For a leading sugar manufacturer: plant availability increased, maintenance costs reduced

POSTED ON 15. APRIL 2021 BY CONMOTO-REDAKTION


During the sugar campaign, i.e. during the beet harvest and subsequent sugar production, producers’ plants run at full capacity. Plant downtime costs money. The availability and reliability of the plants with acquisition values in the triple-digit millions is therefore crucial to a company’s economic success. That’s why the rest of the year is used intensively for maintenance, repair, and optimization work that involves annual expenses and investments in the millions. A leading manufacturer of sugar with five plants in Germany commissioned ConMoto with a project to optimize value-oriented maintenance.


The project team scrutinized maintenance over a period of twelve months, at the five plants employing quantitative and qualitative benchmarking methods and with best practices as the basis of comparison. Various operational measures significantly improved plant availability while at the same time reducing maintenance costs. A key success factor was the introduction and implementation of best practice-based reliability engineering methods and processes. By adapting maintenance strategies at the component level direct as well as indirect maintenance costs were cut significantly, additionally, shutdown management was professionalized. Through better advance planning of work volumes and available resources during shutdowns, the completion rate of shutdown orders was sustainably increased.


Increase in the degree of planning, more efficient use of resources


The improvement of the order management processes and their integration into the Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) were a decisive prerequisite for increasing the degree of planning, reducing firefighting actions, and for more efficient use of resources. The foundation was also laid for further development in the direction of mobile maintenance systems with handhelds in order to reduce the administrative effort required for entries into the IT system. A comprehensive KPI system for maintenance and a shop floor management system that gives a weekly comprehensive review of key figures rounded off the ConMoto project.


Robust and total-cost-optimized processes are the decisive key to greater competitiveness in plant-intensive industries. In this project, the most important maintenance processes were completely transformed and made fit for the future within just one year.