Digital reliability delivers smart solutions
There is a growing realisation in the pumps industry that technology, in itself, is not the object, but rather the means to unlocking reliability.
Technology for technology sake has no purpose. When it comes to the reliability of equipment having a clear picture of each machine’s health in real-time is what makes the difference. Imagine eliminating all accidents, even fires, from any operation. In fact, imagine eliminating all downtime due to machinery breakdowns. That level of reliability would immediately raise overall profitability. According to Andrey Kostyukov, CEO and president of Dynamics Scientific Production Center (DSPR), this is exactly what digital reliability introduces into operations. “With the right system, process facility teams get realtime feedback on the health of machinery as well as specific prescriptions for maintenance and repair before catastrophic issues occur. Sensors detect and identify root causes of malfunctions several minutes, hours or even days before equipment failure.” What does it mean? “You can virtually eliminate all accidents and fires and know the real-time health of all the equipment in your facility. This in turn empowers you to schedule maintenance and repairs in the most costeffective manner possible.” David Reed, director plant maintenance at Eastman Chemical in the US, says this would address some of the real challenges that exist in pump operations. “There is a lot of good condition based modelling available; a lot of data, but where we have to close the loop is our
Pipes, Pumps and Valves Africa - May/Jun 2020
measurement systems and how we use that data.” He says more often than not the analysis of data is just not robust enough. “We have tons and tons of data, but what we do with that is not much.” Amy Odom, an asset manager at chemical company BASF in North America, agrees saying more often than not in the operational environment the collection of data does not transfer into any meaningful changes. “We are not checking all the boxes to use data as optimally as we should be doing. We have still some way to go in the journey when it comes to machine learning and incorporating AI.” Use it or lose it Kostyukov says many companies have realised the importance of data collection and have taken real steps in this regard. Most understand that achieving efficiency improvements throughout an asset lifecycles whilst reducing unscheduled downtime has advantage. “Data just for data sake has no point. Garbage in and garbage out,” he says. “One can gather a lot of data, but it has no point. For example, if the data you are collecting is not relating to any particular failure or malfunction on any piece of equipment, why do you need it? The same goes for data that assists you to identify failure on a machine at the final stage of degradation. Again, no point as it is too late to use this information efficiently and react to the failure.”
Pipes, Pumps and Valves Africa May/Jun 2020