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Extending the economic lifetime of ageing plants by systematic engineering

Risultati finali

Original research objectives: To improve the long term profitability of ageing plants while improving SHE (Safety, Health, Environment) performance and to support other economic decision making with respect to SHE issues and maintenance. Methodology: ELAPSE provides a methodology to identify potentially delinquent items of equipment (those whose reliability is inadequate or whose costs are excessive) and investigate possible improvements, such as replacement equipment or changes to maintenance procedures. The methodology uses criteria such as Availability or Maintenance Costs per Unit of Production to rank the performance of subsystems and equipment. A reference model of the plant or system is built, describing its performance on the basis of historical data. Problem areas are identified on the basis of the various criteria and a formal procedure is used to select how an item may be improved: replacement; refurbishment; changes to maintenance procedures, etc. Once possible changes have been identified, their effects can be simulated on the plant model. Once implemented, such changes can bring substantial cost savings and/or increases in productivity. The methodology is expected to be applicable across a wide range of industrial plants. One area where it has been found to be effective, not envisaged in the original plan, is in comparing the performance of similar plants and highlighting any differences, thus giving further clues to the identification of problem areas. ELAPSE Handbook: A complete description of the ELAPSE Methodology, with examples of its use, and incorporating the Software User's Manual. On CD-ROM, in hypertext format. While not intended as a training manual, the Handbook contains a full worked example which could be used as a template for a first ELAPSE study. URL: http://www.vtt.fi/aut/rm/projects/elapse/
Original research objectives: To improve the long term profitability of ageing plants while improving SHE (Safety, Health, Environment) performance and to support other economic decision making with respect to SHE issues and maintenance. As few maintenance and production management systems provide the ability to analyse failure data with respect to time, ELAPSE incorporates a data analysis tool known as Maintenance Event Analysis System for Long-term Evaluation of Statistics (MEASLES). This defines a set of events which may occur during operation of a plant and includes such things as preventive and corrective maintenance, vacation shutdowns, strikes, and supply failures. From these events, the true running time of the plant and equipment can be found, together with the times taken by different maintenance operations and associated down-time, if it occurs. From the timing of these events, the statistical distribution of failures can be calculated, as can mean values. The system accommodates all the different versions of availability as used by differentindustries. URL: http://www.vtt.fi/aut/rm/projects/elapse/

Exploitable results

Original research objectives: To improve the long-term profitability of ageing plants while improving SHE (Safety, Health, Environment) performance. ELAPSE Software Tool: The ELAPSE Software Tool has been used in testing to prove the ELAPSE Methodology. It is available in a near-commercial version -Computas ELAPSE Analyser (TM)- and is usable "as is", provided that the user is supported by experts and has access to the ELAPSE Handbook. The software is based on the Gensym G2 tool under Windows NT or 2000 as the software platform, and has the following features: Interactive Windows-based user interface; file-based management of functional models; text/graphical editor for model creation, updating and display; editor for defining system/component behaviours; automatic invocation of background stochastic simulation; specification and display of calculated performance criteria; interface to CMMS event data via internal database; and interface to Microsoft Excel and other software for post processing of results. The tool is implemented in a highly extensible fashion, and with assistance from Computas AS it can be adapted to specific user requirements. For example, interfaces to specific CMMS can readily be implemented. ELAPSE Software Requirements Specification: A specification for software to implement the ELAPSE Methodology. This has already been used to implement the prototype ELAPSE Software Tool and will form the basis of further developments. In addition to the ELAPSE Methodology, the Software Requirements Specification defines the behavioural simulation methods used in the software and the file formats for interchange with other systems. While the partners intend to keep the specification confidential, file formats may be made public in a separate document, allowing users to interface to their existing systems outside ELAPSE - such as Enterprise Management Systems - and for third party developers - such as manufacturers of Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and Plant Management Systems (PMS) - to provide data transfer to the ELAPSE software. URL: http://www.vtt.fi/aut/rm/projects/elapse/