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Measuring the Quality of Commissioning


What is the purpose of repeating the same thing over and over if you do not know the benefits of doing it in the first place?

Measurement is a key tool in any industry. And capturing data is the only way to ensure your measurement gives you solid results.

However, capturing the data required to make informed decisions about commissioning performance can be complex. And results can be haphazard if drawn from a small pool of easily accessible data.

This can lead to people not recognizing the true benefits — costs and otherwise — of utilizing commissioning expertise in a project.

In many occasions, building commissioning data is drawn from too narrow a source. And collecting data retrospectively through relying on documentation doesn’t get the right results – especially for costs that are not explicitly defined during the project.

Some costs — if not defined early on in a project — are not always included in the documentation so if you are relying on this documentation to collate your data, you will not get correct results. So, relying mostly on project documentation does not lead to a consistent definition of commissioning costs.

In order to ensure your data — and therefore your measurement — is accurate, you should use a collection methodology, that allows easy entry of data during the whole process of commissioning. This will eliminate the need for retrospective information-gathering based on project documentation.

Careful planning is needed before you decide how you are going to measure the cost benefits of commissioning.

First of all, you have to consider what is the goal of data collection and who is it for? Once you have that established, then you need to lay out what exact pieces of data you need to collect to reach this goal. Decide who is responsible for collecting the data and how they will verify the data. Make sure they have all the resources — both financial and practical — available to them to do this job correctly.

As mentioned above, you need to also decide how the data will be collected. Will it be a one-time event that looks retrospectively at the outcomes achieved? Or will data collection and analysis occur continuously to assess performance and payback over a number of years?

Before you begin, you must also decide how to allocate certain costs. For example, should the cost to resolve problems identified by the commissioning provider — including major design changes — be counted as a cost of commissioning? Also, should the commissioning-related costs of designers, contractors, and operating staff also be counted as costs of commissioning?

There are many considerations to be taken into account before you even start to measure the true cost-benefits of commissioning. And there is still a mountain to climb to get some companies to realise the true value of commissioning expertise.

But as improvements in monitoring technology and use of “big data” becomes more sophisticated, the true value of commissioning expertise will become more widely recognized.

In a world that before the end of the century will see the arrival of totally automated factories, commissioning expertise will become increasingly important.

And the long-term value of commissioning expertise will become easier to measure and far more critical as one automated factory competes with another.

We believe that these changes will be pivotal to the future of manufacturing.


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