Many producer companies in upstream oil & gas and the power & utilities sectors are progressively looking forward to use Asset Performance Management (APM) solutions to reduce asset downtime, optimize performance, increase reliability and reduce maintenance costs. For many of our clients, APM has been a key initiative to drive best in class performance out of its physical assets using more predictive and proactive decisions.
Using the real time process data from historians/control systems, these solutions can in near real time, monitor and alert on abnormalities and predict future performance of critical assets with a focus on bad actors. Our APM solutions help automate the manual tracking of this valuable information to increase accuracy and reduce time for operations to perform other vital activities to increase and optimize production. APM is expected to reduce unplanned downtime, reduce maintenance costs and improve operational efficiency by providing predictive recommendations on asset maintenance.
iSolutions has assisted many clients with their APM journey by developing the complex architecture and work processes required to support the data collection, analytics, monitoring, workflow and reporting of real time asset health monitoring. Being vendor neutral we have the ability to work with the best vendors in each of the areas to deliver an APM solution to proactively monitor assets and ultimately predict when they require maintenance before a downtime/failure occurs.
Asset Health Monitoring
The backbone of the asset health monitoring solution is the raw data required to feed the asset health analytics to determine possible excursions and issues. This data typically resides in various control and monitoring systems which can be amalgamated and stored in a real time data historian to provide a single integration point for APM.
The brain of the asset health monitoring solution resides in the analytics logic to calculate the asset health KPIs. There are industry leading packages that can be integrated to the historians to retrieve the real time process data and calculate these health KPIs. iSolutions has also worked with our clients’ asset reliability SMEs to develop their own calculations for monitoring asset KPIs within various real time analytics platforms. The identification of the process data tags required for the health KPIs is typically the most time consuming step, process team must be available to assist with mapping the required tags to the critical assets being monitoring. The need for a contextual meta data layer to provide an intuitive name and hierarchy to the typically obscure control system tag name is essential; this contextual layer also provides the ability to template similar assets for rapid rollout. Many of the critical assets likely do not have all the required data points metered so they must be inferred or manually entered. Consideration must also be taken into account on how the health KPIs should handle bad/stale data from the control system to minimize false alerts.
These asset health KPIs are then validated and a baseline set for normal operating conditions. The baselines are typically based on comparison to target operating range or standard deviation/rate of change comparisons to detect degrading asset health over time. The system monitors these KPIs in near real time and once the health KPIs fall outside the baseline a health case is generated for investigation. The health case will be investigated and produce valuable information (eg. Cause, consequence, actions taken to resolve, etc.) that will be stored in the APM system to provide a knowledge base for troubleshooting future similar events and reporting.
APM is a continuous improvement process, overtime the baseline and asset health KPIs are tuned to minimize false alerts and optimize the proactive detection of asset health issues and predicting/preventing failures.
Automated Downtime Tracking and Reporting
In many producer companies the tracking of asset downtime is a manual, time-consuming and inaccurate process. Operations are required to manually identify and track asset downtime taking away valuable time for optimizing production. iSolutions has assisted many clients to automate the tracking of asset downtime and developing reporting solutions . The automated solutions we have developed can be used against virtually any historian platform and use either our downtime management reporting tools or be integrated into the client’s asset management/downtime reporting suite. The asset downtime events would be calculated by identifying the real time tags used to determine if an asset is running. This is typically the painful step as most assets would likely not have a dedicated run status tag and must be calculated from other process variables. There are also typically obscure tag names in the control systems that require the process SMEs to help identify.
The downtime analytics typically runs daily and automatically generates the downtime events for the previous day. Operations can then review and validate these automatically generated downtime events/production loss and code the downtime category/reason for reporting. Using this valuable data, clients can easily review standard reports to identify areas for improvement by asset, asset type or area/plant hierarchy:
- Top category/reason for downtime
- Top category/reason for production loss
- % Availability/Unavailable time
- Compare asset performance by asset type
- Compare asset performance by area/plant hierarchy
Maintenance teams typically need to balance wasting valuable time and resources by performing maintenance too soon or they risk wasting costly unplanned downtime by waiting too long. Through our automated tools, integrations can also be setup to maintenance systems to auto generate a work order to investigate/repair when required. These integrations can also send the daily run hours to the CMMS systems to update the condition based maintenance activities (eg. Compressor oil change, calibrations after XX run hours). The accuracy of this data helps to reduce unneeded maintenance activities based on recurring schedule rather than actual runtime.
iSolutions Inc. is a Data Management consulting company that specializes in designing, implementing and supporting real-time, historian based, reporting and integration solutions for Oil &Gas and Power Generation &Transmission companies. Our implementations allow clients to make educated, site specific production and operational decisions based on the analysis of real time data from integrated field and plant systems.
Contact us to discuss your Asset Performance Management or Production Data Management requirements and how we can help (Roger.firstname.lastname@example.org).