Marathon Petroleum uses smart helmet technology for virtual EPA tour

Business News


Smart helmet being worn by employee
Marathon Petroleum has been using a smart helmet – a hard hat with a camera that enables real-time video communication with remote users – at its Logistics and Storage (L&S) Terminals for troubleshooting, training, collaboration and more. Recently, the technology was put to the test during an important virtual tour.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of reviewing regulations that have the potential to impact the petroleum terminal industry. The International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA), the only trade association that exclusively focuses on the liquid terminal industry, thought it would be beneficial to provide a tour of a terminal to help EPA representatives. There was only one problem – the EPA was not traveling due to the ongoing pandemic. Upon hearing of the dilemma, Marathon Petroleum offered to use the smart helmet technology to host the tour.

Marathon Petroleum used its Lansing, Michigan, terminal as the location for the tour, which was hosted by L&S Terminals employees from Health, Environment, Safety, Security (HESS); Terminal Operations; and Terminal Services. Using the smart helmet and Microsoft Teams technology, Marathon Petroleum demonstrated, in real time, the transport loading process at a loading rack and an overview of a vapor recover unit.

“This was a great use of smart helmet technology,” said L&S Terminals HESS Manager Angela Brown. “As the EPA goes through its policy review, the images they saw and the information we shared on the tour will be helpful. We are a champion and advocate for the terminal industry, and this was an opportunity for us to share our story.”

“This was a great use of smart helmet technology. We are a champion and advocate for the terminal industry, and this was an opportunity for us to share our story.”

“It was great to have a team of Marathon folks each with a speaking role during the tour,” said ILTA President Kathryn Clay. “This conveyed a great, unspoken message to the attendees – ensuring proper operations, leak detection and response is a team effort with many individuals reinforcing each other’s work. I also thought it was fantastic that when the EPA saw something on the screen, the Marathon team immediately zoomed in, welcomed their questions and were comfortable answering them. They were comfortable with their processes and totally transparent, because in our industry, we have a good story to tell.”