Improving machinery reliability
Most of today’s process plants proudly display a Company Vision statement. Sadly, relatively few pursue the kinds of action needed to reach their often lofty visions. Conversely, it should be clear to us that a
serious company will take steps today to identify and implement the science and technology “investments” necessary for modern petrochemical plants to remain competitive into the next decade and beyond.
Based on my observation or perception of trends among the trendsetters and the forward thinking of the “Best-of-Class” companies, I would like to alert the reader to a few of the work processes, organizational realities, lineups or interfaces, as well as hardware and software systems
that have been implemented by the most profitable process plants in my career, dating from the 1960s to the present. I will summarize by giving a few important explanations. First, none of the items I highlighted in this third edition were concocted for the sake of compiling a wish list of far-fetched goals. Every one of the various observations and recommendations either reflects current practice or
has been implemented by one or more plants in the United States or overseas.
Second, no single plant presently applies or implements all the reco mmendations or practices given here. It is nevertheless of real importance to acknowledge that some companies come surprisingly close to practicing these reliability concepts or will soon implement them. The future belongs to them.
Third, it may not be realistic to expect every company to have the same priorities for implementing what is perceived to be the ideal path toward high reliability and profitability. However, it would be equally
unrealistic to assume that a company can pick and choose from a smorgasbord of easy items and forget about the politically difficult ones. Measuring up to tough competition will require an uncompromising and single-minded desire to pursue excellence. Paying lip service to reliability and profitability concepts without implementing the difficult and sometimes unpopular steps necessary to get there is a costly exercise in futility and is doomed to failure.