You are Home   »   News   »   View Article

Integrating asset management and SCM

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Most offshore supply chain management is to deliver items to help manage the offshore asset - so it makes sense to keep your asset management and supply chain management systems tightly integrated, says IBM's Deb Chakraborty

Most offshore supply chain management is to deliver items to help manage the offshore asset, said
said Deb Chakraborty, Associate Partner with IBM, speaking at Digital Energy Journal's November 28 Aberdeen conference 'reducing complexity in supply chain management.

Every task on the asset creates a demand for materials, and the materials managers need to supply it, and the procurement managers have to buy it, and the work, spare parts and crew all need to be scheduled.

So it makes sense to have the systems integrated together as much as possible, he said.

'The supply chain function needs to understand the asset and its needs very well, to make sure the asset is fed with the right stuff,' he said.

All of this can lead to big cost savings, when you consider that the the cost of supplying an offshore platform can be 15-30 per cent of the total operating expenditure of a platform.

Mr Chakraborty recently managed a project for an oil major, to connect together its asset management and supply chain systems globally.

Predicting needs

So perhaps the first step to good supply chain management is to get better at predicting what tasks will need to be performed, so you can make sure the right spare parts are delivered.

IBM has developed software tools which process a range of data from the asset, to try to make predictions about which parts are close to failure and need maintenance work.

It can process data from many different sources, including data historians, asset management systems, sensors, telemetry, engineering reports, and unstructured but detailed information in the operator's log.

The software can spot patterns about what problems occur regularly, which you can use to put together a plan for maintenance work and make sure you have the right spares available.

The software can also gather data about the costs of repair, the costs of not doing anything, and the supply chain costs.

Over time, you can get a picture of what kind intervention options prevent failures. You can gather data about the costs of repair, or the costs of not doing anything.

'Then you can feed all these things to the supply chain,' he said.

If you have a fixed budget for a year, you can work out what are the best projects to spend it on,
and decide what to plan for the next 2 years.

IBM also has a dynamic scheduling tool, which works out the best schedule for doing work, based on crewing schedules and supply chain logistics. If it becomes clear that a job needs critical spares which are not available, the work can be rescheduled, and the qualified operators who are already on the platform, can be assigned to any priority 2 jobs.

Real time data

Analysing real time data can also give a good indication of what spare parts you are likely to need in future, he said. 'You nearly always see a spike pattern in real time data streams before any failure.'

These spikes can be fed into a diagnostic rule engine, and fed into the asset management system.

It might not be a problem worthy of an alarm, but could be a problem you want to warn people about, or suggest a physical inspection, or tell you which spares would be handy to have ready because there might be a failure.

Combining real time data from multiple sensors generates a deeper picture of a hidden problem, for example if you get feed an analytic rule engine with a changes in both vibration readings and thermographic (heat) readings.

The aviation industry already makes use of real time sensor data, alerting a technician that it is worth checking a certain component next time the aeroplane lands.


Turnarounds, or 'shutdowns', are when a production facility is shut down to do work which cannot be completed in a normal operating condition, cost around $20m each time for an offshore platform, Mr Chakraborty said. Additionally 13 per cent of turnarounds take longer than they were planned to.

Usually turnarounds are planned by people who manage offshore activities, although they do not necessarily have the best view of what is going on.

At the end of it, 'people just blame each other and in the end say, forget about it, let's do the next one better,' he said.

IBM suggests a dashboard system, which everyone can use, to see how a turnaround is progressing, and if something went beyond schedule, what the reasons for it was.

It developed a system with Statoil called 'turnaround analyser', which analyses all of the data after a shutdown, looking at KPIs and deviations.

Dreamliner batteries

As an example of the benefits of integrating sophisticated asset management analytics with supply chain management, Mr Chakraborty told a story about Boeing's Dreamliner aircraft, which had to be taken out of service due to a battery problem.

It was the first time Boeing had used lithium batteries onboard for electrical power.

Rather than just blame the supplier, Boeing's approach was to put together a team of engineers and mathematicians to try to build up statistical models of electrical demand during a flight and its impact on battery temperature, so they could find a way to make sure demand was never so high that the battery would be heated to a dangerous temperature. Boeing collected all the data it could, both from its own aircraft and from battery vendors.

'The airline industry is one of the first to use analytics as a 'business as usual' process,' he said.

Associated Companies
comments powered by Disqus


To attend our free events, receive our newsletter, and receive the free colour Digital Energy Journal.


Latest Edition Oct-Dec 2023
Nov 2023

Download latest and back issues


Learn more about supporting Digital Energy Journal