Maintenance Technology April 2017 - 41

AUTOMATION
RELIABILITY

Developing a profitable reliability strategy might seem
daunting, but some fairly simple steps can help move
industrial operations in the right direction. Martin outlines
them here:

Maximizing operational profitability requires maintenance and
operations to approach reliability, efficiency, and profitability from a
common strategic plane.

Develop a
'Profitable'
Reliability
Strategy
AUTOMATION SYSTEMS have primarily been focused
on using real-time control to improve the efficiency of
industrial operations. But, as process- and logic-control
technology and techniques have advanced over the years,
control strategies have improved significantly. As a result,
plant assets are being pushed harder than ever before-
something that's had an understandably negative impact on
their performance and reliability.
The effect of all of this, said Peter G. Martin, Ph.D., of
Schneider Electric, Foxboro, MA (Schneider-electric.com),
is that companies are now paying much more attention to
and driving advancements in plant maintenance. Over the
past two decades, traditional responsive maintenance has
evolved to include preventive, predictive, and prescriptive
strategies. According to Martin, while the results have been
promising, some in the industry are beginning to realize
that improving business performance requires maintenance
and operations strategies that collaborate much more than
they now do.
"If the ultimate objective is for both maintenance and
operations to maximize operational profitability," Martin
wrote, "approaching reliability, efficiency, and profitability
from a common strategic plane is essential. This collaborative approach is referred to as profitable reliability."

■ Identify the critical equipment assets that represent the
largest opportunity for performance improvement. Those
units will frequently be found among your rotating equipment, since mechanical movement tends to wear them out
over time.
■ Determine what process and condition measurements are
required to perform a complete asset-performance analysis.
At the base equipment level, this can be a relatively simple
exercise. The goal is to measure the maintained state of the
equipment (how it is operating compared with its optimal
operating condition) and the probability of failure over a
specified time.
■ Install the appropriate measurement on the asset. Typical
process measurements, along with condition measurements,
provide substantial reliability information. For example, the
amount of process output based on a given energy input
might decline as the asset nears failure.
■ Use the process and condition measurements to calculate the
asset's maintained state and its probability of failure.
■ Use the process and condition measurements,
in conjunction with business data, to determine how much
the asset contributes to real-time operational profitability.
The goal is to maximize that profitability over a given time.
■ Determine how much operational (control) freedom
each asset has. For example, is the only operating action to
turn the asset on and off or is it possible to operate the asset
at a less-than-maximum level?
■ Develop an asset-control scheme that includes integrated
reliability and process-control strategies that maximize
operational profitability. These strategies might include
reducing the output of the asset to extend its time to failure
so you can finish a run or a contract.
■ Move the reliability measurement and control up to the
next-level asset set (for example, the process unit) and
perform the same control-strategy analysis. This analysis
should be simpler to perform once the base equipment level
assets are under control.
■ Continue this process all the way up the asset hierarchy,
until you have real-time control strategies in place for all
your critical assets and asset sets. This would include process
areas, plants, and even enterprises. MT

-Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

Peter G. Martin, Ph.D., is vice president, Marketing and Innovation, for Schneider Electric's Process Automation business.
For more information, visit Schneider-electric.com/processautomation.
APRIL 2017

MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 41


http://www.Schneider-electric.com http://www.Schneider-electric.com/processautomation http://www.MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM

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