concerning the effectiveness of the training segments with respect to successful task completion.
  • [0100]
    In step 330, portals for knowledge transfer are developed. These portals are used to provide training segments and courses as needed. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, numerous portals may be utilized. The operators such as operator 212 may directly access the training segments and courses on an as desired basis whenever and wherever they may be utilizing a wide range of different types of delivery items prior to performing the job tasks or as refresher courses. Training systems may be utilized as discussed above with respect to LMS server 210.
  • [0101]
    On the job, step-by-step guidance and/or help may be utilized. For example, HUD glasses 600 may show components on the equipment to be serviced. Step-by-step instructions may be provided for each component. The components may be overlaid or indicated with indicators that could be selected for this purpose as shown in FIG. 7A-7D.
  • [0102]
    In another embodiment, HUD glasses 600 may broadcast video from the operator on the job to more experienced personnel such as supervisors who can guide a less experienced local operator successfully through successful completion of the job task. For that matter, experienced personnel may be utilized to oversee numerous lesser experienced operators from remote locations. The job function competency level of the less experienced operators may be at a level sufficient to believe that with additional help from the experienced operators that the job will be completed successfully.
  • [0103]
    In step 332, post training segments or courses are available through the various portals. These segments can be used to further solidify the knowledge required for successful completion of job tasks. The delivery can be made through numerous portals discussed above which can be implemented through the Internet, company Intranets, downloaded files stored on display devices, or the like. The segments or courses can be delivered to different types of display devices such as HUD devices, laptop computers, touch screen monitor computers, tablet computers, smartphone/PDAs, and the like.
  • [0104]
    In step 334, the training requirements, availability for training courses and schedules is provided. In the above way, the knowledge for industrial knowledge system 10 is developed. The development is typically ongoing, revised for new types of equipment, and remains an invaluable source of information developed and tested over time.
  • [0105]
    Accordingly, an integrated approach to knowledge documentation, knowledge transfer and event scheduling, tracking and logging is provided. With the concept of integrated knowledge system 10, process and Know-How procedures can be concurrently developed, tracked and logged into the linked systems 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, and 22 of FIG. 1.
  • [0106]
    Maintenance tracking and scheduling system 12, equipment and asset tracking system 14, regulation, standards and policies system 16, “How To” information and job procedures system 18, job function competencies system training delivery 20, and tracking and records system 22 can be embedded or linked when using integrated knowledge system 10 and viewable from a laptop computer, touch screen monitor computer, tablet computer, smartphone/PDA and/or HUD glasses.
  • [0107]
    FIG. 4 provides flowchart 400 of the application or structure of industrial knowledge system 10 to specific job tasks, assets, and operators.
  • [0108]
    Step 402 provides for a pre-job task evaluation. At step 404, the job task function, already defined above, can be reviewed, but has already been determined, and is available from industrial knowledge system 10. The required training to complete the job task is indicated at step 406, which allows selection or location of a competent operator.
  • [0109]
    As per steps 408 and 410, the equipment required to perform the job task can be obtained from knowledge system 10. The location of the equipment or tooling is also provided. Knowledge system 10 can also provide the status or condition of the equipment or tooling that is necessary to service as indicated at 412.
  • [0110]
    Industrial knowledge system 10 provides the information for the required pre-job training as indicated at 416. As discussed above, online training is available utilizing many different types of devices and at widely dispersed locations as indicated at 418. Knowledge system 10 provides documentation of completion of training, understanding of regulatory requirements, as indicated at 420 and 422. Job function competency check information documentation for particular operations and operators is stored as indicated at 424. Accordingly, the job function competency module 20, and as discussed at 424 is operable to determine whether any particular operator from a plurality of operators has a competency level to service a selected industrial equipment asset. In one possible embodiment, job function competency module 20 may be programmed to provide a determination whether any particular operator has a competency level to service said selected industrial equipment asset with additional support for a selected industrial equipment asset utilizing a selective connection to a second operator with a display device such as a lap top, tablet, heads up display, or the like, for additional support for said selected industrial equipment asset. The competency level for this may be close to but perhaps not yet at the preferred competency level based on education completed and/or time of service. The second operator may be a supervisor at another location.
  • [0111]
    Industrial knowledge system 10 can be utilized as the task is being performed, as indicated at 426. Thus, considerable help is always available to the operator not only before the job but as the job is actually performed.
  • [0112]
    As indicated at 428, proximity sensors can be utilized to locate the equipment of interest as discussed previously. GPS, RFID, and Bluetooth are all available for this purpose. However, GPS may not be quite as accurate and may be limited to general location information especially for smaller equipment that may be more difficult to locate. For example, BLE (Bluetooth low energy) beacons or the like can be utilized to provide highly precise location information to the operator who is in the vicinity of the asset utilizing the general location information. These beacons may provide precise location information that is available over longer distances, e.g. 100 meters, than is available through RFID and are more accurate than GPS.
  • [0113]
    As indicated at 430 and 440, information about the asset is available with displays discussed earlier and/or an HUD device. In steps 442, 444, 446, and 448, status information may include whether the equipment is functional or non-functional, whether maintenance is needed and whether the service life of the equipment or asset has come to an end.
  • [0114]
    In step 450, industrial knowledge system 10 provides on the job content such as step by step instructions, which may be in the form of images, written instructions, and the like. Superimposed indicators and/or other images that highlight and keep track of functions to be performed or items to be maintained may be sent via HUD devices as indicated by HUD device 600 discussed with respect to FIG. 2 and in more detail with respect to FIG. 6A and FIG. 7A-7D.
  • [0115]
    In step 452, the industrial knowledge system 10 documents completion of courses and/or refresher training. The system will also provide information about the successful completion of the job and provide for use that information for revision of the how-to segment instructions if deemed desirable.
  • [0116]
    In step 454, industrial knowledge system 10 updates the database on the equipment or tooling, the asset or tooling status, and other information required for continued status of the assets, tools, and the operators.
  • [0117]
    Accordingly, the application of knowledge transfer based training is provided using direct access training modules. The training lists required tooling and associated documentation. The system provides use of index search capability and step-by-step work details featuring photos, videos detailed documentation. PDF printout capability is available to training “How to Guides” sent directly to the work site.
  • [0118]
    While the information is available at a wide range of locations, the information can also be provided to a touch screen computer in a centralized location available to personnel. At the various work sites, training can be made directly to portable laptop computers, computer tablets, smartphones or PDAs, and HUDs.
  • [0119]
    FIG. 5 shows flow chart 500, which provides one possible embodiment of interaction between operators and industrial knowledge system 10. FIG. 5 is a basic diagram with many possible variations. The operator initiates the connection, receives acknowledgment, initializes the application of the training and selects the type of device to receive knowledge in steps 502, 504, 506, and 508. The mode is selected to set up the type of training that will be requested as indicated at 510. If the job task mode is selected, then the user is directed to 512. Depending on whether the user is a new hire, is seeking a new role, or looking for a refresher course, the user is directed to 514, 524, or 536. The user can log into the system in various ways, with RFID tags or passwords being the most commonly used as indicated at 516, 518, 526, 528, and 538, 540, respectively.
  • [0120]
    For the new hire, the full load of training is provided as indicated at 518, modules are selected at 520, and completed training modules are documented at 522.
  • [0121]
    When a new role is requested for an ongoing hire, then training not yet completed is supplied at 530, training modules are selected at 532, and completed training modules are documented at 534.
  • [0122]
    For refresher courses, the equipment training options are provided at 542, modules selected at 544, and training is documented at 546.
  • [0123]
    Training generally can be requested by the operator as indicated at 550 with similar steps of logging in, loading training, selecting modules, and documentation of completed training modules as indicated at 550, 552, 554, 556, and 558.
  • [0124]
    Status update following work completed provides status information to knowledge system 10 and follows a similar pattern with logging in, documenting completed job tasks, documenting equipment maintenance completion, and confirming or updating the equipment location as indicated at steps 562, 564, 566, 568, 570, and 572.
  • [0125]
    FIG. 6A shows one possible embodiment of a HUD (heads up display) 600 that may be utilized in accord with the present invention. Examples of HUD type devices and peripheral equipment are disclosed in the following patents and patent applications: U.S. D706,780; U.S. D704,705; WO CA2012/050,121; U.S. Ser. No. 13/501,735; U.S. Ser. No. 13/522,684; WO CA2011/050,023; WO CA2013/050,440; U.S. Ser. No. 14/075,982 all of which are incorporated herein by reference. HUD 600 is in communication with industrial knowledge system 10 and receives data such as step-by-step instructions therefrom.
  • [0126]
    One embodiment of HUD 600 is comprised of intrinsically safe material so that HUD 600 can be utilized in an industrial environment. As used herein HUD 600 is intrinsically safe because HUD 600 is designed to be incapable of producing heat or spark sufficient to ignite an explosive atmosphere. In one preferred embodiment, HUD 600 comprises a rugged case and construction rated to protect against drops to securely and safely seal the electronics inside.
  • [0127]
    The primary concept behind intrinsic safety of HUD 600 is the restriction of available electrical and thermal energy in the system so that ignition of a hazardous atmosphere (explosive gas or dust) cannot occur. In one embodiment, this is achieved by ensuring that only acceptably low voltages and currents enter the hazardous area.
  • [0128]
    In one embodiment, a galvanic isolation barrier may be formed. In this case, the barrier does not exceed approved levels of voltage and current. In another embodiment, the internal components of HUD 600 may be sealed by O-rings, rubberized or plastic casings, and the like. The devices may mounted in a low pressure room or the like or seal internal components at a lower pressure or be mounted within oil or the like.
  • [0129]
    In one embodiment safety glass 602 is utilized for the lenses, which may be ANSI Z87.1-2003 compliant.
  • [0130]
    As noted hereinbefore, in one preferred embodiment HUD 600 communicates with Bluetooth low energy signals from transmitters 230 on the assets and can also communicate directly with knowledge system 10 via Bluetooth low energy signals, wireless signals, cell phone signals, and the like.
  • [0131]
    In one embodiment, instructions for each asset from knowledge system 10 could also be stored with the asset for transmission by transmitters 230. If the asset communicates directly with integrated knowledge system 10, such as through data server 228, then selected asset information from industrial knowledge system 10 may be sent utilizing transmitters 230 positioned on the asset. Accordingly, in one embodiment, transmitters 230 may send various types of information such as asset status, location, and even operation information including how-to information with job procedures. As well, HUD 600 may store information from integrated knowledge system 10 concerning how-to information with job procedures. In another embodiment, HUD 600 may be relocated to contact integrated knowledge system 10 as deemed necessary by the operator if communication with knowledge system 10 is not available at the exact location of the asset.
  • [0132]
    HUD 600 may have numerous features including, but not limited to, high resolution display 604. Safety glass construction is utilized for the lenses. HUD 600 may include gaze detection. Gaze detection may be utilized to direct the attention of the operator to specific features to be serviced. HUD 600 may comprise a high definition camera 606 with microphone and speaker. Microphone 608 may or may not be utilized to provide for vocally activated commands for hands free operation. Optical touchpad 610 may be utilized. Bluetooth, GPS, and/or other types of internal antennas 612 can be utilized. HUD 600 may comprise a remote battery connector 614 that allows connection to extended life battery 652 as depicted in FIG. 6B. Other internal components may comprise GPS, on-board gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, altimeter, thermometer, and/or dual core computer or the like.
  • [0133]
    In one embodiment, the HUD is provided in intrinsically safe construction. The electronics may be provided in a rubberized casing for high definition camera 606 and other internal electronics 612. An LCD display or other intrinsically safe type of display 604. As well, internal components such as container walls may be O-ringed sealed and/or filled with oil to suppress any possibility of sparks. Commands may go through optical touchpad 610 or voice control using microphone 608 to eliminate external switches. However, other techniques may also be utilized to provide intrinsically safe construction of HUD 600.
  • [0134]
    FIG. 6B shows the possibility of providing a remotely located extended life battery 652 on a hard hat 650 where the battery will be in close proximity to HUD 600. Battery 652 may connect with remote battery connector 614 to power HUD 600 and/or the battery in HUD may be replaceable. An intrinsically safe O-ring sealed connector design may be utilized for this purpose whereby the O-rings seal before contact is made. Under certain conditions, such as cold weather and the like, battery life may be greatly reduced making it desirable to have additional battery power stored and connected in an intrinsically safe manner with suitable wiring. The battery is preferably located in intrinsically safe compartment 654 in the hard hat, which is sealed with 0-rings, perhaps coated with oil, and may comprise plastic or rubberized container walls.
  • [0135]
    In one embodiment of the invention, the industrial knowledge system 10 communicates with operators through HUD 600 to provide instructions for maintenance of the selected industrial equipment assets.
  • [0136]
    In one embodiment, HUD screen can be attached to an arm that pivots down and up from its attachment to the side of the helmet. In another embodiment, the HUD screen alone is clipped onto and off of the lens of the safety glass. In another embodiment, the HUD screen alone is mounted and/or removable from the lens using suction or adhesive. In another embodiment, all components for the HUD except the screen are moved to the helmet.
  • [0137]
    In another embodiment, a safety glass mounted control mechanism that can be used with industrial safety gloves is provided for the HUD. The HUD device may utilize a mass charging station, which may comprise induction charging.
  • [0138]
    In another embodiment, the HUD and/or helmet comprises the ability to be processed through a cleaning station.
  • [0139]
    The HUD may comprise numerous built in antennas including but not limited to RFID reader, GPS, cell-phone, walkie-talkie, Wi-Fi, and the like.
  • [0140]
    The HUD is intrinsically safe with a sealed manufactured case, perhaps filled with oil or other non-conductive fluid. Additionally, rubber casing and 0-ring seals are provided for the battery.
  • [0141]
    The industrial knowledge system 10 is selectively operable for providing that the instructions are adjusted to a competency level of the operator. Because knowledge system 10 is aware of details of the competency level of the operator, additional and/or revised steps can be utilized to enhance the likelihood of job success. The instructions to the particular operator can be adjusted to provide additional step-by-step work details comprising photos, videos, and detailed documentation in any areas of knowledge that knowledge system 10 detects the operator is less proficient based on the competency level of the operator from testing and job experience.
  • [0142]
    In another embodiment, industrial knowledge system 10 can connect a less skilled operator performing a job function to a more skilled operator whereby interaction is through an HUD 600, which both operators may utilize. Camera 610 may be used by the less skilled operator so that the situation can be viewed by the more skilled operator. Instructions can then be given directly as though a mentor is on location during the job function.
  • [0143]
    In another embodiment, each HUD comprises sufficient sound shielding to allow an operator to hear the instructions from the software system and/or another operator in an environment with sound levels greater than 95 dB.
  • [0144]
    In another embodiment, the system further comprises the software system being operable to permit communication between an off location HUD and off location operator to receive and send video to the first HUD whereby an off location operator can assist the operator when maintaining the industrial equipment assets.
  • [0145]
    Referring to FIG. 7A-7D, industrial knowledge system 10 is operable for sending photos or videos that superimpose components on display 604 of the HUD to guide the operator in maintaining the industrial equipment asset 702. For example, in FIG. 7A, there is shown asset 702, which needs maintenance. The HUD image of FIG. 7B may show the same equipment with highlighted components or markers 704 for the components to be serviced. For example, there may be twenty items that need to be checked or greased. In FIG. 7C, in one embodiment, the markers or indicators 704 to be serviced may be superimposed on the underlying components of equipment 702. Accordingly, in one embodiment, HUD 600 is operable for displaying the superimposed components and/or indicators in alignment with the underlying components of industrial equipment asset 702 when viewed by the particular operator to guide maintenance of the industrial equipment assets. In FIG. 7D, in one embodiment, highlighted components, indicators, or markers 706 may change color, shape, or otherwise indicate that servicing of those components has been completed. This feature can be especially useful when there are numerous components that must be serviced making the likelihood of successful completion of the task much higher than leaving the step of marking off components to manual methods.
  • [0146]
    FIG. 8 shows flowchart 800 depicting one possible embodiment of operator use of industrial knowledge system 10. After authentication at 802, a dashboard may be displayed as indicated at 804 with different options including selection of different actions as indicated at 806 including servicing an asset which begins by the receiving information from a BLE beacon as indicated at 808. HUD 600 or other devices may perform this step automatically. As the operator moves toward an asset, the BLE beacon attached to the asset (e.g. device 230 in FIG. 2) sends information to explain what the asset is as indicated at 810, the asset status and service history as indicated at 812 and 814 and/or maintenance instructions or additional instructions as indicated at 816, which may have already been received by the operator as discussed hereinbefore. Status information may comprise whether the equipment is functional, non-functional, maintenance is need and details of that, end of service life, and the like. Status information may comprise status of the environment of the equipment such as whether the device is located in a loud area 1114, is a dangerous asset 1120, or the like (See FIG. 11).
  • [0147]
    The associated accounting documents may be automatically generated as indicated at 818, 820, 822, 824, and 826 including generation of a work order for the maintenance, a purchase order, the purchase order being sent to the desired locations and received on site with appropriate accounting steps such as triggering the accounts payable process. Step 828 involves assigning labor and parts for the location.
  • [0148]
    Referring to FIG. 9, the tools required and location is provided by industrial knowledge system 10 as indicated at 930. This information may also have been supplied at an earlier date unless the need for maintenance has just now become known. Knowledge from industrial knowledge system 10 is available at this time or any time as indicated at 932. The system may go through several iterations of steps such as step 1, step 2, and step 3, as indicated at steps 934, 942, and 948 where competency of the operator can be predetermined or refreshed as indicated at 936, 944, and 952. Further, an operator can request assistance at 938, 946, and 954 during the pendency of the job. In one embodiment, HUD 600 can be used to receive information via telepresence help at steps 940, 950, and 958. Provided that the job requires no further maintenance, then the work is completed at step 956.
  • [0149]
    Referring again to FIG. 8, other action steps may be taken such as messages 860, transcribing speech to text 862, and viewing recent messages 864. Recent information from industrial information system 10 may be organized, saved, and reviewed as indicated at 866 and 868. Assets may be tagged, problems reported, pictured, and flagged for maintenance or the like as indicated at 870, 872, 874, and 876. This information may be sent to the supervisor with the report confirmed as indicated 878 and 880.
  • [0150]
    Additional actions available at step 806 include the ability to report and emergency and send the location of emergency as indicated at 882 and 884, as well as the ability to open other applications at step 886. These applications may include streaming data services for well site monitoring or other third party applications as indicated at 888 and 890.
  • [0151]
    Referring to FIG. 10, there is shown flowchart 1000 of a notification center. Notification center 892 may be checked for tasks, alerts, messages and the like. As noted earlier with respect to FIG. 8, work orders can be received, accepted, converted to purchase orders, with the purchase orders sent to the correct places, received on site, and with the accounts payable activated and labor and parts assigned as indicated at 1002, 1004, 1006, 1008, 1010, 1012, 1014, and 1016. Emergency related information can be received as indicated at 1018, with emergency procedures, escape routes, and locations of personnel as indicated at 1020, 1022, and 1024.
  • [0152]
    FIG. 11 provides flowchart 1100 for contextual alerts 1102 which may be based on location based alerts 1104 or third party sensors 1106. Location based alerts may be triggered by proximity to BLE beacons crossed as indicated at 1136 and detected by various detectors such as an HUD device or the like.
  • [0153]
    The BLE beacons, such as BLE beacon 230 of FIG. 2, can alert an operator to many conditions. For example, unauthorized access and reasons therefor as indicated at 1138, 1140, and 1142. As another example, the BLE beacon can notify of dangerous assets, positions between two beacons, or the need for special equipment as indicated at 1144, 1146, and 1148. Another type of warning could be for loud areas with a notification of hearing protection being required as indicated at 1150 and 1152. BLE beacons can also be utilized to track activities related to changing locations, work hours, break time, and end of work day as indicated at 1154, 1156, 1158, 1160, 1162, and 1164.
  • [0154]
    Third party sensors 1106 may be utilized to track various events such as heart rate, fatigue levels, gas hazards and the like as indicated at 1108, 1110, 1112. In the event of heart rate or fatigue problems warnings and notifications can be sent as indicated at 1114, 1116, 1118, and 1120. In the event of hazards such as dangerous gas, emergency triggers provide procedures, escape routes, and location of all personnel sent to supervisors as indicated at 1122, 1124, 1126, and 1128.
  • [0155]
    Accordingly, the present invention provides coordination that has not previously been available between systems or modules such as maintenance, equipment and asset tracking, regulations, how-to information, job function capability and training and delivery.
  • [0156]
    In summary, the present invention provides an improved system for maintaining industrial equipment assets. In one possible embodiment, the present invention utilizes a plurality of HUDs to guide operators for maintaining industrial equipment assets. In another possible embodiment, the present invention provides a central knowledge storage system for storing information, training, and controlling the HUDs.
  • [0157]
    The present invention provides a system and method to guide industrial maintenance of industrial equipment assets by assisting a plurality of operators in performing maintenance of the assets. In another possible embodiment, the assets can be each identified by transmitters such as but not limited to positioners such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)'s, RFIDs, near field communicators and the like. The BLEs provide detailed directions to each industrial equipment asset.
  • [0158]
    The present invention provides a plurality of industrially hardened or intrinsically safe HUDs, which can be utilized by the plurality of operators. Each HUD is operable to receive information from a respective BLE near field communicators or the like when in proximity with the respective BLE comprising identification, condition, and operation of each industrial equipment asset. The HUDs may also receive cellular phone signals, GPS signals, and other wireless signals. In another aspect of the invention, widely dispersed multiple displays of different types are utilized such as but not limited to laptops, tablets, smartphones, computers, and the like.
  • [0159]
    In another aspect of the invention, a software system is in communication with the plurality of displays of different types and the plurality of HUDs. The software system being operable for utilizing the multiple displays of different types and the plurality of HUDs for training on demand by the plurality of operators at a wide range of locations for a wide range of different industrial equipment assets. The software system being configured to determine and store information of competency levels for the plurality of operators of the industrial equipment assets based on the training and records of experience. The software system stores current location and condition of each industrial equipment asset.
  • [0160]
    As another aspect of the invention, a first HUD is moveable by a first operator to select of the industrial equipment assets. The first HUD is sufficiently industrially hardened or intrinsically safe for operation in the presence of hazardous gas.
  • [0161]
    The software system is in communication with a first operator through the first HUD to provide instructions for maintenance of the selected industrial equipment asset. The software system being selectively operable of providing that the instructions are adjusted to a competency level of the first operator. The instructions to the particular operator comprising step-by-step instructions of work details comprising photos, videos, and detailed documentation. The software system is operable for sending photos or videos that superimpose components on a screen of the first HUD to guide the operator in maintaining the industrial equipment asset. In one embodiment, the first HUD is operable for displaying the superimposed components in alignment with the industrial equipment asset when viewed by the particular operator to guide maintenance of the industrial equipment assets.
  • [0162]
    In another embodiment, each HUD comprises sufficient sound shielding to allow an operator to hear the instructions from the software system and/or another operator in an environment with sound levels greater than 95 dB.
  • [0163]
    In another embodiment, the system further comprises the software system being operable to permit communication between an off location HUD and off location operator to receive and send video to the first HUD whereby an off location operator can assist the operator when maintaining the industrial equipment assets.
  • [0164]
    In another embodiment, the system further comprises a hard hat with an intrinsically safe compartment to provide an extended life battery pack for use with the first HUD, and a remote battery connector on the first HUD.
  • [0165]
    It will be understood that many additional changes in the details, materials, steps and arrangement of parts, which have been herein described and illustrated in order to explain the nature of the invention, may be made by those skilled in the art within the principle and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.
  • [0166]
    The foregoing description of the preferred embodiments of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description only. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed; and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. Such modifications and variations that may be apparent to a person skilled in the art are intended to be included within the scope of this invention as defined by the accompanying claims.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:
1. A system to guide industrial maintenance of industrial equipment assets for a user in oil and gas operations, comprising:
at least one computer comprising an industrial knowledge system, said industrial knowledge system comprising a plurality of how-to segments to perform respective job procedures for maintaining each of said industrial equipment assets, said industrial knowledge system being operable for delivering said how-to segments for viewing by said user on a selectable display device at a plurality of locations, said how-to segments comprising step-by-step instructions comprising photos, videos, and documentation for a selected industrial equipment asset;
a maintenance tracking and scheduling system for said industrial knowledge system operable for delivering maintenance schedules and asset maintenance status for viewing by said user on said selectable display device at said plurality of locations;
a regulations and standards system for said industrial knowledge system operable for delivering said regulations and standards for viewing by said user on said selectable display device at said plurality of locations, said how-to segments of information incorporating respective of said regulations and standards; and
an asset tracking system for said industrial knowledge system operable for delivering at least general location information for said selected industrial equipment asset for viewing by said user on said selectable display device at said plurality of locations.
2. The system of claim 1, further comprising a training delivery and records system for said industrial knowledge system being operable to deliver training records for viewing by said user on said selectable display device at said plurality of locations.
3. The system of claim 2, further comprising a job function competency system for said industrial knowledge system comprising industry or company defined requirements for said job function for said selected industrial equipment asset, said job function competency system being operable for rating a competency level of said user for a selected job function.
4. The system of claim 3, further comprising:
at least one low energy transmitter mounted to said selected industrial equipment asset, said at least one low energy transmitter being operable for providing more precise location information than said general location of said selected industrial equipment asset;
an intrinsically safe HUD (heads up display) to be worn by said user to guide industrial maintenance on said selected industrial equipment asset, said HUD being operable to receive said more precise location information from said low energy transmitter.
5. The system of claim 4, wherein said industrial knowledge system is selectively operable to adjust said step-by-step instructions to said competency level of said user.
6. The system of claim 4, said industrial knowledge system being operable for sending at least one of photos or videos that superimpose indicators of underlying components of said selected industrial equipment asset on a screen of said HUD to guide said operator in maintaining said selected industrial equipment asset, and wherein said indicators change in response to said step by step instructions being completed.
7. The system of claim 1, further comprising an automated job ticket generation mechanism which generates a ticket for maintaining a particular asset and sends a predetermined how-to segment of information for said particular asset.
8. A system to guide industrial maintenance of a plurality of industrial equipment assets for a user in oil and gas operations, comprising:
at least one computer comprising an industrial knowledge system, said industrial knowledge system comprising a teaching module operable to deliver how-to segments of information comprising visual and written procedures for servicing each of said plurality of industrial equipment assets, an asset tracking module comprising at least a general location for each of said plurality of industrial equipment assets, and a maintenance system with maintenance scheduling requirements for each of said plurality industrial equipment assets;
at least one low energy transmitter operable to originate a beacon signal to guide said user to a more precise location information than said general location for a particular industrial equipment asset, said at least one low energy transmitter being configured for sending status information for said particular industrial equipment asset; and
a plurality of display devices at a plurality of locations selectively connectable to said industrial knowledge system to receive said how-to segments of information, at least one of said plurality of said display devices being operable for detecting said low energy transmitter and guiding an operator to said more precise location of said particular industrial equipment asset.
9. The system of claim 8 further comprising said at least one low energy transmitter being configured for transmitting contextual information comprising at least one of a proximity threshold crossed by said user, a loud area, an unauthorized access region, or a dangerous asset.
10. The system of claim 8, further comprising a data server connected to said industrial knowledge system and also being connected to said particular industrial equipment assets, said data server being operable for updating status information for said industrial equipment assets.
11. The system of claim 8, further comprising a job function competency module operable to show whether a particular operator has a competency level to service said particular industrial equipment asset.
12. The system of claim 11, further comprising a heads up display operatively connected to said teaching module and wherein said particular operator can selectively connect to a second operator with a heads up display for additional support for said particular industrial equipment asset.
13. The system of claim 12, wherein said job function competency module is operable to show whether said particular operator has a competency level to service said particular industrial equipment asset with said additional support.
14. The system of claim 11, wherein said job function competency module cooperates with said teaching module to adjust said how-to segments of information based on a competency level of a selected operator.
15. A system to guide industrial maintenance of industrial equipment assets by assisting an operator, comprising:
at least one computer comprising system software and being operable for communication through said computer with a plurality of display devices comprising laptops, tablets, heads up displays (HUD) and computer workstations at a plurality of different locations, said system software comprising a teaching module operable to deliver how-to segments of information comprising visual and written procedures for servicing each of said industrial equipment assets, said system software being configured to determine and store a competency level for said operator of said industrial equipment asset;
at least one low energy near field communicator mounted to a particular industrial equipment asset operable to originate a signal comprising identification and status information of said particular industrial equipment asset; and
an intrinsically safe heads up display (HUD) operable to be worn by said operator, said HUD being operable to receive said identification and status information from said low energy near field communicator, said HUD being operable to display how-to segments of information of industrial maintenance requirements for said particular industrial equipment asset at a location of said particular industrial equipment asset.
16. The system of claim 15, further comprising;
said system software being selectively operable for providing that said how-to segments are adjusted to said competency level of said operator, said how-to segments comprising photos, videos, and documentation.
17. The system of claim 15, wherein said system software is operable for providing a superimposed indicator of an underlying component requiring maintenance in said particular industrial equipment asset for display by said HUD to guide said operator in maintaining said particular industrial equipment asset.
18. The system of claim 17, wherein said superimposed indicator is aligned with said underlying component requiring maintenance in said particular industrial equipment asset when viewed by said operator.
19. The system of claim 17, wherein said superimposed indicator changes after said underlying component is serviced.
20. The system of claim 15, further comprising a hard hat operable for use in industrial areas comprising an intrinsically safe compartment, an extended life battery pack for use with said HUD being mounted in said intrinsically safe compartment.
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