On the week of the 11th of April 2016, the European Emerson Exchange took place at the Square Meeting Centre in the cultural and historic district of Brussels.
The theme for the User Exchange was “New Reality. New Opportunity“. Within the Business and Projects Zone, on the 1st day, a team of Operational Excellence consultants invited you to talk about your Reality, to discuss what your challenges are.
The purpose of this post is to summarise the information provided by you.
The challenges raised during the first day of the exhibition could be grouped into eight different business themes.
Of these, seven were relevant to Operational Excellence and the eighth relevant to Project Certainty. The different business themes are:
- Management & Organisational Alignment
- Data Management & New Business/Work Processes
- Energy Efficiency & Emissions Reduction
- Maintaining & Developing Workforce Skills and knowledge
- Rate of Technology Change & Managing Obsolescence
- Global Competition & Low Cost Producers
- Equipment Reliability & Plant Available
- Aggressive Project & Investment Demands
One of the more obvious correlations is between the points raised and the different zones at the exchange. Six of the themes can be directly related to a zone. This is subliminal messaging at its best!
The two largest business themes (defined by the number of posts) were the work force and reliability ones. From this, we can infer that these represent significant challenges in our industry.
In terms of reliability, most of the visitors faced challenges with moving from a route based maintenance strategy to a condition based maintenance one.
From the Solomon RAM Study, we can see that Top Quartile performers in this domain see significant improvements in mechanical availability for less cost. It is understandable why this is so important to you.
The posts associated with work force enablement were more diverse. Samples of these are shared below:
- Working in a more collaborative manner
- Alignment of the different org. layers
- Limited workforce skills
- Difficulty making decisions based on the current available information
- The collision of the IT world and the automation world
Automation can provide a number benefits in this domain. It can provide the relevant metrics to help with decision-making and automation systems can be used to capture knowledge before it is lost.
At the Emerson Exchange, the Integrated Operations (iOps) control room of the future was demonstrated. These and collaborative meeting rooms can help geographically diverse employees collaborate seamlessly.
On the second day of the Exchange, the visitors to the Business & Projects Zone were invited to suggest ways in which automation and process information could help solve or hinder the problem solving of the business challenges identified.
The information gathered suggests that automation can have an overwhelmingly position impact on Energy Efficiency, Emissions Reduction, Equipment Reliability and Plant Availability. For Energy Efficiency and Emission Reduction, Energy Management Systems and Advanced Process Control were listed as having a real positive impact.
As well as reliability having an impact on plant availability, many of the visitors thought that non-intrusive instruments could have a major positive impact on availability. The ability to remove or fit instruments whilst the plant is live can have an obvious impact.
Interestingly, workforce skills and knowledge was considered to be negatively impacted by automation through lost knowledge and confidence.
If you would like to discover how automation can help your company or site overcome business challenges, please contact us at [email protected].