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Costly Disconnects in the Chemical Plant Preventative Maintenance Process

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Costly Disconnects in the Chemical Plant Preventative Maintenance Process

It’s estimated that two-thirds to three-quarters of an industrial crafts person’s time is wasted on non-productive effort. Only 25-35 percent is devoted to actual wrench time. That means in an eight-hour day a crafts person is doing less than two hours and 45 minutes of the work expected, slowing the preventative maintenance process.

How’s the rest of the time spent? It’s wasted on preparing and transitioning, traveling from one assignment to another, or waiting for instructions, materials and equipment. This disconnect in the maintenance process often proves costly to industrial plants, the chemical industry is no exception to this.

Chemical plants are, by their very nature, dangerous places. Hazards abound around every corner. It’s no surprise that chemical plant managers and operators place a high priority on safety. Their jobs not only depend upon it but in the event of an emergency, so may their health and lives.

Prudent chemical plants conduct daily safety and operational inspections but many plants still rely on a traditional, paper-based process. Paper forms and checklists don’t provide the real-time, accurate information decision-makers need to take quick remedial action when safety or equipment maintenance problems are discovered. 

Instead, chemical plant maintenance and safety managers must wait for the paper forms and checklists to work their way through the system and be manually inputted into the back-office system of record. That delay represents the valuable time for action lost. It also increases safety risks and the possibility of costly production downtime.

Information Silos: The Biggest Reason For Disconnect

A paper-based, reactive plant maintenance program hurts visibility into the entire process. Supervisors are stuck in information silos. They have no way of knowing the status of work being performed or its outcome until paper reports are turned in or manually uploaded into the back-office system. 

Using paper forms leads to higher administrative costs. After all, someone has to enter all the information on those forms into the plant’s back-office system of record so that it can be shared electronically with decision makers – the so-called “last-mile” of the data collection process. But that last-mile procedure takes time, and time is, after all, money.

For instance, paperwork orders make the chemical maintenance process harder rather than easier. They:

  • Slow down actual work

  • Keep decision makers in the dark once issued

  • Add more non-value-added tasks

These problems become abundantly clear during an emergency. That’s when time, speed and clear communications are essential. This makes it hard to plan and schedule maintenance activities, effectively allocate labor and material, and prioritize work. It also increases work order backlogs, putting maintenance staff even further behind and perpetually playing catch up, increasing the risks of equipment failure and unplanned downtime.

How Can Digitization Help Preventative Maintenance?

Mobile technology provides a new way to conduct chemical plant operator rounds and manage maintenance work orders. Instead of clumsy clipboards and heavy binders that frontline workers have to carry everywhere, they can perform duties digitally on smartphones, tablets and wearables. A mobile work order management solution empowers the maintenance team to discover new operational, maintenance and safety benefits from these new digital tools.

It increases communication between field technicians and supervisors. Managers can create and issue digital work orders and then follow their progress in real-time. Supervisors instantly receive work order updates and can send push notifications to their employees’ mobile devices to notify them immediately of tasks or other information.costly-disconnects-in-the-chemical-plant-preventative-maintenance-process-graphics-2

Ready To Build a Truly Connected Preventative Maintenance System?

Innovapptive’s mWorkOrder delivers real-time visibility into the plant maintenance process. It supports preventive and predictive maintenance strategies that let maintenance teams move away from the inefficient and reactive “run-to-fail” approach. 

Schedule a free demo of our world-class mWorkOrder, then call 888-464-6668 to speak to our industry experts. They’ll be happy to answer your questions, help you connect the disparate maintenance processes to identify opportunities for efficiencies and savings, and explain how mobile plant maintenance can benefit you.

Connect Your Frontline Workforce,Back Office and Assets Together

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