Jul 2, 2018
Operating a production facility requires that the personnel scurry to keep the plant running, meet the daily targets and fix anything that breaks as quickly as possible. This sometimes seems to be an endless rat race. Wouldn’t it be nice to have enough time to improve the availability and performance of your assets and take better control of your valves?
For a plant owner or a production manager, keeping a plant operational and even looking for ways to further improve performance is a daily challenge. Since valves are key elements in controlling your production, their condition impacts processes directly, either making them smooth and efficient – or putting performance at risk.
Keeping your valves reliable over time and making sure that any changes made during daily maintenance and operation do not negatively affect their performance requires sufficient know-how, experience and resources – in terms of people, time or budget.
Often you may feel that you do not have the extra resources needed to plan for improvement. Instead, you may find yourself having only the resources to keep up with regular maintenance tasks. So, how can you move ahead?
The shortest and fastest way to keep up with your development targets is to trust the trickiest issues with your installed valve base to a knowledgeable partner, and one that has been successfully doing this for years.
Valmet’s Availability and Performance Services are one good solution that offer just that. This group of tailored services supports you in running your valve installed base smoothly and efficiently on a daily basis and gives you the guidelines to make sure you are freeing yourself from just playing catch-up.
Instead of just taking immediate actions to repair a device and restart production as quickly as possible again, it is now possible to avoid such situations from happening in the first place by knowing the condition of the devices and having the spare parts at hand. Now your valves can be always available when needed and perform as intended.
Availability and Performance Services give you the possibility to leave the job of in-depth installed base inspection to reliable professionals. By knowing your installed base, its lifecycle, as well as analysing the condition of your devices, you can identify the correct maintenance for your valves to prevent a breakdown or reduce downtime.
Plus, you get better information about the critical valve spare parts you need to have in stock so you can repair them quickly to their original performance and return to normal production faster. It is even possible to find the root causes of disturbances and improve overall process performance.
As Damien Ferrone, Service Sales Engineer puts it: “Our Availability and Performance Services help customers build on what they already have in place. We support them when they don’t have enough resources to keep their equipment condition under control – or when they simply don’t know where to start and what to do.”
Damien continues: “Our customers are all very focused on looking at how to secure their production. We feel that what’s usually missing at the site are the time and resources to think about development in the most efficient way. That’s why it was important to create a holistic approach of services based on manufacturer knowledge to support customers in reaching their short-, medium- and long-term targets.”
For production facilities of all types, Valmet Flow Control business line's scope of services covers a plant’s lifetime of activities, from the beginning to the end. It is – in fact – the widest available in the industry. It includes support from project and start-up to availability and performance, shutdown and turnaround, as well as modernization and upgrade services. “We like to think of our portfolio of services as being a good set of guidelines for any production or maintenance manager. It’s a way to check the boxes to see if there is more you can easily do to secure your production and take it up a notch,” says Anne Hassinen, previously Director, Service Design and Sales Development. “As a leader in the industry, we want to make sure we keep our customers up-to-date with the latest tips and ideas because we know that details matter when it comes to reaching superior performance.”
Anne continues: “We have also been very active in helping our customers get the most out of their valves by adding digitalization to our flow control solutions. This allows critical information about the installed base of valves to be transmitted immediately, providing our customers with better reliability, controllability and lower costs.”
To start, we first take a look at situation and then build our support according to what your team can do in-house and where it may need additional resources. We look at specific ways to help you reach your operational goals. Every customer has a different situation. That’s why every Availability and Performance solution is flexible, providing guidance that best suits your specific circumstances. “It may even be the case that a customer does not know from where to start,” says Damien. “It all starts by having an updated list of the installed base, which serves as the foundation to build the support, and includes such things as identifying the lifecycle of items and giving you input on spare parts availability or even existing upgrades for your actual installed base. We can also run criticality studies onsite to classify your devices in groups in order to apply efficient and adapted maintenance and stocking strategies. Our aim is always to help our customers keep their equipment safe and reliable – and improve the performance of their process.”
“As one customer shared with me: ‘We’re always running – and I’m tired of running. That’s when this service can be a huge relief,” Damien concludes.
Text by Lisa Kettman-Kervinen.
Article originally published in Managing Aging Plants magazine, July/August 2018 edition.
Text originally published in 2018, and slightly updated in April 2022, due to the company name change to Valmet.