Leading operators deliver levels of integrity and availability that are 2-8 % higher than their competition, at 20-35% lower cost, which contributes significantly to higher returns on capital employed for their organizations.
Achieving these returns in today’s business environment is only possible with plants that are available in a reliable and predictable manner. Making sure the plant is ready to go when required is vital for capturing market opportunities and maximizing profitability, particularly in high volume / low margin hydrocarbon processing businesses. This puts an enormous burden on reliability and maintenance teams to keep the plant running, while at the same time reducing costs and remaining safe.
However, plant reliability is an organization-wide endeavor and the outcome of many factors. Every day, throughout the business, people’s decisions and actions directly and indirectly affect asset reliability and running costs. Such factors may be in the form of a major shutdown but more often are the accumulation of multiple less obvious factors which occur outside of the control of the plant reliability organization. Every part of the business makes daily decisions that impact reliability to a greater or lesser degree. However, they often lack the awareness, or don’t have the information necessary to know or predict the plant reliability implications of the decisions they are making.
Where do people make decisions that most impact plant reliability? A few examples are:
- Poor operating practices
- Work prioritization and scheduling
- Production planning selecting crudes
- Process engineers making optimization decisions
- Shift supervisors deciding utility balances
- Field operations making rounds and caring for equipment
Any plant reliability organization that really wants to make a revolutionary change in how they impact the profitability of their business needs to stop telling people how to make their asset reliable, and instead focus on providing information and understanding directly to the decision makers in a way that drives the business as a whole to make improvements in reliability.