The PlantQuest team has spent the last 20 years working on Pharma and Oil & Gas megaprojects and have witnessed the inefficiencies and waste occurring at various stages of the project process. It is true that some of these inefficiencies are a function of the scale and complexity of the projects themselves, but quite often the waste can be borne out of outdated systems and work practices. PlantQuest has noticed that one of the biggest sources of lost time is the location of equipment to carry out maintenance, operations and commissioning activities on.
All facilities are composed of assets, working in multiple systems and subsystems. These assets need constant attention by a multitude of workers. Activities are divided by the phases of the lifecycle of the plant i.e. construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance and EHS, and would quite often extend beyond locating a single asset. Complex tasks such as line walks, system walkdowns, mechanical isolations, punch list clearance, all require multiple assets to be located in short periods of time, often by workers with no prior knowledge of the systems in question. In our experience the time wasted in locating assets in these complex tasks grows exponentially with the addition of extra assets.
In our everyday lives we use and rely on applications such as Google Maps, so, at PlantQuest we asked the question, why do we, in our industry, have to rely on complex and non intuitive drawings for navigation? We have received feedback that some sites are using upwards of 300 layout drawings to locate assets in their facility - THIS HAS TO STOP!
Our early hunch has been measured and proven through our extensive research on this issue with Managers, Engineers, Superintendents, Supervisors, and Technicians of various disciplines. It showed that this 'hidden' issue is common across all levels of an organisation and has far reaching implications on issues ranging from maintenance backlogs, responding to alarms and commissioning schedules.
Our market validation with potential customers and users was carried out in 2 phases:
The PlantQuest team reached out to our network and arranged interviews with senior staff in a number of large organisations. The concept was very well received by all parties with one focus group expressing excitement at the prospect of PlantQuest making their life easier.
We produced a survey that was distributed to our combined network and further afield to industry-focused LinkedIn groups, receiving 250 responses. The survey was aimed at gauging the size of the problem and current ways of solving the problem. It targeted 5 levels within an organisation:
Analysing the results of this survey highlights the value of PlantQuest on the global market.
PlantQuest can be deployed as a training and productivity tool to allow for fast training of workers and execution of tasks. It also provides an antidote to the expected lack of experienced staff expected by the end of the decade by locking in existing tacit knowledge, thus allowing incumbent employees to quickly and accurately execute routines and operations activities by bringing workers to the place of work in the time it takes to walk to it.
Like this blog? Please reach out to us here to learn more about how PlantQuest can digitally transform your asset/equipment location issues.
If you enjoyed this blog - you may also like this piece authored by leading Digital Transformation firm Avenga, it provides insights into the needs of Pharma to accelerate transforming digitally. Here's an excerpt:
"Pharma manufacturing units are running at a greater capacity than ever before, facing a 24/7 operation throughput. At this critical moment, manufacturers don't have the time for emergency equipment maintenance, and we're not talking about scheduled services. With a downtime costing a unit up to $20,000 a minute, a manufacturer can not afford a disruption in the production processes."
Let's break that down - $20K per minute downtime...👉$1.2M per hour. Staggering!
Read the full article > here