With a volatile year that passed, we have learned that certain sectors require an update in several departments. The question we are faced with is “what are these departments and what are the benefits of doing so?”
The oil and gas industry is one of the sectors that has been deemed essential. Every day millions of consumers require oil and gas for several processes. From being used in the manufacturing of paints and rubber to being an energy source for cooking and production, oil and gas are vital.
With such a priority placed, it is understandable why demand continues to rise. However, this means there is a lot of pressure on oil and gas refineries to continue to produce products to satisfy the high demand. This makes it the best time to digitize operations.
What is digitalization?
If you are unfamiliar with digitalization, it is a method that is defined as the process of implementing software and mobile applications to streamline business processes. Digitalization improves the way companies operate. One of the crucial departments that can benefit from digitalization is the maintenance management department. Maintenance is key in any asset-intensive industry, particularly an industry producing a product that is in high demand and under strict deadlines to meet their supplier’s needs. The reason why is because an unforeseen breakdown can occur at any moment, and have disastrous results for the company.
CMMS for digitized maintenance
With a better idea of what digitization is and a better understanding of why it is crucial within the maintenance sector, we now need to look at what systems are available to digitize the maintenance process. There are several solutions available such as Enterprise Asset Management solutions to Integrated Workplace Management systems. The maintenance solution we will focus on for the oil and gas sector will be a CMMS software solution, also known as a Computerized Maintenance Management System.
CMMS systems are cloud-based platforms that enable companies to send and receive work orders, schedule maintenance checks, and develop reports based on maintenance data collected. Implementing a CMMS system and pivoting away from a reactive maintenance plan provides many benefits.
- A digitized maintenance system is more sustainable for large-scale operations, such as the ones found on oil and gas refineries.
- CMMS systems are more cost-effective. While the cost of digitizing maintenance processes may seem like a big investment, we have to understand the costs of reactive maintenance processes. Breakdowns can occur at any moment, this means that the cost of calling out a specialist to repair the machine can vary, depending on the time spent and the type of asset. Predictive maintenance reduces the likelihood of an unforeseen breakdown and reduces the cost.
- Digitizing maintenance processes increases the efficiency of maintenance employees. Digitizing the platform maintenance employees work off means that employees can work on their smartphones. A digital cloud-based CMMS system is often accessible and operable on an employee’s mobile device. Having the ability to send and receive work order assignments directly from a mobile device increases the productivity of the employees.
- Daily operations improve, as breakdowns will be reduced. A breakdown on an oil and gas refinery can be disastrous. It could mean that the business does not meet its deadline or that the company will have to work overtime.
- Increased efficiency is another benefit that will be experienced by the company. Poorly maintained and malfunctioning equipment generally requires more resources to operate, as they are not operating at their optimal potential. Through regularly scheduled maintenance, conducted in conjunction with a CMMS, the refinery can ensure that their equipment is operating optimally with reduced waste.
Tips for implementing a CMMS
With a better understanding of how beneficial it can be for an oil and gas company to digitize its maintenance processes, we can now look at some of the tips these companies can use to ensure a successful implementation.
- First, it is key to find a suitable solutions provider with a CMMS suited to the oil and gas sector. There are specific CMMS systems for oil and gas refineries. The solution provider chosen should be able to support the company during its implementation process.
- Collaborating with the departments that will be using the CMMS is crucial. If a company’s management introduces a new automated system without discussing it with the employees, it will be met with trepidation. Employees must understand that the software solution is there to help them rather than replace them. Clear communication can solve this problem and assist in expediting the adoption process.
- Implement the system in stages. While there will be a lot of excitement around a new software system. Changes can be difficult to manage. By gradually implementing the software amongst managers and employees with influence. The company will make it easier to successfully digitize its maintenance operation.
Digitizing maintenance activities is the next step in efficiency for the oil and gas industry. With a better understanding of how to do so, we can understand why it is crucial.