Profertil, an Argentine petrochemical company producing nitrogen fertilizers, identified its 02-F-201 primary ammonia reformer as its top bad actor out of all assets between 2008 to 2010. Over that time period, the company roughly spent $3.2MM maintaining this specific asset. In 2010, Profertil undertook a significant project to address an issue of chronic tube failures on that specific reformer. With an initial investment of $8MM, the company was challenged with understanding how well the asset was performing, how much it could improve, and how much return on investment (ROI) would be realized from the project implementation. The company didn’t have a tool to track exactly how much money had been saved or how much the reliability of an asset had improved.
At the outset of the improvement project, a maintenance cost of $70,000 per year was predicted and no production losses were estimated or forecast. Profertil set out to monitor and track the success of this project using key performance indicators (KPIs).
In 2013, Profertil selected Asset Answers, a benchmarking capability found within GE Digital’s Machine & Equipment Health solution, part of the Asset Performance Management (APM) suite. Asset Answers provides instant benchmarking of the company’s physical asset performance against that of global industry peers, and also internally, asset to asset and site to site. The tools and KPIs available empower users to clean, filter, and interpret performance data to systematically diagnose and isolate underperforming assets.
Profertil wanted to measure the success of asset reliability improvements, setting the measurement date to start for March 2008, when reoccurring tube failures began. Using existing and historical data, Asset Answers automatically calculated the average monthly maintenance cost as $27,000 and the average monthly production loss as $1.8MM, by looking at the work order data falling in the 2-year period.
The solution also automatically calculated the predicted payback time of the improvement project as less than a year, based on present costs, estimated future costs, and the opportunity and investment.
With Asset Answers, Profertil was able to analyze data in a matter of minutes, simply view KPI trends to understand improvements, justify its investment into an APM solution, and ultimately save money.
The company saw the following results:
- Saved approximately $0.9MM
- Reduced monthly average work history maintenance costs from $27,000 to $5,000
- Consistently and predictably saved money every month by tracking costs and lost production