Best practices save metallurgical companies money

A world leader in metallurgy was grappling with the following external challenges: Chinese competition in the European and American markets, high cost of electricity and volatile raw material prices. Internally, inefficiencies had crept in as the business had grown through acquisitions and a recent reorganization had seen a 30% cut to maintenance staff. What’s more, many other local industries were all looking for the best candidates. T.A. Cook won a tender for the project against major consulting firms, for the global rollout of its maintenance and reliability approaches. Here are some of the key benefits we achieved:

50%

Hands on Tool Time (HoTT)

97%

Availability of critical assets

c

Implementation in production facilities around the globe

c

Global rollout of maintenance & reliability approaches

Approach

As one of the largest metallurgical companies in the world, increased production demand was exerting unprecedented pressure on the company. After running a pilot at one of its sites, T.A. Cook was awarded the global roll-out of the group’s maintenance and reliability program to its other sites in Europe and later, North America (high impact program - 8 to 10 weeks per site). Our experts started by lifting planning and scheduling to a higher level, and introducing problem prevention - not problem solving - as the new norm. Leveraging the power of data and site knowledge, we conducted Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) to identify and mitigate failures negatively impacting Meantime Between Failure (MTBF). This ensured all equipment was running to its greatest capacity; preventive actions, driven by data insight, also increased reliability. T.A. Cook’s world-class standards and sustainable approaches were underpinned by the immediate start of local workshops, training, coaching in the field and top management engagement. 

Achievements

By creating a realistic corporate expectation of planning and work execution, Hands on Tool Time increased to 50% within months - a high target given the requirement for intensive/long traveling within the sites. The availability of critical equipment also increased - such as 100% of the time for smelters and 95% for electrolysis equipment. Our recommendations also meant that materials and spares were always available when required; the same went for the right caliber of talented staff. Above all, T.A. Cook kick-started the standardization of maintenance and inspection programs, leading to significant savings; these benefits were multiplied on each site worldwide.

“We proved our expertise in maintenance and reliability and because we specialize in asset intensive industries, we implemented actions quickly. For this global metallurgical company, we adjusted our worldwide best practices, tailoring them to each site in each country. We worked immediately with local teams – significantly, in their own language. We achieved outstanding results because we worked with our client as a team – during day and night shifts, on weekdays and weekends.”

Maximilian Tan, Senior Manager at T.A. Cook

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