Challenge / Client

T.A. Cook has recently partnered with a metallurgical company - one of the largest in the world. The volatile reliability of its critical equipment across its five global sites was causing unplanned downtime, and this was having a negative impact on the bottom line. Leveraging our extensive experience in the heavy industries, here’s how we developed a more proactive and lucrative approach to manufacturing with our localized world-wide best practice. Here are some of the key benefits we achieved:

x5 RCA

in 6 weeks on major, critical equipment

x5 FMEA

in 6 weeks on major, critical equipment

100%

Smelter availability

95%

Electrolysis availability

Approach

A lack of equipment and machinery reliability was a core issue that had to be tackled as a matter of urgency. Using data from multiple sources including sensors (IoT) and CMMS (SAP PM), as well as technical feedback from operators, technicians, reliability engineers and the asset manager, T.A. Cook was able to define equipment strategies. These targeted the high impact failure modes and linked them to business risk.

By focusing on Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA), we were able to ascertain the causes of the biggest losses due to lack of availability, throughput or poor quality. Our specialists facilitated workshops to impart leading industry solutions on inspection and maintenance, and trained reliability engineers in new methods. Throughout the entire journey, top-level management was involved, along with a two-year, ongoing sustainability schedule for the improvements.

Achievements

Very quickly, our client took a giant leap forward with their knowledge of the equipment and ability to incorporate risk into new strategies. This led to adjustments to inspection and maintenance plans – supported by the training of engineers in reliability methodologies – and helped change the environment from a reactive (repair) one to preventive (maintain).

The availability of equipment also increased: the smelter to 100%, the electrolysis equipment to 95% - 5% imperative for preventive activities requiring equipment shutdown. And the stacking robots’ availability also increased to 80%, leaving 20% (4 hours of the day) for preventative maintenance. 

“I worked with the operators, technicians and engineers on a daily basis. I was alongside them on shop floor and also spent some night shifts with them. Then I talked to management to help sort out their problems. We don’t ever tell our clients what to do. We worked out the best solutions for each specific site – and gave them the knowledge to succeed. Everyone wanted to shine and they understood that their actions have a huge impact.” 

Lance Bisinger, Senior Manager at T.A. Cook

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