Learn how we helped a fertilizer manufacturer integrate a new IDMS into its existing business systems to improve the performance of its mechanical integrity (MI) program and meet regulatory compliance.
A leading fertilizer manufacturer with multiple sites across the US and Canada wanted to improve the quality of its MI program to meet regulatory compliance. The manufacturer’s leadership wanted a top-tier MI program that would provide the information they needed to make cohesive decisions across its sites. After assessing the current state of its MI program, the manufacturer’s leadership determined that its current IDMS no longer aligned with company objectives. In order to have a top-tier MI program, the sites would need to transition to an IDMS that would support current and future facility needs.
The manufacturer’s existing IDMS created numerous challenges for leadership across multiple sites. The primary challenge for the manufacturer was a lack of consistent, organized, and high-quality data across its sites. For example, some sites stored their equipment lists in spreadsheets while others used the corporate IDMS. Secondly, the manufacturer’s IDMS only stored data for certain types of equipment, limiting IDMS usability across different asset specialties. The existing IDMS also restricted the ability to access and export data to the IDMS’ support team, which often led to inconsistent reporting across sites.
Additionally, the manufacturer’s IDMS did not connect to its Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system, which made it difficult for facility leadership to be confident that all of its assets were in compliance with industry code. Because the availability, location, and quality of data also varied by site, corporate leadership struggled to drive consistent asset management strategies across all sites. The manufacturer needed a more comprehensive data management system that would enable users to improve the quality of data and allow the manufacturer to apply improvements across all its sites.
While there was buy-in from the manufacturer’s management team to implement a new IDMS, corporate and site leadership was concerned about the logistics of transitioning to the new system. Pinnacle was brought in to evaluate viable application options and implement the selected solution for five of its sites. Pinnacle was selected because of its extensive expertise in designing, evaluating, and implementing a variety of Asset Performance Management (APM) platforms across multiple industries. After a detailed analysis of the manufacturer’s system requirements and a thorough review of the application options, Predix APM was selected because of its ability to meet the following functional requirements:
- Integrate management of the master equipment list, inspection scheduling, inspection results, thickness measurements, and Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) calculations into a single platform.
- Integrate the full system with the manufacturer’s EAM system, including equipment, functional locations, inspection scheduling, work history, and recommendations.
- Simplify management of day-to-day MI work processes and automate where appropriate.
- Increased visibility of MI data to make data-driven decisions.
- Track inspection recommendations, temporary repairs, and deferrals to meet compliance.
- Provide a solution that the manufacturer can modify as their business needs evolve.
After selecting Predix APM, Pinnacle worked with the manufacturer to address the program’s data silos, centralize its asset registry in the EAM system, and consolidate all MI data in Predix APM. The focus of the overall project included the standardization of the MI program, the definition of new work processes, data cleanup and validation, optimization of fixed equipment strategies utilizing RBI, and application training and implementation.
As a part of data organization and validation, the Pinnacle team cleaned, organized, and uploaded all fixed equipment data from the five sites into Predix APM. This data included the facilities’ most recent RBI criticality calculations, Thickness Monitoring Location (TML) data, critical thickness data, historical inspection data, and inspection work plans. The scope of work for the five sites included over 14,000 assets and 150,000 TMLs.
After all data was migrated to Predix APM, the Pinnacle team ran new risk analyses for their fixed equipment, including pressure vessels, piping, and tanks. The results of the new risk analyses were then compared to the results from the manufacturer’s original IDMS, and the team identified numerous scenarios where the risk differed. For these scenarios, the Pinnacle team dove into the various factors that contributed to the differing results and were able to identify the drivers behind these risk differences. In several cases, these differences were due to inconsistent data management practices and approaches across the five sites. Because Pinnacle had access to all five sites’ data, as opposed to siloed information, these variations were recognized, and appropriate actions were taken at a corporate level.
After implementing Predix APM, corporate and site leadership recognized a multitude of benefits:
After having provided the solution above, the Pinnacle team continues to support the manufacturer by providing reports and continuous improvement across RBI and MI initiatives. This includes adding additional asset types, processing management of change and capital projects, and identifying other opportunities to reduce mechanical integrity risk and optimizing spend while ensuring compliance.