Asset management using diagnostics when it really counts
There are similarities between the health of our plants and the health of our bodies. Both send us diagnostic messages if we’re willing to listen to the warnings and act on them. Video: Peter Zornio and Rob McGreevy discuss how and why companies can manage their manufacturing assets better.
Recently I had an exchange with a friend who told me that he was recovering from a heart bypass operation without having suffered a heart attack. His doctors had undertaken the surgery based on diagnostic information, fixing the problem before something more drastic happened. That is, after all, the basic concept of asset management, and what better place to use it than an individual’s most valuable asset.
This reminded me of a discussion I captured on video (above) where one of the participants made just that comparison. He also made the point that, just as we don’t always act on what our bodies tell us, we don’t always take appropriate action within our plant environments.
The six-minute video offers thoughts on effective asset management from Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer for Emerson Process Management, and Rob McGreevy, vice president of platform and applications for Invensys Operations Management.
The cover story of our May issue deals with a Monsanto manufacturing facility that has been very successful at reducing unplanned shutdowns, reducing maintenance costs, and extending plant availability through the use of some very basic asset management techniques supported by diagnostics from smart valves and field devices.
The question is, why don’t more companies use these capabilities? The answer, more often than not, seems to hinge on whether one key individual in a plant has gotten the message and experienced the benefits. If that individual is willing to pursue that objective with some zeal, amazing things can happen and nobody has to suffer a heart attack.
Peter Welander, email@example.com
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.