The Internet of Things (IoT) has its roots in manufacturing and industrial companies. As consumers are just beginning to look for IoT-driven thermostats to turn down the heat when away from home, manufacturers are already moving IoT off the plant floor and into other settings where it can transform their business.
PKN ORLEN operates six refineries (daily crude oil processing 728,000 barrels) and the region’s largest network of service stations located in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany and Lithuania. Crude oil is processed into gasolines, diesel oil, fuel oil and aviation fuel. PKN ORLEN is also a leading producer of petrochemicals, with its products used as basic feedstocks by a large number of chemical companies.
Most enterprise asset management (EAM) systems just touch upon the safety aspect by registering hazards involved or precautions to be taken while working in a risky environment. But, how do they enforce work safety? There are still so many accidents and incidents in the industry and all investigation findings point to missing safety measures, ignorance, or bypassing safety rules or procedures. What can be done to ensure a safe work environment for everyone? How can a company enforce control of work? One single accident is enough to do away with all financial benefits received through optimized asset management or predictive maintenance to increase asset availability. Asset availability is important, but not at the cost of safety!
One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with lubrication systems is that you can’t see what is happening inside of them. Taking an oil sample allows you to gather information about the trace amounts of wear metals, oxidation deposits, additive chemicals and other contaminants that tell you about the system. Just like blood tests don’t always tell a doctor the whole story, traditional oil analysis testing doesn’t give the entire story when it comes to varnish.
A commonly used benchmark for maintenance activities is the ratio of maintenance cost to asset value (MC/AV). Some medical equipment maintenance professionals also claim MC/AV to be the best or most reliable benchmark. Maintenance cost includes both scheduled (often erroneously called preventive maintenance) and nonscheduled (i.e., repairs) maintenance costs, whereas asset value has various interpretations. This article challenges the validity of MC/AV as a benchmark or even a key performance indicator for maintenance activities in most, if not all, industries.
Reflecting on April’s The RELIABILITY Conference 2018, it was a very intense (kind of like drinking from a fire hose) four days devoted to all things tech in maintenance. The presentations were on sensors related to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), artificial intelligence (AI), the Cloud, analytics and a few even spoke about good maintenance practices. Like all Reliabilityweb.com conferences, it was congenial, fun and worthwhile.
Dr. Boehl, Portuguese Australian, is a Chartered Engineer Fellow of Engineers Australia and asset management professional with over 20 years’ experience within rail, utilities and mining industries. Dr. Boehl recently shared her thoughts and experience on strategic asset management, machine learning and automation with Uptime magazine.
The idea that smart factory technology will displace humans has generated considerable discussion. In a July 2016 report, McKinsey & Company estimates that “59 percent of all manufacturing activities could be automated.”1 In an article that can be applied to the field of industrial analytics, the MIT Technology Review2 suggests that unlike past experience, technologies are providing solutions that are more humanlike and could, therefore, eliminate jobs that so far have withstood automation.
The phrase, “It’s just common sense,” is used quite often to describe conclusions or circumstances that are obvious to most people, at least those within earshot. However, W. Edwards Deming, a well-respected management guru and quality expert, famously said, “There’s no such thing as common sense. If there were, it would be common.” So, at least from Deming’s perspective, you have the answer to this article’s question. Moreover, you’ve probably seen any number of instances where common sense just doesn’t seem to have been applied, each instance lending credibility to Deming’s opinion. That said, let’s explore this further and perhaps try to begin to understand why he said this and why so often there are instances where common sense is not applied. Maybe it’s just not as common as it should be.
Many companies have started, are in the middle of, or have already finished an operational excellence exercise. Although these companies are in different industries, the strategy for optimizing their technical departments (e.g., maintenance, engineering, utilities, facilities) is about 90 percent the same. So, the approach does not change much in the different industries or in the different departments.