BaxEnergy increases presence in the industrial automation sector

A new technological platform for workforce and equipment management

The partnership between BaxEnergy and FOXCOMM commenced in 2017 when BaxEnergy was commissioned with the implementation of a new software for workforce and equipment management by the US-based company FOXCOMM, a leading supplier of built-to-need mobile communication solutions for the chemical industry.
BaxEnergy was entrusted with the development of two custom software.

The first project, started in 2017, foresaw the development of Voice of Customer (VOC), a Turnaround Execution Platform. The scope of the project was the development and configuration, according to FOXCOMM specification, of a proof-of-concept of a software platform for managing turnarounds, that are the huge maintenance projects that are executed in chemical plants, and especially in oil refineries, and its presentation to FOXCOMM customers potentially interested in using the platform.

After the success of the presentation of VOC to FOXCOMM’s customers, a second project was commissioned by the American company in 2018, requiring the development of a complete software platform, FoxTrax, to support the execution of turnarounds for chemical plants, especially oil refineries. FoxTrax, name chosen by FOXCOMM itself, returned improvements and integrations -carried out by BaxEnergy – with third-party systems in use by those who plan and perform turnarounds; third party systems for the planning and execution of turnarounds such as Oracle Primavera, the de-facto standard project management tool for turnaround planning, and Motorola Radios, expensive anti-detonation communication systems, used by turnaround performers to communicate with each other, allowing technicians to share activity lists coming from the FoxTrax system, and give updates, thus avoiding the risk of explosion due to the usage of normal mobile communication devices in chemical plants.

FoxTrax tasks state managementin a
Motorola Radio display

Afterwards, meeting a new request by FOXCOMM in the context of management of football stadiums, we developed a software solution to manage the organizational and maintenance activities, and all the pre- and post-match logistics. In particular, the provided solution is utilized for the operations management of the Océanefootball stadium, also known as Grand State du Havre, located in the city of Le Havre in France.

How to put your turnaround in the winning circle 

Oil and chemical refineries as well as other industrial plants need maintenance, which requires industry production to stop and all long-term maintenance to be done. In these cases, hundreds or thousands of technicians come to work onsite at a fast pace, carrying out all the necessary maintenance. The organization and coordination of such lengthy maintenance is particularly complicated, because it requires managing flows of interacting people and logistics. The teams of operators, field technicians, project managers and supervisors work night and day until they are finished.

Turnarounds are major maintenances and refurbishing of industrial plants, especially refineries and chemical power plants. They are usually executed every four years, involve the entire plant or a relevant part of it. Each turnaround is prepared during one or two years, then it is executed for one or two months, and analyzed for some time afterwards for performing post-mortem analysis. While the turnaround is executed, the plant or its part that is involved in the turnaround is shut down.

Turnarounds are managed by a turnaround manager supported by a set of coordinators that support him on specific portions of the turnaround activities. Turnaround managers and coordinators may come from specialized turnaround management companies or be employees of the industrial plant where the turnaround is executed. The turnaround manager, the coordinators, and other specialized planning personnel perform a detailed planning of the turnaround with specialized project management tools. The plan may include tens of thousands of different activities.

 That is the reason why FoxTrax solution is designed to bring an added value in supporting turnarounds, that consists of working as: a communication tool to eliminate wasted time for dispatching activities, requesting support, reporting progress, and getting a real-time picture of the current situation; a digitization tool, to produce digital and controlled versions of documents and procedures, always at hand when and where they are needed, improving safety; a data-driven platform for risk analysis and for getting recommendations; a data repository for a complete post-mortem analysis of the turnaround, aimed at the budget optimization and a better programming of future turnarounds.

Going into detail

FoxTrax is not merely a software system utilizable by several turnaround actors. It is a software system that comes with intelligent support services based on it. The software system is produced by BaxEnergy and is built on suitably configured and customized instances of the AssetStack® platform and of other tools designed by BaxEnergy, such as the Reporting System or the Business Rule Engine. The support services, instead, are provided by FOXCOMM Solutions in the form of customizations that do not require software development, data preparation, trainings to FoxTrax users, software usage support during the execution of turnarounds, preparation of reports, and data analysis.
The FoxTrax software system is shipped with a default configuration. Nevertheless, the system is customizable to a certain extent, in terms of the data model, dashboards, KPIs calculation, reports, automations, and of user authorization. Indeed, the system configuration could be customized by FOXCOMM as a part of the FoxTrax services provided for a specific turnaround.
Users interact with the FoxTrax system by connecting to its UI, that is a secured and mobile-enabled web application, and, for selected portions of the systems, Motorola radios. The UI of the FoxTrax system shows different dashboards with customizable KPIs on the ongoing turnaround to different users, both in terms of the layout of the UI and in terms of the data there shown or of the commands there available.
The UIs for end users that are executors or responsible of activities (e.g. a contractor supervisor) mostly show lists of their current activities, with the possibility to drill down on activity details (e.g. instructions), to provide feedback on the execution (e.g.,declaring an activity as “ongoing” or “in progress” with a given percentage, or “completed”, or providing evidence through pictures) and to request support (e.g. work permits or inspections).
The most important data that populate the FoxTrax system are those related to the turnaround plan, and in particular to its activities, to the responsible personnel (or contractors, or teams) for coordinating and executing the activity, to planned and actual execution dates and times of the activities. The project plan for the execution of a turnaround is not created or updated in the FoxTrax system. The industry standard software for planning turnarounds is Oracle Primavera.

Experiencing the next level of communication

Today’s industrial projects demand complete solutions that deliver superior communication benefits designed around specific requirements. BaxEnergy is continuing to design software solutions for energy and beyond, as well as solutions addressed to the industrial sector that can easily fit with any kind of organization, processes and personnel for the best communication experience, productivity, and effectiveness in every project, every site, at any time.

 Take a look at our comprehensive solutions offering…