Allied Chemical Nylon Plant Case Study
Mark A. Latino, President, Reliability.com
Subject Matter Expert – RCA
This case study took place at a nylon plant in Virginia which at the time provided major amounts of nylon to the tire and carpet industries. The plant was incapable of achieving design capacity of 334,000,000 lbs. annually.
- Highest demonstrated production was 319,000,000 lbs.
- Plant structures and machinery had severely deteriorated
With downtime exceeding 15% and overtime at 17% not only was production suffering but injury rates were climbing to an unhealthy number. As a result management was getting involved in major repair and downtime planning creating a lot of stress among plant employees.
The low plant nylon yield capabilities led to a reliability assessment by the Reliability department. A result of the assessment revealed the root cause analyses performed lacked depth and were not getting down to the system issues of failures.
The preventive predictive activities were not being properly executed.
Preventive maintenance activities were being constantly rescheduled and incurring unexpected outages as a result. Predictive maintenance activities were not happening at scheduled intervals which were also leading to unexpected failures. The reactive work was causing maintenance to pull the predictive analysts to work with tools instead of taking predictive readings like vibration.
Planning and scheduling was suffering because of the amount of planning needed due to reactive downtime. This was overwhelming the planners. The spare parts inventory was a mess which caused supervisors to horde parts in areas around the plant without stores knowing what was out there actually on equipment. The decision making wasn’t taking place at the level with the most field knowledge. This needed to be restored to the right people.
As a result of the corrections recommended by the Reliability team:
- The plant produced at 369,000,000 lbs. the first year
- 98% Uptime for 10 years (calculation includes scheduled turnarounds)
- 40% Reduction in maintenance costs
- 4% to 5% maintenance overtime for 10 years
- Won Corporation’s “President’s Safety Award”
- Net dollar benefits estimated at $96,000,000
All of these conditions were created because of reacting to unscheduled outages. When lacking proaction, priority, and focus in an organization this kind of environment is created robbing you of the ability of using time effectively. All of your reliability activities as well as production are negatively affected.
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