Overcoming Obstacles in Reducing Unplanned Downtime

by | Feb 8, 2017 | Asset Management, Reliability

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

Unplanned downtime remains the top issue for most process manufacturers and producers. At the ARC Industry Forum, ARC’s Craig Resnick led a panel, Strategies to Reduce Downtime and Increase Plant KPIs. Emerson’s Will Goetz participated in the panel to discuss the importance of comprehensive reliability program planning and execution. Here was the session description:

This session will discuss manufacturers’ biggest nemesis- unscheduled downtime – and strategies for how to reduce or eliminate it, subsequently increasing a plants key performance indicators (KPIs).

This session will deliver case studies offering need-to-know guidance on “must haves” for OT leaders looking to maximize the ROI of their automation systems by eliminating any unscheduled downtime.

Presentations will focus on learning to assess availability readiness of automation systems, as well as best practices to engage with IT decision makers. Also, to understand how IT and OT convergence can align to deploy the best solution – one that fits into existing systems, supports standards including OPC, and delivers ROI, while laying the foundation to support modern technologies, such as virtualization and IIoT.

The session will cover OT business drivers, including simplicity, TCO, and avoiding unscheduled downtime; the best of both worlds for OT/IT convergence, such as best practices to engage with IT; and support for modern technologies, including IIoT, virtualization, and cloud.

In the panel portion of the session, Will described the big difference in unplanned downtime between top quartile performers and those in the other three quartiles. Will noted that the two most important metrics to measure are mechanical reliability and overall maintenance costs. Top Quartile performers spend 3X less on maintenance costs than fourth quartile performers. Top quartile performers have less than 2% mechanical downtime.

Will noted that the biggest obstacle is resistant to change. Firefighting practices are often rewarded so there is resistance to a different way. He stressed the importance of top level management support and having clearly defined business objectives. The reward of lower unplanned downtime and better financial performance makes this support not only possible but a practical path.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.