Castrol and Roland Berger release report about the readiness of manufacturing for broader use of predictive maintenance

Posted on 1st April 2015

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Castrol report highlights the significant potential of predictive maintenance to boost manufacturers’ productivity and profitability

• Energy companies have eliminated on average 75% of breakdowns through predictive maintenance
• Average expenditure is halved for power plants operating predictive maintenance on their pumps compared with those relying on reactive maintenance
• Manufacturers want to double maintenance time spent on predictive solutions from 15% to 33%

Leading global lubricants manufacturer, Castrol, and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, a leading global consultancy, have published a new report that investigates the potential of predictive maintenance techniques to increase overall productivity and profitability in the manufacturing sector. The report, titled ‘Predictive maintenance: Is the timing right for predictive maintenance in the manufacturing sector?’ was developed in conjunction with Castrol’s strategic investment arm, Castrol innoVentures. Using examples of results achieved in other industries, the report reinforces the relevance of exploring new predictive maintenance technologies to achieve increased production uptime and greater manufacturing efficiency. This is achieved by using asset condition data to predict failures and thereby only schedule maintenance when necessary.

Energy companies have, on average, eliminated 75% of breakdowns through the implementation of predictive maintenance programs, which is equivalent to almost 8 in ten breakdowns. The report goes on to detail the cost benefits of increasing predictive maintenance, demonstrating that the average cost for power plants operating a predictive maintenance programme on their pumps is 9 USD/hp per annum, compared to 18 USD/hp per annum for reactive maintenance and 13 USD/ hp per annum for preventative cost. Furthermore, in growing recognition of its value, manufacturers have expressed an appetite to increase the time spent on predictive maintenance solutions from 15% to 33%, while reducing spend on reactive and preventative maintenance.

Commenting on the findings, Bryan Rabenau, Castrol innoVentures Territory Leader, said:
“Maintenance is increasingly seen as a strategic business function by manufacturers that are looking for new opportunities to drive efficiency and lower costs. Advanced predictive maintenance technologies present a powerful tool to aid manufacturers in easing their maintenance burdens, increasing facilities’ overall productivity and profitability. However, unlike other industries that have realized measurable benefits, this is yet to be commonplace in manufacturing – for a number of key reasons, but this is changing. Increasing uptake will require entrepreneurial predictive maintenance providers to adapt their solutions to meet the varied and complex dynamics of manufacturing operations.

Predictive maintenance solutions flag a greater number of issues than software employing simpler techniques such as condition monitoring. As such, they can provide diagnostic insight as well as prioritizing issues by severity and suggesting actionable measures that can be taken to prevent impending failures. The technology represents a developing trend in maintenance strategy that is already providing measureable customer benefits on a wide range of metrics to sectors that share notable synergies with manufacturing, including oil and gas, wind, power generation and aerospace.

By transferring knowledge gained by these early adopters of predictive maintenance to the manufacturing sector, the report argues that significant added value can be created through reductions in unplanned downtime, extensions of asset lifecycles, elimination of unnecessary maintenance tasks and reductions in component replacement costs. However, there are barriers with transferring functional predictive maintenance solutions into manufacturing. This is mainly due to the wide and complex range of critical equipment used as well as diverse and dynamic operating conditions, which can be technically challenging for solutions providers. Similarly, budgetary pressures and a cultural inertia towards reactive maintenance still need to be largely resolved in order achieve widespread adoption of predictive maintenance in manufacturing.

Bryan Rabenau concluded: “The highly intuitive nature of predictive maintenance solutions can make improvements to current maintenance approaches that the manufacturing industry utilizes. However, based on the considerable cost and efficiency savings that have been realized in adjacent industries, we believe it is only a matter of time before an accessible predictive maintenance solution is developed for the manufacturing sector. To help unlock similar opportunities, Castrol innoVentures is actively encouraging synergistic technology providers to collaborate with us in exploring how this process can be accelerated.”

About the report

‘Predictive maintenance: Is the timing right for predictive maintenance in the manufacturing sector?’ was commissioned by Castrol innoVentures, with research undertaken by Castrol and Roland Berger over a six month period. The report consisted of secondary research of reliability centered maintenance approaches and predictive analytics best practices in published literature from across industries, as well as, current predictive maintenance providers offerings. Additionally, manufacturers and manufacturing personnel were interviewed as part of the report’s primary research.

About Castrol

Castrol is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of premium lubricating oils, greases, metal working fluids, control fluids and related services to automotive, manufacturing, mining, marine, and oil exploration and production customers across the world. Castrol couples high quality lubricant engineering with an expert technical support network and supply capability to deliver quality solutions wherever customers need them. Castrol employs over 7,500 people, it operates directly in more than 80 countries, and is represented by over 2,000 third party distributors. Part of the BP group, the company is headquartered in the UK. At the forefront of pioneering technology with its 13 R&D centres globally, Castrol invests every year in research and development of lubricants. Castrol’s global teams of specialists have a deep understanding of what customers need and advise on solutions designed to optimize performance and help improve quality, productivity and the environmental, health and safety profiles of their customers. The brand represents over 100 years’ experience in ‘liquid engineering’: producing advanced lubricants for a wide range of applications, from manufacturing processes and metalworking to mining, shipping and marine activities and energy production. Castrol’s products and services play a critical role in lubricating the global economy through what is mined, made and moved around the world.

About Castrol innoVentures

Castrol innoVentures is based in the UK with a global remit. It seeks out and invests in new business opportunities to support Castrol’s core lubricants business and to develop options beyond lubricants. The Castrol innoVentures group is focused on investing in and building businesses that significantly improve customer growth and competitiveness in manufacturing, among other sectors. The group makes strategic investments in technology start-ups that help its customers improve operations.