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New RAM Study Identifies Unit Improvement Opportunities

In a recent interview with the trade press, Jeet Bindra, former Chevron Refining CEO said, “the first one-trillion barrels of oil was consumed worldwide over the course of 125 years.” Remarkably, Bindra emphasized that, “the next one-trillion barrels of oil will be consumed in just the next 25 years!” This is why strategic planners are emphasizing the importance of distributing operating costs over a large number of barrels while also building plant reliability into a facility.

In this effort, Solomon Associates just recently announced the launch of its International Study of Plant Reliability and Maintenance Effectiveness (RAM Study) for operating year 2014. This study of refineries provides comparative performance analyses between companies worldwide to identify and quantify areas for improved reliability and maintenance performance.

“Today’s top performers are approaching 99% mechanical availability while spending only 1.4% of their plant replacement value,” said RAM Study Project Manager Jeff Dudley. “Plants not achieving these levels are losing opportunities and incurring unnecessary maintenance costs.”

Since 1996, the RAM Study has captured extensive data across all performance areas of reliability and maintenance from more than 8,000 process units. Participants rely on these study results to identify improvement opportunities.

“Participating in the RAM Study allows for the gaining of valuable insight, including a comparison of what top industry performers are achieving,” said Dudley. “This insight will help identify organizational and asset areas where organizations are currently losing opportunities.”

The RAM Study addresses the latest technologies and methodologies in reliability and maintenance, including:
• 20% reduction in data requirements from studies prior to 2011
• Simplified web-based data input process, allowing multiple, simultaneous users
• Auto-validation of data prior to submission
• A detailed Opportunities Report for each process unit with prioritization of improvements and their values
• Comprehensive study files at the process-unit and site level, showing all performance data analysis of study data
• Standard metrics for analyzing performance
• Gap analysis comparing performance to top performers
• Comparisons across geographic regions
• Absolute client confidentiality
• An on-site presentation of results for executives and senior managers as well as maintenance managers and reliability engineers
• An on-site, detailed review and workshop of the Opportunities Report, enabling participants to identify and prioritize their unique improvements.

Participating in Solomon’s 2014 RAM Study can help a facility identify opportunities for improvement, reduce unit downtime, minimize labor and material overhead costs, increase production capacity without costly capital investment, and improve reliability and maintenance optimization.

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