Preservation and maintenance, commonly referred to as the abbreviation of P&M, is made up of strictly defined routines, schedules, procedures and process actions that keep tagged pieces of equipment in working order. In the context of industrial facilities, P&M tasks take place during the construction phase while equipment is waiting to be installed and even continues after the equipment is in its final resting place in the facility. For plant operations and maintenance turnarounds, P&M tasks are generally executed on a schedule while the plant is in operation or in the middle of a shutdown, this ensures all equipment is operating at its maximum.
On an industrial construction site, deliverables are pieces of equipment that will be used in various places in a facility, performing P&M tasks on these pieces of equipment are essential to ensure the operations phase of the project is reached. For example, a motor that is part of an LNG processing plant is a deliverable. Many deliverables arrive on-site months or even years before they are able to be installed. This equipment needs to be preserved and maintained on a regular basis. Failure to do so leads to the equipment failing earlier than expected once operations begin.
Different equipment requires different preservation processes to be put in place. The motor in this example needs to have the exhaust ports and seal intake plugged when the unit is received at the project site, most times this is called the ‘Initial Preservation Requirement’. Next, there are repetitive ongoing tasks, such as priming the oil pump and duty cycling the engine every 90 days, these tasks occur at pre-defined intervals so the equipment is kept in good working order until it is ready to be installed. These ongoing tasks are normally referred to as the Recurring Preservation Requirements.
Construction equipment that is used during construction also requires regular maintenance to ensure they continue to operate efficiently. For example, a welding truck requires daily maintenance checks on the oxyacetylene/propane tanks and electrical grounding to ensure there will not be any issues when they are used for construction activities. Other equipment including such as diesel welders, aerial work platforms etc. are essential to the construction schedule and budget of the project if they are not able to be used due to poor maintenance performance. As all of this equipment constantly moves around the site, keeping track of where everything is can be a challenge, let alone keeping it all up to date on scheduled maintenance!
Needless to say, there are countless cases of improper preservation leading to write-offs during the construction process. In every case, the bottom line is negatively affected.
Beyond the construction work front, ongoing maintenance of buildings and plants is a headache without proper organization and software. Routine tasks need to be completed in order to keep equipment running efficiently and safe. It is estimated that 56% of all electrical fire losses during operations are caused by a lack of preventative maintenance. Proper maintenance goes beyond just being a safety issue, it also makes financial sense. Studies have shown that properly performed maintenance can return up to $5 for every $1 invested2. Unexpected downtime of systems and equipment ultimately leads to lost revenue. In the energy sector, potential revenue loss can be more than $2 million per hour during an outage.
Turnarounds are when a plant is shutdown for a short or extended period of time for maintenance that cannot be performed during regular operations. Equipment is either replaced or serviced and then reinstalled.
During a turnaround there is a multitude of things that need to be tracked:
- What equipment has been serviced?
- What tasks were performed during the service of each piece of equipment?
- Where are the pieces of equipment that are in the process of being serviced?
- Where are the tools/machines needed to do the servicing?
In terms of the bottom line, turnarounds are a double-edged sword. The longer a turnaround takes the more it costs and the more revenue is lost from the downtime of the facility.
Too often, whether during construction, operations or turnaround, anarchy reigns. Equipment is missing or tools and machines cannot be found etc. The ultimate question is “how can we efficiently organize and keep track of what is going on and where everything is?”
SiteSense® to the Rescue
SiteSense® offers a Track and Trace system that allows users to find equipment easily and quickly. SiteSense® is well known as the “Google® of Construction Site” with product solutions that track the location and progress status of parts on a construction site or maintenance project. SiteSense® makes it easy for mechanics to find equipment that needs maintenance and then record their activities electronically. For more information on locating equipment, read our article about Mobile RFID Infrastructure.
Below is a sample schedule for the motor that requires preservation that was mentioned earlier in this article. Some tasks only take place once and others are recurring. SiteSense® also tracks when maintenance is needed and when it is overdue.
Inspection documents are then uploaded into SiteSense®. This allows the next inspector to easily access any documents they require. It also gives managers immediate access to documentation they need.
SiteSense® is also used for tracking regularly scheduled maintenance. Custom maintenance schedules are simple to create for different types of machines.
Finally, reports are generated on-demand to show the progress of preservation and maintenance activities. This is where management gains greater insight into what’s happening in the field as all of the information is at their fingertips, available in real-time.
As the saying goes, “What gets Measured gets Managed”. SiteSense® offers Total Project Visibility® and ways to measure progress to stakeholders in ways that were previously unavailable. With increased visibility comes fewer problems on site and improvements to the bottom line!
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