Many facilities in the chemical industry are mature and often require more frequent maintenance. Many chemical plant maintenance departments are still in a large extent in the reaction mode. Those who use outdated maintenance processes such as paper work orders or Excel spreadsheets are often the most active. However, some organizations using CMM still use very passive thinking to operate, which can not maximize the value of the system.
When we talk about maintaining digital, one of the biggest opportunities chemical companies face is to focus on their PM programs. According to OSHA 1910.119 "high risk chemicals process safety management standard", most industries have some form of PMS. However, when it comes to PM work order management, chemical enterprises do have opportunities to improve. For example, many factories use time-based triggers for PMS, but do not evaluate maintenance data to determine whether PM processes use runtime, rotation, usage cycles, or other metrics more effectively. The main advantage of looking at whether there are other triggers that can identify faults in advance is that you can start reducing or even eliminating unplanned downtime events.
For chemical companies that embrace maintenance digitization and maintenance connectivity, they can automate PM workflows and generate PM plans initiated by triggers they define. As chemical manufacturers optimize their PM plans, they can start making significant progress in reducing downtime. Why is this important? A recent report, Aberdeen group asset performance management: blazing a better path to operational excellence, said manufacturing companies lost $50billion a year due to unplanned downtime. The chemical industry has contributed to this figure, and any cuts can save money for the company.
Another valuable digital benefit of maintaining connectivity is equipment inventory management. In the whole maintenance cycle, finding the right inventory balance to manage parts and inventory can provide significant savings for chemical companies.
If the chemical company puts idle parts in the warehouse, it will lose money. In addition, components that are not available when needed, especially during unplanned downtime events, may have to be accelerated, leading to costs far beyond the level necessary. Consider a pump in a key application that shuts down the day before the holiday. The maintenance personnel found that there was a problem with the impeller of the pump. Normally, there are spare parts in the stock, but after the last one is used up, someone has not ordered it. It costs a lot of money to rush the impeller on holiday weekends. By maintaining connections, all factors that cause this can be solved; maximum and minimum inventory control can be established, barcode scanning can be used to identify parts taken out of the inventory, and automatic reorder points can be established to ensure that the replaced parts are purchased.
Digitization can optimize inventory expenditure and reduce shortage. This can reduce spending and lead to more efficient part utilization over a year.
Differentiation of competition.
As chemical enterprises continue to seek advantages to distinguish from competitors, digitization will be the key.