Shifting from Time-Based to Condition-Based Maintenance

You may recall Emerson’s Bill Zhou from his demo video pieces here on the blog. I told him to be on the lookout for unscrupulous talent agents who’ll want to whisk him away to Hollywood. Bill pointed me to a HART Communications Foundation announcement of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation selection as 2009 Plant of the Year. Their use of HART communications helped deliver strong operational and financial results:

Diagnostic parameters that help detect signs of an abnormal situation or degrading performance are difficult to obtain with simple handheld devices because they require a time-consuming, manual, step-by-step approach,” says Takayuki Aoyama, team leader, instrumentation group, Mitsubishi Chemical. “HART technology made it possible to access this data without manual operation. This made it much easier for us to gather data and detect abnormal situations from field devices and has reduced maintenance costs by 10 percent.

Bill and Takayuki presented at the 2009 Emerson Exchange with a session titled, Process Profiling: Investigation and Prediction of Process Upsets with Advanced Diagnostics. They share how the statistical process monitoring (SPM) technology found in the Rosemount 3051S measurement devices were used to measure flow through an orifice plate from a Naphtha tank to a series of furnaces. With the success of detecting plugs in their impulse lines, they expanded the SPM usage into other applications where the process was problematic.

The SPM diagnostics helped to quickly identify issues such as inadequate straight pipe length in DP flow, plugged manifold, compressor vibration issues, and even when strong winds affected the process.

Using the diagnostics to solve these conditions and spot problems early helped this award-winning plant to shift from time-based to condition-based maintenance and deliver quantified business results.

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