For profitable operations in today’s power and process plants, it is vital to improve overall efficiency and lower costs. To accomplish these goals, operations and maintenance personnel need to respond quickly to potential problems.
Operations and maintenance teams are now asked to do more than simply identify problems and fix equipment breakdowns – they are now expected to work together to increase efficiency, minimize downtime, and extend the life of the plant’s equipment. The integration of maintenance data and associated methodologies into an asset management system can create a successful foundation for operations and maintenance teams to meet these challenges.
The latest instruments, analyzers, and valves provide not only important device-related data, but also information that can be used to ascertain the overall status of equipment and the entire facility. Current digital bus technologies, such as HART or the different varieties of fieldbus, make the procedures for detecting, documenting, and recording device alerts and other problems less costly and time consuming.
Organizing this data and documenting the actions taken to resolve problems is an important part of a plant’s overall maintenance strategy. By implementing a proper methodology, maintenance tasks become easier to assign and schedule. Equally important is the audit trail proving that maintenance tasks were executed properly. Documenting and tracking instrumentation maintenance data also produces valuable long-term records, so operations and maintenance personnel can better respond to specific issues.
This article will focus on instruments, analyzers, and valves, but it is important to note that many of the same maintenance procedures can easily apply to electrical equipment. This makes sense from an organizational point of view. Most process plants’ maintenance functions are organized around the instrument and electrical disciplines or a closely aligned group.
Amit Ajmeri is a consultant for wireless and field network technology for Yokogawa Corporation of America. Ajmeri has been with Yokogawa for more than 10 years. Before joining Yokogawa, he spent 12 years with Emerson Process Management promoting Foundation Fieldbus technology and interoperability. He currently represents Yokogawa on various committees for ISA, FDT Organization, HART, and Fieldbus Foundation. Contact Amit at firstname.lastname@example.org.