Monitoring the health and performance of your critical assets is important for the profitability of an industrial operation. Top-quartile performers are able to display better asset availability and lower operating costs by implementing remote condition monitoring.
Expertise, technology and business processes integration remain important elements to the success of a good condition monitoring program. It is often not necessary to deploy a completely new architecture, but rather to build on the tools already in place and opt for a holistic solution. Choosing the right partner remains a winning strategy.
1 - The advantages of industrial equipment condition monitoring
We can see from recent events that monitoring the health and performance of critical assets remains an essential element for increased reliability and efficient production. Several studies conducted by Solomon & Associates LLC have shown that the industry’s top reliability performers have a competitive advantage, with equipment availability up to 14% higher than the last quartile, and 4% higher than the average plant. In addition, maintenance expenditures are 50% higher than average. It is also important to note that first quartile performers have 67% fewer OHS incidents than average performers.
According to the same studies, it was observed that the top performers (first quartile) effectively deploy predictive technologies (vibration analysis, thermography, oil analysis, ultrasound, non-destructive testing) to track the health of their assets, compared to the other three quartiles. As a result of this effort, there is a decrease in equipment failure, an increase in availability and a decrease in emergency repairs.
Is your plant in the first, second, third or fourth performance quartile?
1.1 - Manpower and expertise
As mentioned, equipment condition monitoring provides a competitive advantage. One of the important elements is to have the manpower and expertise to use this advantage as a business lever.
Most of the managers I meet agree. It is not easy to attract, recruit, train and retain staff. The market is competitive and constantly changing. On the other hand, some firms such as Laurentide Controls offer the services of conditional maintenance specialists and can offer interesting advantages for the plants.
For example, if a plant is starting its reliability journey, a specialist could help to draw up the predictive program, while training local personnel and bringing quick gains.
This process also helps with the change in plant culture. In addition, if a temporary or permanent replacement of personnel is required, this can be deployed quickly.
2 - Challenges of the traditional approach
We see many challenges with the traditional approach to equipment health monitoring. There are many tools, specialists and information that do not converge. In addition, the traditional approach requires a good deal of manual information gathering in the field.
It is therefore essential to focus efforts towards a holistic approach that collects data to provide analytical expertise and interpersonal collaboration. Fortunately, advances in technology are helping us in this process.
3 - Let’s embrace technology to make our lives easier
With the help of its experts and partners, Laurentide Controls offers on-site and remote health monitoring of assets. Using sensors, we can link information wirelessly or wired to a local or cloud computing platform to perform analysis and modelling for the health and performance of assets.
4 - Information at your fingertips
Since asset health information can be routed locally or externally, we have developed an interface that allows quick access to asset status. The dashboard is intended to illustrate the priorities and anomalies to be addressed.
The analyses also make it possible to identify recommendations to solve the problem. It is then possible to integrate in one place all types of assets (mechanical, rotating, valves, instruments and static, such as heat exchangers).
5 - Use existing infrastructure
Fortunately, many plants already have tools in place to gather some information. It is possible to use and build on the existing infrastructure to find the missing elements.
This reduces the investment required and complements the effort already made. In addition, our platforms communicate with certain CMMS and ERP systems to facilitate the management of notifications and work requests.
6 - The Laurentide Advantage
Change the status quo and be tenacious in order to reach first quartile performance. We can improve your current situation and ease the transition. Our team of certified technicians, technologists and engineers can help you assess the current status, develop an action plan and implement the means to take your reliability to the next level.
Laurentide has over 30 years of experience in the field of reliability. In addition, our comprehensive portfolio of monitoring and information integration technologies is a powerful way to optimize your performance.
Mattieu Berlinguette has more than 14 years of maintenance and reliability expertise with Laurentide Controls as a senior consultant and director of business development. He works in the fields of pulp and paper, mining and metals and in the energy sector. He holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Quebec and is also a professional technologist in mechanical engineering. Mattieu specializes in integrating predictive technologies to help his customers optimize their maintenance practices, maximize asset availability and optimize production processes.
About Laurentide Controls
Operating since 1968, Laurentide Controls has been helping industry thrive for over 50 years. We are the largest supplier of automation, and reliability solutions to industries in Eastern Canada.
As an entirely employee owned company, every member of our team is driven by the shared goal of empowering people and advancing industry.
As an Emerson Impact Partner, Laurentide Controls connects customers with world-class solutions, superior local and global technical expertise, and life-cycle services for all of our clients’ automation assets and needs. These capabilities enable us to partner with customers in their journey to be Top Quartile in their industry. www.laurentide.com
For more information, please contact Mattieu Berlinguette, T.P., MBA
Industrial Reliability Solutions, Laurentide Controls, Kirkland, Qc, Canada