Any successful industrial organisation has to put productivity first. Asset Performance Management (APM) is an effective tool to get a firm grip on performance and availability. A global leader in recycling nutrients operates over 60 production locations on five continents. The company wanted to get control over asset reliability, availability, maintenance, and operational costs. MaxGrip was asked to carry out an APM Assessment. In a matter of weeks, it was clear how to reap the low-hanging fruit and how to achieve structural improvements.
This multinational company leads the way in recycling and re-purposing materials generally considered as waste. Organic residuals are turned into valuable ingredients for other industries and find their way into various markets, from food, feed, and fuels to fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Recycling and reuse is not only a matter of environmental stewardship. With natural resources depleting and the demand for sustainable materials growing, it is a necessity as well as a solid business case.
Decades before sustainability became a household term and part of corporate responsibility, this company started developing innovative ways to generate new resources by transforming edible and inedible residuals into sustainable ingredients. Today it wants to help release the pressure on the planet by creating products and solutions that are safe, reliable, and of the highest possible quality. It also wants to continuously improve by streamlining processes, even if these can vary widely between product categories.
MaxGrip senior consultant Wilco Hekkert: ‘The company wanted more consistency in final product quality, and achieve a much higher degree of predictability in terms of capacity use, productivity and profitability. You can get your process under control with a strategic approach to asset management. In fact, I would say that asset reliability starts with organizational predictability. And an important indicator of predictability is the degree of planability you can achieve in your process.’
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Even though MaxGrip can perform an APM Assessment in a short period of time, it comprises much more than a quick scan or a general exploration of possibilities. Wilco Hekkert: ‘It is a systematic analysis of the maintenance organisation on a number of separate counts. Effectively, it is a benchmarked assessment of organisational maturity and plant condition, set against the specific business background and objectives. It results in an action plan and a roadmap with clear milestones. Besides the clarity about where to go from here, it offers the additional benefit of showing up relative strengths and weaknesses. The process also creates organisational awareness about what can be achieved, often with modest efforts and investments.’
The APM Assessment provides a close look at location level in three dimensions (the business context and AM processes, systems and organisation, asset condition). Two MaxGrip experts assess the actual condition of production assets, the current asset management strategy, and the performance levels in terms of the process, IT tools, and organisation. Wilco Hekkert: ‘We study the available documentation and talk with the people involved with asset management. We analyse the operating maturity level, taking the specific business context and local market dynamics into account. We then compare the outcome to the company-wide framework to show the coherence and the steps to be taken in a way that is easy to understand for everyone involved.’
The newly acquired insights and the recommended actions are presented in a report that clearly maps out the steps to be taken in a visual manner. The APM Assessment enabled this company to identify gaps in its asset management framework, to evaluate different improvement options, and to make well-founded decisions. It showed the way to improve and secure the condition of critical production assets in a cost-effective manner, with a roadmap and a multi-year rollout plan. Wilco concludes: ‘The APM Assessment has enabled this company to achieve significant savings and improvements, ensuring a quick ROI. The company now knows the right things to do, as well as how to do them right and in the right order.’
MaxGrip is now implementing the changes in the organisation. More to come…