How Monitoring Asset Health in Chemical Companies Improves Production

Asset management is a big challenge in the chemicals industry. Companies own many large complex systems and they need to be heavily monitored: Assets normally run all day and all night, every day of the year; each has its own specific parameters, like temperature, humidity, and pressure, that need to be kept within a certain range. If these parameters are not kept at a constant rate the results could be dangerous.

How can we expect a chemicals company to be able to manage it all? How can chemical companies keep employees safe from flammable chemicals or explosive chemicals?

Sensors are already on assets but everyone working on the plant needs to access the sensor data. Even connecting a sensor to a computer is not sufficient. Sensors alone don’t tell you when the asset needs to be maintained or replaced. Physical asset checks are inefficient and waste valuable manpower and time. If companies could figure out how to automate this process, it would be much more cost-effective and safe.

How SAP Leonardo for Chemicals Can Help

SAP has released an industry innovation kit, SAP Leonardo for Chemicals, services and assets option, which can help by improving overall equipment effectiveness. Translation: It will boost asset availability and performance. It can also reduce maintenance effort and cost, as well as minimize unplanned downtime for production assets.

The kit can help chemical companies with asset management. Utilizing SAP Cloud Platform, the kit can analyze the health of each asset and provide insight on its parameters, such as temperature, humidity, and pressure. Once the information is sent to the cloud, the kit then provides a timeline for each asset. This timeline includes a suggestive schedule of when an asset may need maintenance before it fails.

Managers can easily access the timeline via the cloud and once accessed,  managers can schedule maintenance appointments when needed. As a result, there can be less time spent on running physical checks on assets every day. This will help optimize run time because they can continue to run most of their assets while a small portion is getting fixed. Thus, asset availability improves and more chemicals can be produced. Maintenance costs can also be reduced due to reduced downtime of assets.

To further explain the usefulness of this kit, industry solution manager John Harrison, explains: “You get a maintenance notification, which can be used with current maintenance and production schedules. You then can decide when and if you can maintain that piece of equipment.” Managers can improve asset availability by simply adding the assets to their current maintenance schedule. That is just one example of the planning capability that this kit gives managers. Harrison continued to explain the kit’s versatility as it can also help reduce the risk of serious accidents, such as fires or explosions, by monitoring asset health and other environmental parameters and flagging problems before they occur.

The chemicals industry is tasked with the challenge of managing large complex assets and SAP Leonardo for Chemicals, services and assets option, can help in that process. It can give managers insight into the health of the assets so that they can predict when the asset needs maintenance. Using this method, companies can reduce their maintenance costs, they can reduce unplanned downtime, and improve asset performance and availability. And chemical companies can reduce the risks of major accidents so that they can safely improve their chemical yield.

Learn more in this video: SAP Leonardo for Chemicals, service and assets option.