Recent research from 20 of the largest global metals manufacturers on leveraging maintenance as a path to profit, found that major metal manufacturers are adopting proactive maintenance systems that can proactively detect and isolate potential problems at their inception. This is essential to avoid the negative, and often irreversible, effects on production through unplanned events.

Staying competitive in metal manufacturing requires reliable and efficient operations. Simultaneously, increasing pressures from commodity, energy and compliance costs together with fluctuating demand, underscore the need to achieve new levels of production efficiency. Further amplifying these pressures are the increasingly stringent regulations to reduce carbon emissions. As a result, operators must find solutions to enhance production and reduce maintenance costs.

Downtime, especially when unplanned, is a major threat to production efficiency since a failure in one area of manufacturing environments can have a snowball effect in other areas.

"Despite an average of 10–12 hours of maintenance (planned downtime) being scheduled every 1-2 months, an estimated 60% of the total downtime in a plant is unplanned."

Bently Nevada (a Baker Hughes business)

Despite an average of 10–12 hours of maintenance (planned downtime) being scheduled every 1-2 months, an estimated 60% of the total downtime in a plant is unplanned.

Unplanned downtime starts with functional failure and often triggers a cascade of negative reactions and escalating costs that lead to losses in production and profit. The key to mitigating unplanned downtime is the improvement of asset reliability. Leading metals manufacturers are achieving increased uptime, efficiency and profitability while reducing maintenance spend.

Proactive maintenance using condition monitoring in the metals industry

Maintenance is both a crucial capability and a major operating expense in the metal industry. The far-reaching impacts of maintenance span commercial risk, plant output, product quality, production costs, safety, and environmental performance. Over the next few years, the adoption of new maintenance strategies will be vital for the profitability of the metals industry.

Recent research found that major metal manufacturers are adopting proactive maintenance systems that can proactively detect and isolate potential problems at their inception. This is essential to avoid the negative, and often irreversible, effects on production through unplanned events. The key enabler is proactive maintenance via condition monitoring systems, the gateway to smarter metal manufacturing and a stronger future.

Proactive maintenance systems help monitor assets in real-time to determine the potential cause, severity, and impact of impending failure and recommend corrective action before failure occurs. These systems can typically predict potential failures before irreversible damage begins, allowing for timely and cost-effective maintenance.

Condition monitoring is vital to proactive asset management in the metal industry. It is used to control the operating condition of steel mills, which is essential to optimize profitability. Metal industry operations are prone to harsh environments; hence, major condition monitoring suppliers offer specific hardware, software and services for effective condition monitoring solutions. By leveraging pre-failure alerts, repairs can occur at the lowest possible maintenance cost and with minimal or no operational disruptions.

Download the research here and learn more about the insights gathered from 20 of the largest global manufacturers of metals.