What Is Operator Driven Reliability?

Operator Driven Reliability (ODR) is the philosophy that plant operators are key participants in ensuring asset reliability. Operators are a facility’s first line of defense, and if they are properly trained, they can provide early detection of an impending failure. Successful ODR can help minimize repair costs, reduce downtime, mitigate or eliminate safety hazards, and even extend equipment life.

Focused and structured operator rounds serve as the basis for operator driven reliability practices. The next phase of ODR is shifting basic preventive maintenance tasks from maintenance technicians to the operators. These tasks could include topping up of lube oil and checking tightness of connections. Removing some tasks from the list of responsibilities of the maintenance technicians allow them to focus on more complex maintenance activities and predictive maintenance. For additional benefit, operators can also take control of some of the predictive maintenance tasks, such as vibration analysis, thermography, and ultrasonic testing.

What Does the Future of Operator Driven Reliability Look Like?

ODR has been beneficial for proactively addressing potential failures and increasing equipment reliability through early detection. However, the industry is continuing to see major advancements in data acquisition, warehousing, modeling, and analytics. With these capabilities in mind, we have the opportunity to take the next leap in reliability analysis, allowing us to improve reliability further while decreasing total maintenance and inspection spend.

We believe this leap is being made possible through Quantitative Reliability Optimization (QRO). QRO is an approach to reliability modeling which connects every relevant reliability data point at a complex facility to one integrated model, allowing for near real time complex decision making that allows users to do things like:

  • Optimize, in near real time, all maintenance spend based on short/mid/long term reliability targets.
  • Understand the economic value of every inspection or maintenance activity performed, which can reduce non-value-added activities performed by operators or maintenance technicians
  • Understand the economic value of every piece of data that is currently being gathered or possibly gathered in the future.
  • Near real time scenario modeling, including the implications of moving a turnaround, feedstock pricing changes, or various capital projects.
  • Drive effective economic decisions in the event of operating excursions that may impact equipment reliability.

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