Holistic Approach to Top Quartile Reliability Performance

by | Jul 15, 2020 | Downstream Hydrocarbons

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

Ensuring refinery reliability takes a holistic approachOperating reliably is one of the critical success factors in driving business performance for manufacturers and producers in the process industries.

In the Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance, the article, From cultural shifts to tactical strategies: Ensuring refinery reliability takes a holistic approach, highlights an effective path to success.

The opportunity?

By generating dramatic asset performance gains of more than 400 hours of operations per year, they [Top Quartile performers] gain two additional weeks of productivity, allowing them to capture more margin opportunities that go right to the bottom line.

The holistic, top-down approach to Top Quartile reliability performance begins with:

…a top-down vision rather than taking a reactive maintenance approach, while at the same time, empowering their personnel to affect real change at the most tactical, fundamental levels.

Here’s the recommended path forward.

  • Start by assessing common problems
  • Utilize data to fix asset issues early
  • Changing the mindset, one step at a time

Common problem indicators include unplanned downtime, overstocked spare parts, and stranded technology. By assessing these problem areas:

…you can then develop a roadmap and cultivate the organizational cultural shifts necessary to improve reliability, and ultimately, production.

Lower reliability means greater downtime.

Those performing below the Top Quartile will often see 2-to-14 percent more downtime, according to a recent Solomon reliability and maintenance study.

From an economic standpoint, this adds up.

A 250 thousand BPD, lower quartile refinery, for instance, spends an average of $10 to $30 million per year more on maintenance than a Top Quartile refinery.

On using potentially underutilized data, more:

…information can be extracted from these [process management and condition monitoring systems] investments to identify the cause of failures and fix equipment earlier and plan repairs at times when the output of an asset is least valuable. Even more importantly, this information can be used to evaluate when continuing operation of an asset could pose a safety risk.

Read the article on ways to drive Top Quartile performance at your facility. And, register today to download the full Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation and Top Quartile Performance.

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