A global chemicals business has achieved an 85 per cent reduction in time spent on hazardous area inspections and repairs after adopting innovative data capture software from Terrington Data Management.

Specialty chemicals manufacturer, Innospec Inc, the world's largest dedicated producer of fuel additives and a manufacturer of octane additives and active chemicals, has significantly reduced the annual cost of its Ex inspections through the use of mobile computing and IndEx software.

IndEx is an innovative data capture and inspection software package that enables Innospec to manage its asset register and regulatory equipment regime far more efficiently than the paper-based methods previously used.

Innospec has around 7,000 items to inspect on a three-year cycle at its plant at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. These include lights, motors, valves and transmitters and a 10 per cent detailed "strip down" inspection is carried out annually to comply with standards monitored by the Health and Safety Executive.

The company previously managed the inspection regime with a site plan, pen and paper and inspection reports were typed up at a later date with a return visit needed to rectify any defects.

Site electrical engineer, Paul Mills, says "The IndEx software, coupled with the use of intrinsically safe hand-held devices pre-loaded with details of the items to be inspected, clearly offers a faster, more accurate and cost-effective approach than the paper-based method previously in use."

"Controls within IndEx safeguard data integrity and provide a full audit trail. Process improvement efficiencies gained from using IndEx have enabled us to streamline our Ex inspection regime, resulting in an 85 per cent reduction in inspection and repair hours."

"This represents a significant annual saving and provides a substantial return on our investment which is greatly appreciated in the current economic climate."

"Using IndEx has enabled us to streamline the entire inspection and fault repair process. As the inspector tours the site the hand-held prompts them on items to be inspected and the relevant checks required in line with IEC 60079-17."

"Engineers can carry out and record details of repairs at the time the fault is found which is a real cost-saving benefit for us. On return to the office, the recorded information is downloaded to the database to provide a record of inspections carried out with a fully traceable record of when the inspection was made and who carried it out. IndEx is also really easy to use, even for people without much IT experience."

"IndEx provides immediate visibility of our asset register and the inspection history of each asset, along with full audit trails that help us to demonstrate that we are complying with legislation. A further benefit is that our asset register quickly provides access to asset status and location details which is vital in case of product recalls and safety notices as it helps us to find equipment quickly and effectively."

"The IndEx database also carries all the certificates and details of the standard each item must be inspected to which saves inspectors having to go through paper files to locate them."

Terrington Data Management business development manager, Tracey Marshall, says: "IndEx stores detailed, auditable records to help its users prove that they are maintaining their site in a safe and efficient manner and in accordance with applicable regulations. IndEx is faster, offers greater accuracy and provides the scope for significant cost savings through better resource management."