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For A Fit And Healthy Plant

Focus Key

on

your

assets

and

the

people

who

handle

them

Learning

Recognise the need to focus on mindsets in robust maintenance systems The best in class companies focus on all aspects of their facilities to get the best

Mankind will never forget the Fukushima Daiichi reactor tragedy of March 2011. The tragic consequences of this disaster appear to be multiplying indefinitely by the day. The world, and Japan at large, is grappling to deal with the environment safety threats of this natural calamityspurred disaster. Manufacturing experts have been studying this disaster closely for possibilities of finding small, yet significant contributors, from the plant itself. One of the details that emerged was the fact that first an earthquake knocked out the plant s electric power, halting the vital cooling of its six reactors. Just then, the killer tsunami came in and washed out the plant s back-up generators, shutting down all possible means of cooling; thereby starting the chain of events that caused the world s first triple nuclear meltdown. Further investigation by plant safety experts reveal that the plant meltdown might have been caused by the earthquake itself. Though alert plant operators reached the plant before the earthquake-induced tsunami did, it was too late to inspect pumps and pipes thoroughly and undertake emergency repairs. The operators could not also rectify discrepancies between blueprints and the actual piping. Though this could be one of the smallest roots of the disaster, it is definitely one big lesson for plant maintenance personnel. Despite understanding the value of good equipment care and efficient plant maintenance practices (be it preventive, predictive or reliability-centred), manufacturing establishments relearn the same every time such horrible accidents occur. Although the Fukushima meltdown is a shocking tragedy, it is indeed a loud wake-up call for manufacturers reminding them about the importance of robust plant maintenance practices. However, as assets, processes and products get complex, so do their maintenance needs. Today, as machines and production processes are extremely advanced, there is definitely no one-size-fits-all approach to getting it right with maintenance and repair. Sometimes, best-in- class manufacturers (in terms of market leadership or success rate) are unwilling to disclose their maintenance practices. Moreover, best practices followed in a certain successful plant may not necessarily be the best when adopted by others. A recent survey of manufacturing plants by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) revealed that labour, repair and maintenance, parts and tools, and the utilities to run the plants consumed nearly 15% percent of a manufacturer s costs. Given that plant maintenance represents a considerable chunk of the operating costs, businesses need to be prudent enough to take an analytical approach to measuring and controlling the costs. In this context, experts highlight some vital maintenance management fields, as identified by world leader DuPont Inc. This company s plant maintenance is hinged on three key bases:

1. The technical base:

o o o o o o

Maintenance products Includes specification of the different types of services and products from the maintenance function Quality of the maintenance products Involves quality reports, certification documents, decision about maintenance standards and so on Working principles Includes specification of working methods, time standards, relation between different maintenance jobs and the like Handling resources Comprises equipment for maintenance, information about new equipment, capacity of equipment and usage. Maintenance materials Includes inventory planning (spare parts etc.), warehousing, relation to vendors and so on Managing activities Comprises scheduling of maintenance jobs, progress in work and manpower planning, among others

2. The human base: o Internal relations Includes cross-functional activities and coordination with production o External relations Handling relations with external parties, such as environment and safety, regulatory authorities, press, labour organisations, customers, vendors and community o Creating a robust maintenance team Includes selection of people and relationship between groups of skills, responsibility and authority. 3. The economic base: o Structuring maintenance In terms of activity breakdown, responsibility for work packages, relation with accounting system, specification base (drawings, documentation) o Maintenance economy Economic control of maintenance in terms of cost estimates, budgets, cash flow and accounting for maintenance

Until very recently, most maintenance and plant operation activities were taught and learnt on-the-job . While only the very basic engineering knowledge and work skills are taught at technical schools, very little is taught to operators who, ironically, are the lifeline of a plant. Maintenance personnel gather their knowledge and learning by observing and mimicking others. They simultaneously learn and unlearn old habits and good practices. This explains why many of them fail to recognise bad practices from good. Years of service renders them experienced . But in truth, their skills and knowledge reflect the quality of past training they received. If people are to help build plants into world class, the front-end personnel need to have the capacity to contribute to the business growth. The Many Systems

Several maintenance systems have been used, namely, Corrective Maintenance, Routine Planning and Scheduling, Shutdown Planning and Scheduling, Predictive and Supplemental Maintenance, and Predictive Maintenance. Likewise, RCM, TPM and CMMS have gained good popularity. CMMS Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) or Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Systems are designed to manage maintenance transactions as a whole from planning, scheduling, executing and data capturing to storage. Precision Maintenance Where the focus is on design and material use in equipment or

products. The aim is to seek feedback from maintenance for building products, processes or equipment, so that they are under the least stress during operation. By minimising stress and tear in equipment parts, the payoff could be more than a tenfold extension in lifespan. For this, precision must be embedded in people s mindset. It requires discipline to follow well-researched and clearly written instructions carefully. Precision necessitates the use of proof testing and evaluation of evidence to confirm normal working of equipment/parts. It involves upskilling people to become masters of their work and their equipment. It also requires putting in place the information and quality systems that support such high levels of expertise and professionalism. All these demand good leadership, commitment and management commitment. RCM 2

Reliability-Centred Maintenance Mindset (RCM2) is a relatively new system, whose basic premise is to focus attention on the maintenance developer. While basic RCM is focused on Preventive Maintenance (PM) developed for hardware, RCM2 is the methodology applied to the selection and training of the potential maintenance developers. RCM2 incorporates an important aspect that went largely unnoticed in basic RCM the ability and mindset of the actual person performing the analysis; the maintenance developer. Be it maintenance for a facility or products, the principles of RCM apply equally to both. The management team needs to focus on making sure that the personnel chosen for the task are suited to the task. For this, the RCM team has to undergo training that enables them to:

Reduce maintenance costs without increasing risk Extract more performance from the existing plant Create maintenance strategies that work Create meaningful maintenance budgets and Improve safety and environmental integrity

Learn

From

the

Leader

Experts say that DuPont has developed an Internal Maintenance Assessment (IMA) process. It is a systematic method of identifying and minimising the maintenance costs associated with all its facilities, more so in terms of aging ones. The physical conditions of assets are reviewed relative to the assets ability to continue performing reliably in its current state against the cost to restore the asset to the desired level of reliability. Recommendations to repair, refurbish or replace the asset are developed. The process includes the following steps:

Review Maintenance Practices Procedures, Strategies, Organisation, Costs Identify Deficiencies/Improvement Opportunities Asset Condition, Renewal Strategy, Organisation Categorise Extent of Non-Conformance Minor, Moderate, Critical Assess Operational Impact Reliability, Safety, Costs Define Corrective Action and Assign Priority Repair/Replace, Administrative, Organisational for the Short, Intermediate and Long Term Repeat the Process Review frequency is typically 3 5 years

All these steps give a picture of best practices . But the outcomes do not necessarily lie with the best practice itself. Rather, the best practice is simply the act of raising an alarm for an

area

of

potential

improvement

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needs

more

investigation.

The best-in-class plants say that it is the context around the best practice that is key; not the best practice itself. So, get set and start flagging off areas that have been long neglected! It definitely pays to be fit and work smooth!!
Innovations Across The Board!

It is not just the product or process, but also people and business models that can be the focus of innovation!

Recognise how people and processes are key to reducing innovation cycle time Understand that the secret to successful innovations in the chemical industry lies in choosing the right market opportunity and asking questions

Many of us have read about the The Fountain of Youth , a legendary spring that is believed to restore the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. From a manufacturing viewpoint, in this era of economic tumult characterised by volatility and uncertainty, many leaders consider innovation as their mythical Fountain of Youth . If only they could steer their companies to its fabulous waters, and step out revitalised! In pure business terms, innovation is likened by many manufacturers to the magic potion for value creation. Innovation is simply the development of new products or processes and the knowledge that supports them. There are many forms of innovation in the business world, ranging from new business models to technological innovations. Innovations in the field of chemistry and the chemical (process) industry have diverse applications. Little wonder then that in the year 2012, chemical companies of the US invested USD 57 billion in research and development to support new innovation. Interestingly, nearly 20 percent of the U.S. patents are chemistry or chemistryrelated, such as life-saving medical treatments, automobile safety improvements and clean energy technologies. The Classic Case!

Here, we look at the innovation graph of Dow Corning, which experts say is one of the more overlooked success stories of the global chemical industry. Privately held by Dow Chemical and Corning, Dow Corning is a leading producer of silicones and also polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon), a raw material for computer chips and solar cells. Ten years ago, the company s innovation approach was mostly the traditional, inside-out materials-innovation approach. Realising that this approach was not working well, the company began to re-evaluate its approach to innovation. Re-evaluation of its business model showed that the company had to work differently with different customers. It could not treat the more pricesensitive and innovation-insensitive customers just as its specialty-product customers. Dow Corning then took a bold gamble in 2002 by launching Xiameter, a new business model, which was simply an online-managed, low-cost, no-frills sales channel for its commodity silicones. It offered competitive pricing to customers willing to buy in bulk, without research or technical support. Meanwhile, the conventional Dow Corning brand offered customers specialty silicones backed up by technical support and R&D. This gamble of creating a business model that effectively divided the company s products into two brands soon proved to be a big success. Its sales rose

62 percent in the next four years, reaching USD 5.45 billion in 2008, a compound annual growth rate of 13 percent. Its net income increased more than two-and-a-half times! The Xiameter business model was about efficiency and quality of supply to customers at a price point that allowed them to be competitive. Since these customers did not require much product innovation, Dow Corning decided not to put much research money there, except toward process improvements. The Cultural Flexibility!

Here, Dow Corning took proactive steps to obtain employee buy in. The challenge was to create growth in each unit, and both brands required different mandates and deliverables. The company clearly communicated to employees that both brands were equally important for growth and it was just as important to work for Xiameter as for the Dow Corning brand. Though it took some time to get the teams comfortable with this, employees began to observe success and worked with great commitment. Dow attributes the advantage it had culturally its employees were extremely creative and willing to try new things, and did not resist change. This was because top management was emphasising the importance of embracing change to succeed. Creating the Xiameter business mode also created changes in roles and responsibilities. The salespeople in the Dow Corning specialty-chemical business had to do new-business development and work with customers on new areas of growth. For them, it was no longer about selling existing products to existing customers over the years. These people found a complete and dynamic change in their mandate. In 2009, the company again re-evaluated itself and added more products into Xiameter. It also continued to fine-tune its two business models and add more clarity. For instance, for any product X, the company began to challenge the business every year: should X be a Dow Corning branded product or should it be managed by Xiameter? Concurrently, its extensive focus on product innovations brought in new specialty products to expand its Dow Corning portfolio. These more than offset the products that were shifted to Xiameter. According to CEO Burns, the biggest driver for the company s success is customer intimacy, which guides it to the levers of innovation it should employ in terms of how much new product and new technology, how many new solutions, and how much business-model innovation. The innovation team also focuses on regional differences: mature products in one region often prove to be innovative products in another. Likewise, there were many instances, where the company had to rework packaging or delivery methods, to successfully deploy a product line in a certain region. Dow Corning has a blend of new-product versus business-model innovation, which it says is crucial to success in today s markets. According to the CEO, the Xiameter brand opened the door for the company to think differently. It also created the realisation that new business models are just as critical for new-product development as they are in the more mature parts of the business. Dissecting Megatrends!

The company is driving its new-product innovation approach on areas that are driven by large societal trends and needs in the world. Termed megatrends, Dow Corning says these trends would drive discontinuities in the marketplace. The company says that it is critical to work on these discontinuities, as the market opportunity is big. A company following megatrends does

not have to fight tooth and nail using price and other levers for a piece of a limited-size market. Instead it has to grow in a market that is expanding rapidly. Dow Corning has thus identified health care and personal care, renewable energy, construction, and electronics as key areas to work on. The company is also focusing on the merger of electronics with other areas, such as photonics and biotechnology, and how megatrends, like aging population, energy scarcity, urbanisation and others, interact with these. CEO Burns says that over the past four years, Dow Corning has worked to identify megatrends and apply filters that narrow them down to what really could be the opportunity, and identify how best the company s technology and competencies match them. In order to develop a raw idea into a tangible outcome, Dow Corning has teams that work very intensively for a highly compressed period of time of about 10 to 12 weeks. During this time, employees spend considerable time on numerous interviews outside the company. The teams have weekly meetings to discuss if the trend can become a large opportunity, and get marketplace acceptance within a certain time frame. The teams assess the applicability of its scientific tool kit against the opportunity and create early proposals. Pressure Testing Ideas!

Dow Corning s multi-functional teams (comprising silicone chemists, physicists, materials scientists and even industrial designers) then pressure-test the proposals from the points of view of technology, market, supply chain, and also whether they will still be good opportunities if some other external factors change. Though a challenging task, the teams capture and document every detail as the data could prove relevant for some of Dow s other existing businesses. Moreover, the process helps the company to identify markets that are gradually changing and fine tune itself accordingly. Dow Corning s CEO says that in addition to identifying opportunities, this process completely energises the entire company. Moreover, a broader team comes into picture and the company generates a robust portfolio of initiatives as the process cycle proceeds. CEO Burns emphasises that innovation is one of the very top priorities for the company. It is Dow Corning s future, the way the company is going to grow, she says. Gone are the times when companies could just make a new product and customers would beat a path to their doorsteps. Conventionally, the chemical industry rode on technical innovation as the key to growth and differentiation. However, in recent years, the scope of innovation is driven largely by customer knowledge, application skills and sustainability, and not merely technical innovations. Other emerging trends include green chemistry or the design of chemicals and processes to reduce environmental and health hazards, particularly through the molecular design of chemicals. Whatever be the focus area, to be successful in the marketplace and establish a sustainable competitive advantage, companies need a combination of innovation approaches. So, get set and put your thinking caps on!
5 Technology Trends to watch out for

Manufacturers across the globe are attempting to leverage disruptive innovations as they face the heat of competition. Identified below are five technology and engineering trends in manufacturing that are out to metamorphose traditional production processes and the way we perceive them.

Smart

Manufacturing

Conventional manufacturing facilities that chug out standardised products and require human intervention for assembling may soon become a thing of the past. The new-age factories will combine synergies of old manufacturing processes and digital manufacturing. The use of smart, automated systems on the shop floor has enabled quicker turn-around time, increased efficiency and also reduced human intervention which in turn lowers the scope for errors. Let s take a look at one case of smart automation coming in to play. The facility of a brick manufacturer in Karnataka, India, uses advanced robotics which can handle 450 kg of weight, including the gripper. Apart from automatically adjusting the Pick & Place position according to the product size and specifications, the robot can also regulate and correct itself, ensure precision and safety. As manufacturing facilities redefine the way they function, incorporating technically advanced activities, the amount of data generated would also take a leap. Factories which are striving to be smarter and leaner are increasingly making use of smart sensors which monitor the entire production process from start to end, flagging off any concerns to managers and also helping them realise ways to optimise efficiency. For instance, use of sensors to monitor humidity inside a spray booth. The sensor would help in cases where the manager can be instantly informed through an alert that the humidity level inside the booth is not suitable for the paint.

Manufacturing

Operations

Management

(MOM)

Large-scale manufacturing operations are witnessing the need to make processes increasingly efficient. The practice of managing production within a single factory or plant is making way for the Manufacturing Operations Management approach, which integrates all the activities of the supply chain into one holistic system. MOM is a growing trend which encompasses several types of software catering to functions such as quality, production management, resource optimisation and compliance among others. Research by the Aberdeen Group shows that the best-in-class manufacturing firms are also likely to adopt practices such as Quality Management Systems, Lean, and Manufacturing Intelligence, among others.

3D

Designing

Manufacturing companies always welcome techniques that reduce costs from the design to the production stage. While cutting manufacturing costs would be the most obvious and sought after technique, 3D designing of the product at the design stage can also prove to be extremely beneficial. This approach gives rise to a new model where designers, manufacturers, suppliers and the endconsumer alike, are consulted and involved in the production process. Utilising 3D designing assumes higher importance in the manufacture of complex products which contain multiple components. Using 3D software, designers can check for any discrepancies in design which might lead to collisions or interferences once the product is ready. The applications of 3D software in manufacturing are diverse. For instance, a manufacturing facility in Australia, using 3D CAD software, has designed and installed an automated system for production of pressure cookers. The demand for 3D designers is only set to rise as 3D printing gains popularity across industries.

Robotics While 2012 saw the second highest sales number in industrial robots at over 159,000 units, 2013 is likely to continue the trend of increased sales, states the International Federation of Robotics. Benefits associated to robotic production range from their ability to operate 24x7 and their almost negative scope for error, especially in crucial industries such as medicine. Another big advantage is the option of deploying robots instead of humans in manufacturing activities which entail danger. For a US-based metals manufacturing company, robotic welding proved to be a shot in the arm during the recent economic slowdown, by providing cost and capacity advantage. Countries such as US, North Korea, Japan, Germany, Thailand and China are driving demand for industrial robots in manufacturing and other industries. As the demand for robots rises, markets will be flushed with their availability thereby bringing down acquisition costs. According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, since 1990, costs related to industrial robots have declined 50 percent when compared to human labour.

Additive

Manufacturing/3-D

Printing

With everything from entertainment to surgery utilising 3D for enhanced experiences and results, we can soon expect Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, to be well within everyone s reach. To give an example: a report from Fast Company states that prices of 3D printers have declined from $30,000 about six years ago to roughly $550 today. At such prices, it is a given that engineers and even smaller manufacturers will gain access to printers and printing material, thereby revolutionising the entire production process. While the traditional printers in plants can churn out unit after unit of a standardised product, 3D printing technology is useful for giving shape to any kind of customised computer idea, including creation of several layers of components one by one, which will ultimately take shape of a larger, complex product. This could range from making spare parts for a dated automobile or a body part replacement customised to fit. At a German auto manufacturer s facility, the assembly-line workers are designing and printing tools to aid the production process by holding and positioning parts and devising temporary replacements for other, vital parts.

References: 1. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323855804578510743894302344.html 2. http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21584447-digital-manufacturingthere-lot-hype-around-3d-printing-it-fast 3. http://www.manmonthly.com.au/features/custom-robots-deliver-the-goods-at-electroluxadel 4. http://www.automationmag.com/features/robotic-welding-keeps-metal-manufacturercompetitive-in-tough-times.html

The Internet of Things

Professor Pradeep Pendse, Dean for IT/e-Business/Business Design at WeSchool, elaborates on the emerging trend of internet of things. It was in the early 2000s when Dr Vinton Cerf, one of the key developers of the TCP/IP protocol was in India. During one of his talks to a 500+ packed auditorium consisting of mostly the IT community, he spoke about the need for the new version of the TCP/IP since the world would run out IP numbers to assign to devices. He outlined the TCP/IP version 6.0 as well as some of the future challenges of inter-planetary internet as space travel became common. Referring to TCP/IP version 6 he mentioned that it would then create enough numbers where literally every thing in this world could have its own number indeed the phrase Internet of things has become a very near possibility today. Literally speaking, it implies that each object in this world could be assigned an IP number, making it directly identifiable and addressable on the internet pretty much the same way as corporate servers and routers can be identified today. Impact on business and other areas

This would create huge opportunities for new applications both in industry as well as in our personal lives. The possibility of identifying each individual on this planet with an IP, for example a number which can be embedded in a chip which in turn could be embedded in, say a person s hand, makes him/her directly addressable. This could raise the possibility of locating that person at any time, monitoring his/her health on an on-going basis, raising early warnings as well as raising the possibility of quick treatment. With a large aging population, many of whom are staying alone in their homes, such monitoring would be reassuring this could take the health care industry to the next level. On the business side, it raises the possibility of implementing more intelligent and sophisticated forms of machine and process control systems. Several products manufactured today already have microprocessors, cars for example. Direct addressability of a car makes remote driving, remote monitoring, etc., much more feasible than it is now. Many corrective actions required in such products, such as for example when a lift breaks-down, the microprocessors even today in some lifts do an auto-diagnostics and switch over to a redundant controller card even as it signals a breakdown call to the central call dispatch centre of the lift maintenance company. The advantage of an IP on such a lift is that some of the services could even be given in a remote manner this could include activating a release to the door of a lift stuck between floors, resetting the lift to restart it, etc. Some applications of Internet of Things in manufacturing

Take inputs from manufactured products in use by customers for devising better solutions Monitor performance of equipment and processes Monitor and keep track of production stages Monitor, locate and control defects Lower cost of manufacturing with reduced wastage and fuel consumption

The Three important issues come up in a discussion on Internet of things:

challenges

How will this IP number be embedded into the object? How will remote internet-based interaction be made possible essentially what sort of network will exist to enable this connection to be made possible? What sort of sensors would be required to suit each type of objects?

For machines of all kinds, the answer to the first issue is easier than embedding an IP device in a human body, and that too perhaps at birth or at an early age. Network would be a challenge. Despite a claimed mobile phone penetration in India of nearly 60 percent, given the lower average in rural areas, it would be a challenge for sometime to come in terms of accessing object locations which are not connected on the internet or some other network. The spread of wi-fi however makes it possible to ensure connectivity of each object within a factory building, office or home, thus creating new possibilities for manufacturing automation, building automation and home automation. However what about public places and rural locations? Hence to realise the full benefits of Internet of things, it is essential to build networks which reach out to every possible location which needs to be in this fold. It can also be seen that this will call for a lot of machine-to-machine communication - and we are now referring to not computers and servers communicating to each other, but literally every object becoming a machine, and its ability to communicate over the network. One last challenge, and certainly not the least, is to develop sensors and actuators which could sense and gather intelligence about the object and its surroundings, making it possible to monitor, control and to direct it to take specific actions as required. For example, what kind of sensor would be required to detect that a person is facing a potential heart attack? What kind of sensor is required to judge the nose of an engine and sense if there is any trouble with it? Sensors and the entire promise of Internet of things therefore lies not merely in the ability to run and manage what exists, but to predict events related to the object which is being managed. Internet of things therefore raises new opportunities in practically every business, industry and personal area to an unprecedented level. It is for us as engineers, managers, innovators and designers to make use of this opportunity to make the world a better place to live in. Prof. Dr Pradeep Pendse is the Dean for IT/e-Business/Business Design at WeSchool, with nearly 30 years of experience as a consulting CIO, IT entrepreneur and educationist. A pioneer in the field of Business Analysis, IT project leadership, he has been associated with several large corporate houses and with the ABG corporate IT in evangelising the thought on Business Value of IT. He has served/been a speaker on a number of professional bodies such as the CSI, Bombay Chamber, Indian Merchant Chamber, IIBA, PMI, ISACA, CIO Klub and has been a jury for several CIO awards. He is a recipient of the Dewang Mehta Best IT Teacher award and the Fellowship of the CSI.