Sensor Data Management and digitalization for increased efficiency and ability to monitor machines. Thereby, improving maintenance practices and accomplishing business objectives.
Our client is one of the largest chemical producers in the world. They produce and supply raw materials for automotive, agricultural, chemical processing, oil and gas, cosmetics and processed food applications. They have a global presence, operate worldwide, and have a significant number of employees.
Challenges in Sensor Data Management:
- No central data base for the sensors of the plant
- Safety standard GMISS not complied with
- Identification of Obsolete sensors
- Few sensors not identifiable
No central database for sensor data
Initially, a lot of time had to be invested when gathering information about the sensors of one unit. Moreover, the plant had three units! This fact considerably reduced the time available for more productive tasks and, as a result, reduced productivity. Therefore, centralizing the data became a crucial aspect of the project.
Non-compliance with GMISS safety standard
The production site must meet the standards in order to operate
Furthermore, the production site must meet the required safety standards, such as GMISS (Global Mechanical Integrity and Safety Standard), in order to operate. We successfully met the standard practice to comply with GMISS regulations for our client. Any fluid with dangerous physical and chemical properties (acidity, toxicity, pressure, temperature, etc.) is considered as a part of GMISS.
Identification of the sensors and proper data recording
Additionally, the presence of obsolete sensors, non-recorded data on these sensors, and the requirement to replace sensors necessitates manual identification and removal of the obsolete sensors and recording of corresponding data to ensure certainty. Obsolete sensors were involved in the installation, leading to malfunctions. They could not be replaced by identical ones due to the lack or incompleteness of precise sensor references.
Meeting the client’s functional requirements
Additionally, correcting the information of sensors to match the P&IDs based on the desired action set by the company is necessary. We also need to encode the information in the SAP so that it can be utilized.
Improving Digitalization with SAP
Furthermore, to improve digitalization, it is necessary to register data in the database (SAP). As a part of the digitalization mission, ensuring the identification and registration of each sensor in the database optimizes the time allocated to searching for specific information about any plant sensors (up to 10 times faster than before).
Our Approach to Sensor Data Management:
1) Centralizing the data
Centralized access to the all the necessary information is crucial for maintenance and reliability best practices.
Furthermore, how our consultant worked on it: Taking the name plate of the sensors, putting it into Excel, and then transferring all the data into SAP while ensuring it was accessible by everyone.
2) Meeting the regulation standard
To meet the required standard, basic knowledge of the GMISS regulation was needed. Furthermore, technical knowledge is needed for the identification of equipment.
3) Manual inspection and data collection
Checking if the sensors were obsolete, and collecting and recording the data appropriately.
We identified the right sensor based on the present information and ensured a replacement. However, since prior to our cooperation there were no formal collections of information, figuring out the right information to use for replacement required electromechanical expertise and experience. Despite the manual approach being time-consuming to some extent, it ensures surety and paves the way for a solid base of data.
4) Analysing, finding and encoding the data
Analysing the P&Ids, subsequently finding the sensors based on the P&Ids to gather all the information and identify the obsolete sensors. Then, encoding the information into SAP through Excel, which had to be manually formulated.
5) Centralization and digitalization- Registering the data in the SAP system
Furthermore, identification of the sensors through the P&Ids and collecting the data, brand, reference, and serial no. is essential to establish a solid database that respects safety standards and enables access to all sensor data, resulting in improved maintenance practices.
Added value of our cooperation
Thanks to Otofacto, a solid database of the sensors of the plant is available to all the workers now. Identification of the location of the sensors will no longer require tedious inspection of P&Id diagrams.
The gains from Our approach towards recreation of the database in this way:
Since all the necessary data is easily and widely available, it enables our client to massively improve implementation time. The previous database has been doubled with about 700 sensors and 350 pictures uploaded to the SAP system. Consequently, sensors can be located up to 10 times faster through the SAP ERP system.
The safety regulation standards, GMISS are now met
Thanks to the extensive knowledge and expertise of our consultant, the site is now entirely operational as the required standard GMISS (Global Mechanical Integrity and Safety Standard) is complied.
Enablement of enhanced maintenance strategy
The digitalization and centralization of all the sensor data will allow the client to be more flexible, adaptable and spontaneous with the maintenance strategy. All the necessary information such as sensor spares parts, model, brand, and reference number etc enables the client to plan thoroughly and in advance. Leading to cost optimization and high productivity. Overall improving:
- High ROI: The dataset will enable the maintenance teams to improve their operations, both in terms of accuracy, as they will have exact information about each sensor, and in terms of speed, because now the SAP system will give the right information with a click of a button. Better maintenance practices will increase uptime, lower downtime, lower costs and increase output! Overall increasing the return on investment.
- More productivity: Thanks to the dataset the maintenance teams will be able to optimize the sensor operations, improve time efficiency, prepare in advance (example spare parts and sensors, if they suspect breakdowns).
Improved business operations within the business and across different teams
The digital overview of all the sensor data facilitates different teams within the organization to plan and strategize better.
Setting the base for future preventive maintenance through Sensor Data Management
Client’s maintenance and management strategies are now more proactive, they can now streamline their preventive maintenance processes:
- reduce downtime: Thanks to the database present, the maintenance team will have accurate info at their disposal, the accurate information will enable the team to repair, attain spare parts, and replace etc more efficiently and accurately.
- extend asset lifecycles: Improved maintenance capabilities will invariably increase the asset lifecycle because better maintenance practices will improve the asset’s state and operations.
- ultimately improve operational efficiency- A direct advantage resulting from better maintenance practice.
The database provides a holistic view of asset health and enables data-driven decision-making to optimize overall effectiveness of maintenance strategies.
- The dataset contains all sensor location, type, state, brand and reference no. etc.
- Knowing the exact state of a sensor will allow the maintenance team to plan the maintenance or replacement of this sensor before failure. The dataset allows the maintenance team to study and predict the sensors, hence, they can choose to replace it exactly the same using the info about the brand, or they can get the closest model using the ref number, all of this before the sensor actually breaks down.
The faster access to all the sensor information brings immediate advantages for the maintenance team, the increased productivity directly translates to accomplishments of business objectives. In the long-run the database will enable preventive maintenance.
Preventive maintenance is a crucial stepping stone to achieve the greater industry 4.0 inspired firm.
Read our other success stories where we took this further and enabled a full fledged predictive maintenance production unit for our client, all in accordance with Pharma 4.0 initiative set by the ISPE.