“According to the ARC Advisory Group of Boston, plants in the process industries ‘typically operate 20% below full operational capacity,’ and equipment reliability issues have been identified as one of the principal reasons for that wasteful record 1 “.
This quote, from the Intech magazine article, Asset management systems increase reliability and efficiency, by Emerson’s Augie DiGiovanni and Meridium’s John Renick, highlights the opportunity to gain productivity and great profitability through improved maintenance practices. Technology advancements over the past 25 years has not led to lower reactive maintenance rates—remaining at about 55% over time.
Diagnostics are increasingly available from a wide array of plant assets including instruments, control valves, and mechanical equipment. The authors note:
…the diagnostics and other data gathered from all those assets can now be integrated into one holistic reliability performance management system that will improve maintenance practices and result in higher reliability.
They cite results measured by process manufacturers who have implemented a holistic reliability performance management approach:
- Shift maintenance from reactive to predictive while improving uptime by as much as 15 percent
- Reduce overtime labor by up to 50 percent
- Lower turnaround costs by as much as 30 percent
- Increase plant availability by 10 percent or more
- Reduce spare parts consumption
Getting these types of results will:
…depend on the current state of your maintenance program and the amount of effort you put into the integration of these technologies.
In addition to diagnostics from smart instrumentation coupled with predictive maintenance software, continuous vibration monitoring:
…can also be obtained online or uploaded to the system from handheld analyzers or online monitoring systems connected to sensors mounted on rotating machinery. Data from oil analysis and other diagnostic methods are also available.
Getting actionable alerts and alarms is important in avoiding unplanned downtime. Expertise is required to know and set the notification limits:
…which is why many users employ experienced industry firms that have subject-matter experts to configure systems for best results.
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems combine this diagnostic information with asset performance management (APM) functions along with the creation and management of maintenance work orders.
Systems now are utilizing field-generated data and facilitating the timely preparation of work requests that are capable of managing high volumes of field-based intelligence and providing a single point of entry to existing EAM systems. This combines predictive intelligence with asset reliability, enabling real-time analysis of asset health and availability.
The authors summarize their thoughts:
If your plant is one that operates up to 20 percent below capacity, or if you spend too much time reactively “fighting fires,” it is time to improve your maintenance practices. Even if your facility is full of smart instrumentation, and you are employing an up-to-date EAM, the only way to get the expected results is to make sure the field-generated diagnostics are utilized to automate the creation of work requests for your EAM.
Give the article a read to provide ideas on ways to reclaim some of that 20% capacity you and your company so richly deserve.