Efficient Plant May 2020 - 9

feature | aging assets
OPERATORS FREQUENTLY indicate that
the amount of equipment involved in a process,
the complexity of the equipment, and asset age
all have a significant impact on reliability and
maintenance spending. While these assumptions appear correct, a deeper analysis reveals
that none of these factors have a direct negative
impact on asset performance.
Through its International Study of Plant
Reliability and Maintenance (RAM) Effectiveness-a detailed comparative benchmarking
study that focuses on the reliability and maintenance costs required to maintain a specific
group of Process Family assets-we analyzed
the strategy that drives reliability and maintenance spending and the resulting production
loss. This production loss is monetized, and a
value assigned to it.
The study is an ongoing effort that involves
8,000 process units in a database maintained
by HSB Solomon Associates LLC, Dallas
(solomononline.com). In the study, Process
Family assets means that assets are evaluated
against each other by like chemistries. When
possible, assets that make similar end products
are comparatively analyzed. In other cases, like
chemistries with like assets are comparatively
analyzed.
By evaluating which organizations can
provide the mechanical availability required
by their customers at an optimum cost, we
calculate which organizations have the lowest

RAM Effectiveness Index (EI). The 25% of
assets in this lower range of RAM EI are owned
by Top-Quartile (Q1) performers. The RAM
Effectiveness Index is the sum of the monetized
loss of production due to asset-driven downtime as a percentage of PRV (plant replacement value) and the total cost of routine and
annualized turnaround spending, including
end-of-life and replacement capital.
From this comparative analysis, we also
know that the RAM EI is strongly driven by the
type of culture that exists in the organization.
We know this because we not only evaluated
downtime and costs but also the organization's
maintenance strategy, i.e., the work processes,
practices, and behaviors that are performed on
a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to maintain
reliable asset performance.

AGING NOT A DISADVANTAGE
Of the hundreds of metrics and comparisons
that are addressed in the RAM Study, some
metrics, such as equipment age, do not have
as much impact as is commonly thought. If
average performance for Q1 performers is
analyzed, they indeed have less equipment, less
complexity, and newer equipment. Unfortunately, if you stop the evaluation there, you will
draw erroneous conclusions.
Since the correlation in Fig. 1 is linear, it
implies that aging assets are disadvantaged.
While the spread between Q1 and Q4 perfor-

Fig. 1: Average Ages of Assets Based on RAM EI

Age (years)

40

While aging assets appear
to be a disadvantage, a
closer examination dispels
that assumption.

30
20
10
0

Q1

Q2

Quartile

Q3

Q4

Source: Solomon Associates
International Study of Plant
Reliability and Maintenance
(RAM) Effectiveness

Culture and maintenance practices determine long-term performance and maintenance costs, not asset age.

MAY 2020

EP2005fsolomon.indd 9

EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM |

9

5/1/20 10:51 AM


http://www.solomononline.com http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant May 2020

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Efficient Plant May 2020 - loc
Efficient Plant May 2020 - Cover1
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Efficient Plant May 2020 - IFC
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