PEME have recently completed a Maintenance Improvement project on a chemical manufacturing Plant which has introduced a justified, optimised, less intrusive and more effective Preventive Maintenance regime.
A fast-track Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) methodology was used and one of the client benefits achieved was the identification and removal of existing maintenance tasks that had been based on the assumption that some items fail frequently and in an age-related manner, justifying replacement (regardless of condition) at a set interval.
Analysis of the asset, its function and its associated failure data demonstrated that the items actually failed in a random manner (and failure was not related to a common age) and that the consequences of failure could be mitigated in such a way that the items could be allowed to run-to-failure.
Furthermore, by replacing at a set interval, regardless of condition, significant economic life was being discarded, unjustified production down-time was being experienced to allow the unwarranted ‘hard-time’ task to take place and the risk of introducing failure, due to the intrusive task, was increased.
The items in question were Wilden diaphragm pumps used to transfer paint and latex. The old hard-time regime of replacing the pumps every 3 months, in 2014 cost £56K in spares alone. Moving to an alternative run-to-failure strategy resulted in an annual spares saving alone of £32k.
This allowed the time scheduled for engineers to routinely conduct the old task to be utilised elsewhere. There is no significant impact on production from the new run-to-failure approach because our on-site team have ensured there is always a spare built-up, ready to replace any randomly failing pumps.
The PEME site Operations Manager, Paul Seammen, (pictured) said “I think that is a brilliant example of cost savings that can be achieved from a Maintenance Improvement project utilising RCM. The savings have been re-deployed to contribute to the cost of overhauling and improving other production Lines in the Plant. It is a good example of what we can do for our clients with the contribution from the PEME Reliability Improvement team and the commitment to cost reduction of our on-site Asset Care team.”