Total Process Reliability (TPR) is a process used to improve equipment efficiency by enrolling the entire organisation in incident management. The TPR philosophy is reflected in 5 major tenets which involve improving equipment uptime and reliability, sharing equipment maintenance responsibilities with the operator (frontline maintenance—basic care), engaging people in improvement teams, improving skills and knowledge of operators and mechanics, and improving the processes for equipment design, production and installation.
Supplemented by rigorous fixed equipment inspection (integrity management) programmes, TPR has become a common factor among pace-setter downstream refinery and petrochemical complexes which routinely have thin profit margins. These combined programmes often assume names like “Asset Integrity Management" or “Asset Management—Maintenance Excellence”, even though the basic tools of the programmes are very similar.
In the past, upstream production operations generally involved utilisation of equipment that was far less complex than equipment that has been needed in recent years, as higher cost and complexity is required for most Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) projects. Over the past few years, many of these EOR projects have been rapidly developed and implemented because of the relatively good profit margins involved. As a result, “front-end” reliability engineering/TPR organisational development often does not get the attention it deserves. As the operation of those facilities moves forward in a high-profit-margin environment, the high cost of ensuing repetitive equipment or process design failures often gets masked from large operators until a major event occurs resulting in a series of substantial production-loss incidents which may include an environmental disaster.
By implementing a solid Total Process Reliability programme and mechanical integrity management system that is clearly driven from the top of the organisation, companies can utilise a set of disciplines, methodologies, and tools to help them recognise and optimise the impact on the life cycle of the business. This will considerably reduce costs, improve the overall performance of the assets, and greatly reduce the exposure to risks associated with poor reliability, availability, and efficiency. As a by-product, the protection of human assets and the environment will be improved as well.
With many EOR projects being joint ventures due to the high initial investment cost, the long-term benefits of recognising and managing equipment failures, reducing life cycle costs, and implementing the organisational structure required to achieve this will be of great value to the operating partners. These benefits will improve their performance, and facilitate prudent management of all their assets. Implementing a TPR programme can improve maintenance costs by 25–50%, and advance production on-stream times, in excess of 95% availability.
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Three (3) days of informal discussions prompted by selected keynote presentations and discussions. Workshops maximise the exchange of ideas among attendees and presenters through brief technical presentations followed by extended Q&A periods. Focused topics attract an informed audience eager to discuss issues critical to advancing both technology and best practices. The majority of the presentations are in the form of case studies, highlighting engineering achievements and lessons learnt. In order to stimulate frank discussion, no proceedings are published and the press is not invited to attend.
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