There’s an app for everything these days, including scheduled maintenance at Suncor’s Sarnia refinery. 

During the recent turnaround at the Ontario facility, teams tested a new app, the Sarnia Turnaround App, which was developed by the Sarnia turnaround team and the Connected Worker team at Suncor. The Connected Worker program uses technology to improve frontline worker safety, productivity and efficiency by providing access to real-time information. 

“Before the turnaround, 200 smart phones were issued to field workers as part of the Sarnia Turnaround App pilot,” explains Lesli De Carolis, Manager Construction - Downstream. 

Through the field phones and the app, frontline site workers can text, call, send pictures and videos, participate in video calls and troubleshoot without having to go back and forth to their offices, or wait for supervisors to travel out to the field to review jobs. 

A person wearing a blue shirt with reflective stripes, a hard hat and ear protection uses a smart phone to scan a code on a piece of equipment.
The turnaround team at Suncor’s Sarnia Refinery used, smart phones and a new app during this year’s turnaround activities, making the whole process more efficient and the team more connected. 

The app uses QR codes and tags attached to field equipment to easily access information in the app. Notifications such as field change notices and equipment closures are also done through the app, and conversations and pictures are saved and shared, allowing for a more seamless transition between shifts.  

“I’m impressed by the quick adoption of the app,” says Stephen Muinda, Director Maintenance – Downstream. “Kudos to the turnaround and construction team for collaborating to get this in place.” 

In addition to connecting field teams to the information when they need it, the smart phones were used to address potential hazards by sending pictures of their work to inspection teams for approval before moving on to the next task. 

“Using technology in the field has been the greatest single change in how we communicate on-site that I have seen in my 20 plus years of working at the refinery,” says Jason Toenders, Maintenance Coordinator. “For me to be able to communicate in real time with other teams across the turnaround project has changed the game. To be able to resolve issues in real time has cut down on time between issue and resolution. “

The success of the Sarnia Turnaround App is being shared with other sites across Suncor. Worker engagement, feedback and collaboration will make the apps even better for future turnarounds. 

“As we continue to use the technology and apps in our daily work, we see more and more value, and that inspires new ideas. The goal is to streamline our processes and make information more accessible to support the execution of our work,“ adds Lesli.