Using TapRooT to Improve Process Reliability
Our Acrylates Area Oxidation Reactor was experiencing frequent unplanned shutdowns (trips) that were causing losses of large fractions of our plant capacity. Previous corrective actions seemed to have little lasting impact. Our challenge was to form a team of operators, mechanics, and an engineer and come up with ways to reduce and eventually eliminate these unnecessary shutdowns.
A team was formed to study the problem. We decided that we needed better data (not conjecture) to study the reasons for the plant unreliability. We had heard about the TapRooT System and so the whole team attended an open 2-day course.
We went back and started performing a root cause analysis of each reactor trip. Using the root cause information, we developed solid corrective actions for each problem. We also collected statistics (a rolling three-month average) about the causes of the shutdowns and looked into the generic (systemic) causes for the top three causes and developed additional systemic corrective actions for these.
In less than 12 months we saw a constant, dramatic improvement in our plant reliability. Due to the reduction of the number of shutdowns and the estimated capacity available with the improved reliability, in the past two years, we saved about 40 million dollars. These savings will continue to accumulate so the total saved will be even more.
Besides saving money, our team received the highest corporate award possible for these improvement efforts. It easy to see why we believe that learning and using the TapRooT® System is an excellent investment.