What Is Reliability Simulation and Performance Optimization?

Historically, it has been difficult to quantitatively determine how actions affect facility performance. With Quantitative Reliability Optimization (QRO), you can leverage causal links established with the Asset Reliability Analysis (ARA), Lifetime Variability Curve (LVC), and a system model to simulate any action and understand its impact on facility reliability performance and at what cost.

The final element of QRO, and arguably the highest value add, is reliability simulation and performance optimization. This element builds off of the previous three elements and allows facility leaders to simulate and optimize what actions they need to take to improve facility performance.

How Does Reliability Simulation and Performance Optimization Work?

Reliability Simulation and Performance Optimization essentially creates a reliability digital twin of the facility and allows facility owners to simulate any action and optimize their plan to achieve the highest performance at the lowest cost, while meeting process safety requirements. Modeling the constraints of the entire system, facility owners can move away from individual asset analysis and task management, focusing on system-wide system task management. Because QRO creates the data infrastructure backbone connecting every single data point and relating that to a measured impact on the system, optimization studies can be continuously run as new data enters the model, resulting in the worlds most predictive reliability plans based on real-time data.

Example of Reliability Simulation and Performance Optimization

Below is a sub-section of a reformer for an independent refiner with about 80 assets – a blend of fixed equipment assets, rotating assets, and I&E assets. This facility already has best-in-class reliability programs such as Risk-Based Inspection (RBI), Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM), and spare parts optimization to name a few, and has a 10 year projected 96% availability and a 10 year planned spend of $1.33 MM to maintain availability and manage HSE risk of this subsystem. This prompted the question: “How can we boost availability while maintaining our budget?”

Leveraging QRO principles, the refiner was able to identify areas where tasks didn’t add value, areas where the right data was not being collected, and areas where there was wasted spend. Through QRO, this facility was able to recognize:

  • Reduction in overall fixed equipment inspection spend
  • Extension of PM intervals
  • Increase in availability by 3%
  • Reduction in spend by $50,000

Benefits of Reliability Simulation and Performance Optimization

As in the example above, facilities can recognize many benefits by implementing reliability simulation and performance, including:

  • Understanding how every action impacts performance, gaining efficiency in data analysis, and modeling any scenario to understand how each input affects facility output
  • Ensuring plans are in place to achieve targets, driving measurable improvement in availability, and seeing a holistic view across all assets without silos
  • Enabling integrated reliability, identifying lost value in spend to ensure the highest return on capital, and connecting short-term actions to long-term strategies

To learn more about how the ARA, LVC, and system model combine to lay the framework for reliability simulation and performance optimization, read more about QRO here.

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