1. Technology Alone is Not the Silver Bullet.
The advancement of technology has led to the development of sophisticated solutions, such as automation, artificial intelligence, and data analytics. However, technology alone is not the silver bullet for solving industry challenges. Yes, technology plays a critical role in finding efficiencies, but a holistic approach that leverages both technology and human intelligence is needed to fully recognize results.
For technology to be successful, it relies on accurate, reliable data, and data quality issues, such as incomplete or incorrect data, can affect the capability of making the right decisions based on the analysis presented. Collaboration with experts is also critical to interpret the results and contextualize the decisions based on individual situations. However, human resources are limited, and a data-driven approach to reliability can help facilities incorporate the best of technology and human expertise into a single approach to ensure each department within a facility is working toward a shared objective.
For example, one of the largest breweries in the world produces over 500,000 gallons of product a day. Despite having some of the most advanced technology in the world, this facility loses $50 million a year in lost production due to unplanned downtime. To minimize the amount of lost production, this facility has a goal to meet an unplanned downtime target of 3%, which equates to about $24MM in increased revenue.
To achieve this goal, each department within the brewery has to work together to achieve a common objective. While each department has its concern, a data-driven approach to reliability brings focus to an organization’s most critical actions by ensuring that everyone works toward a shared goal while meeting the individual Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) each department is responsible.
Without a specific focus, it can be difficult to know where to prioritize limited resources and which actions to tackle first to achieve this goal. For example, the primary focus of the brewing side of this facility is to mitigate any risks associated with health, safety, and the environment (HSE) that may result from equipment failure. While HSE risk is important across the entire facility, the loss of production resulting from equipment downtime is a strong focus for other departments, such as bottling and packaging. Quantifying the extent of the impact of specific failures and prioritizing tasks based on criticality is a common challenge for the industry. With a data-driven approach to reliability, this facility can link probable failures to specific failure modes to better focus on its main concerns, action the most impactful mitigation activities, and allocate its resources more efficiently.