Intelligent Operations: The Road to Operational Excellence
Industry continues to seek new ways to enhance financial performance. Intelligent Operations is a bold new approach to achieve Operational Excellence (OpEx). It uses digital transformation to optimize production, minimize equipment downtime, enhance human performance, and manage operational risks.
To do this, companies need to break down existing departmental, management, cultural, and data management silos.
Core Fabric to Intelligent Operations
Intelligent Operations is an agile, responsive, proactive framework that can be quickly modified as an organization matures. The key is driving interoperability of processes to unlock new business value. By building a relevant single source of truth, companies can simplify redundant processes and create a master data governance structure that undergirds the entire Intelligent Operations platform. The core building blocks include people, materials, and equipment.
The four foundational ingredients for Intelligent Operations are integrated Management of Change, Risk Assessment, Engineering Content, and Enterprise Loss Prevention. At the core, Intelligent Operations addresses the management of risk and the elimination of waste. One of the key benefits of Intelligent Operations is to move to an “Asset Based” outcome, which is critical for models that focus on prognostics on equipment.
Not only do the building blocks need to be in place, companies need to assess the type of data and frequency of data collection to enable artificial intelligence (AI) to be utilized in the more advanced stages of intelligent operations. Today, most of the data collected is transactional in nature and the frequency and quality of information greatly limits the potential of AI to detect patterns and anomalies. But implementing an Intelligent Operations framework today helps organizations future-proof their technology investments.
The next phase of maturity uses connectors and appliances to leverage external data sources such as data historians, laboratory information management systems (LIMS), Human Resource (HR) information, vibration monitoring via sensors and more. This data-rich environment drives diagnostic insights into key areas such as asset performance / asset health, operations, and production. In the final stages of maturity, mobility, simulation/modeling, and augmented reality can be leveraged to provide additional value. When fully mature, Intelligent Operations delivers an Operational Performance Management layer to help prioritize threats and manage corrective actions.
Foundation for Intelligent Operations
The interoperability of key safety aspects such as MOC, Corrective and Preventative Action (CAPA), Enterprise Loss Management and Risk Management afforded by Intelligent Operations is important as it automatically routes information and ensures key processes and knowledge is protected and distributed. Establishing these as foundational elements for Intelligent Operation is crucial to managing Operational Risks to enhance compliance assurance.
Phases of Maturity
To achieve intelligent operations, companies need to build from the ground up on a common architecture. Attempting to leverage disparate architectures with overlapping functionality without a common data model simply isn’t feasible due to the sheer volume of interoperability points — typically several hundred. In that scenario, the amount of integration would be simply overwhelming; but without it, new process dependencies will also remain out of reach, limiting the business value that can be derived. It seems counterintuitive, but a ground up build is usually the most efficient and effective.
A basic maturity model for Intelligent Operations would look like this:
Companies who achieve Intelligent Operations can achieve new levels of performance, leading to optimal profitability and top quartile performance. Additional business benefits include:
Intelligent Operations allows companies to leverage mobility for core work processes to enable operational excellence to come about. An integrated solution with a “single pane of glass” enables strategic mobility to drive performance improvements. Our “single pane of glass” approach delivers intuitive, simple to navigate, mobile applications unified with core enterprise applications… and puts them in the palm of your hand. From work notifications and work orders, inspections, managing change, managing work permits, executing procedures, seeing data historian trends, and critical information are delivered at the point of work at the shop floor, so everyone can focus on the most important items. The result is more efficient and effective execution of work, more equipment uptime, less safety incidents, and enhanced plant throughput.
Today, most companies are seeking to achieve Operational Excellence (OpEx).
Achieving Operational Excellence takes a focus on interoperability to achieve the desired efficiency and enhanced profitability of an organization. Those concepts are at the core of the Intelligent Operations approach. By building relevant single sources of truth coupled with the core building blocks and a solid framework, companies can obtain sustainable outcomes. Said another way, Intelligent Operations is the best pathway to Operational Excellence.
Let Operational Sustainability, LLC help you create and implement an Intelligent Operations strategy to achieve Operational Excellence.