Wanting to improve work during turnarounds (planned shutdowns), Supermetanol, a petrochemical company based in Venezuela, sought to expand its mechanical integrity program. It needed to identify mechanical, process, engineering, and project tasks, without adding additional risk to the performance of critical assets or the safety of its employees.
After undergoing an asset performance management (APM) assessment to identify improvement opportunities, develop a plan aligned with business objectives, and facilitate the work scope optimization process, Supermetanol and GE Digital’s APM team developed a four-phase turnaround mechanical integrity management model.
Starting with a strategy phase, the APM team helped Supermetanol:
- Determine actual conditions on assets
- Implement training and coaching to maximize effectiveness and performance
- Define the current risk level regarding damage factor by deterioration rate and remaining life
- Identify and develop proper recommendations to assure the asset’s mechanical integrity
- Ensure quality and provide adequate response time to maintenance and operations
- Implement mechanical integrity key performance indicators (KPIs)
The foundation for work scope optimization was laid by using existing data from integrity operating windows (IOWs), inspection management, and previously completed risk-based inspection (RBI) analysis. Supermentanol used this data to monitor IOWs performance and degradation rates, and the maintenance and inspection history in order to identify the potential risk mitigation/reduction and possible integration opportunities.
To optimize the turnaround work scope, the APM team also developed a multi-step guideline. First, Supermetanol integrated its initial work list, and then applied different risk assessment methods by asset, using GE Digital's APM Compliance & Integrity Management. The solution’s RBI capability for fixed equipment and asset criticality analysis for rotating equipment provided better insight into risk assessment in order to update work scope and establish priorities for each piece of equipment and each activity. Later this work scope was sent to the management team in order to get data approval and proceed with implementation.
The mechanical integrity execution strategy was then consolidated into a mechanical strategy master plan (second phase). The activities in the master plan—including the implementation of specialized nondestructive testing (NDT), statistical analysis, and RBI assessment—all contributed to reduction of the risk uncertainty and optimized turnaround work scope.
With GE Digital’s APM Compliance & Integrity Management solution, Supermetanol was able to determine maintenance and turnaround scope of work, optimize work lists, and introduce new procedures and activities. This effort increased confidence in degradation detection and the quality of maintenance activities, therefore reducing risk and failures due to loss of containment.
In addition to the decrease in inspection costs, number of non-conformances, and level of risk, Supermetanol achieved:
- Improvement in planned turnaround frequency based on work scope optimization (Zinc Oxide Converter and Demi Water Drums), which represents $325K (U.S.) annually of savings for maintenance and logistic work reduction.
- Improved detection of relevant degradation mechanisms in five critical equipment systems, which reduced the potential for unplanned shutdowns, leading to avoidance of a $450K (U.S.) per day production loss.
- Improved mechanical integrity approach, which allowed Supermetanol to perform cleaning, repair, and necessary replacements in constrained or partially failed equipment; this contributed to a production improvement of 40 tons per day equivalent to 1,200 tons per month and $260K (U.S.) per month.