The Client is a leading petrochemical company in the Americas with operations in two business segments: Polyester (PTA, PET and polyester fibers) and Plastics and Chemicals. It is one of the world’s leading producers of PTA and PET and is the operator of one of the largest polypropylene factories in North America. Its worldwide presence includes 7 production plants and 32 locations.
The company was faced with the challenges of low equipment availability and OEE, which directly impacted on its business results. Typically, these challenges reduce production capacity, increase downtime, and lead to poor product quality. To increase the company’s competitiveness and profitability in the market, they asked us to undertake an analysis of one of their facilities in North America.
The analysis identified several improvement opportunities:
- Increasing labor productivity.
- Establishing key performance indicators/effective maintenance execution control.
- Improving supervision by spending more time at ground level.
- Compliance with the Maintenance Management System, including activity planning and scheduling.
During the analysis, the maintenance organization, processes, and best practices were examined using a world-class standard for comparison. This helped identify areas needing improvement, such as an effective management system for quickly analyzing and addressing deviations. As a result, repair times and downtimes were to be reduced, enhancing overall efficiency.
As a result, Renoir committed to a transformation program of 34 weeks with the following objectives:
- Reduce execution time and remove activities that do not add value.
- Develop a culture of continuous improvement and operational reliability, increasing OEE by 3.4% whilst maintaining operational continuity.
The 34 weeks transformation program was to be delivered through two Management Action Teams (MATs):
- OEE Management & Reliability Improvement (continuous improvement culture and operational reliability).
- Maintenance & Warehouse Management (reduction of in the job deviations and execution time).
Both MATs were both formed by a multidisciplinary group that contributed enormously to the successful development and implementation of the management system elements. MAT leaders, MAT members, Taskforces, maintenance technicians, safety, warehouse and production personnel – everyone actively and directly contributed to make the implementation sustainable.
After the main program, the project was followed by the aftercare phase, focusing specifically on full adoption, continuous improvement and sustainability.
“The project has brought us improved availability, which is very valuable for the production process.”
The transformation program started with the Renoir Focus Process®, which has been developed specifically to foster ownership and sustainability. Processes, procedures and the key elements of the Maintenance Management Control System were mapped, reviewed and critiqued in collaboration with the client’s team members.
As a result, new performance indicators were agreed, and the entire execution team was trained in how to successfully implement performance improvements. This process allowed a wider group of individuals to understand the scale of the opportunity and participate in defining the changes required; which in turn allowed them to commit to the financial targets of the program.
In the first 24 weeks of the implementation phase, Renoir facilitated the implementation of systems and processes that became routine, such as:
- An improved new maintenance management process that integrates maintenance engineering, reliability, inspection, planning & scheduling and execution.
- A full Maintenance Management Control System with several management tools such as: frozen weekly schedules (activities and resources), short interval controls and routines (deviation and action taken), maintenance performance reports, active supervision routines and performance review meetings.
- Contractor management processes and management systems.
- A structured way-of-working that focuses on prevention, maintainability, and reliability.
Changes to processes/systems allowed the maintenance function to better plan and manage their daily activities to reduce break-ins, backlogs and improve productivity. Better use of key maintenance methodologies (such as failure modes analysis for critical equipment) led to the improvement in OEE.
The company and Renoir collaborated during the Renoir Focus Process® and the subsequent implementation stage to implement the opportunities identified during the analysis.
Because of the improvements in both lagging and leading maintenance KPIs, the project improved the availability of the plant to 97%. In addition to the financial benefits, staff involved in the MATs acquired key skills in change management, as a culture of continuous improvement was established driven by a commitment for the excellence.
“The project has helped us to organize our ways of working in a structured fashion, as well as our processes, procedures and roles and responsibilities. It has helped us to commit to Excellence.”
In conclusion, this case study demonstrates the power of a comprehensive analysis and transformation program in addressing the challenges faced. By identifying improvement opportunities and implementing a complete Maintenance Management Control System, the company significantly increased its OEE, availability, and overall efficiency.
This success story highlights the importance of adopting a culture of continuous improvement and commitment to excellence in the manufacturing sector. By leveraging and implementing these principles, companies can optimise their processes and achieve sustainable growth.
Embracing this mindset enables businesses to continually adapt, innovate, and enhance their operations, ensuring long-term success and resilience in your industry.