In a volatile steel market where growth is coming from favorable global economic momentum, but also facing risks from rising global trade tensions, there are very few levers in the industry to drive differentiation and profitability. The very nature of this high-volume and low margin business means that cost per ton is a survival metric for steel mills. Optimizing cost per ton has become an important science. This managing of margins from within means a focus on efforts to avoid unplanned downtime, optimize maintenance spend and resources, and mitigate production losses.
The effectiveness of the maintenance and reliability function is particularly critical to the managing of margins. In short, maintenance and reliability (M&R) groups ensure that mill equipment functions as needed to meet production requirements. This means that M&R is a major factor in production capability. And, without production capacity, the business fails to produce quality product that is delivered to the customer on time.