A Blended-Learning Approach to Digitizing Pump Stations
A large exploration and pipeline company operating in North America, with a focus on using known resources, renewing its infrastructure, ensuring safe and sustainable operations, and commercializing North American natural gas, contracted GP Strategies to help find solutions to their latest challenge.
The challenge? To ensure compliance with its Integrity Management Standards and Practices—an initiative far exceeding regulatory requirements—the client needed to:
- Evaluate and analyze existing operational and maintenance procedures in order to determine their quality, quantity, and accuracy
- Develop and update procedures based on gaps found in the evaluation
- House all procedures in a centralized, user-friendly repository
- Reduce physical infrastructure such as replacing legacy pump stations with new ones equipped to move higher throughput levels and adjust to increases and decreases
- Simplify operations and maintenance programs to provide more cost-effective crude oil transportation systems.
GP Strategies Solution
In partnership with the organization, GP Strategies:
- Developed and implemented a blended learning strategy to rapidly onboard and improve the competency of the company’s workforce
- Upgraded existing course materials and converted the training programs into a fully deployed blended learning program that included eLearning, instructor-led, and on-the-job training, all focused largely on equipment and procedures at various pump stations
In addition, GP Strategies subject matter experts partnered with the company’s experts to evaluate and upgrade processes, convert documentation to digital formats, and host them online. These new procedures provided the foundation for multiple training components.
GP Strategies developed over 70 eLearning modules, ranging from theory and front-end learning to interactive study guides and self-assessments using simulation, gamification, badging, and real-time feedback to interactive PDFs such as job aids. This also included the digitization of all existing print training materials, hosted on an online content management system.
For emergency procedures and troubleshooting, GP Strategies developed interactive job aids loaded onto touch-screen tablets. These job aids reside next to equipment and can be accessed even during power failures with step-by-step guides to counter emergencies, interruptions, and other abnormal operations.
GP Strategies provides seven to eight instructors, all logistics, and GP-owned equipment for 15 to 25 training events throughout each year. These take place onsite in training rooms at each facility, on topics that range from automation controls and multi-craft to leadership.
Classes take on multiple formats, from stand-up instruction for plant fundamentals and theory to hands-on, on-the-job training, and written and simulated evaluations. For hands-on experience, GP Strategies installed training work stations such as control logics systems, control nets, device nets, demo work stations, and more.
A major part of the upgrade involved the successful installation of an advanced supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, allowing pipeline controllers and technicians to monitor line-wide pipeline pressures, flow rates, temperatures, tank levels, and pipeline valves—all from the Operations Control Center. On launch day, a technical development manager said: “Training played an essential part in preparing for this day. Your teams worked for over 18 months to create 40 separate courses that helped prepare our technicians and controllers to operate and maintain new equipment… Thanks for helping make us successful!”