October 26, 2022
Our time at the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers summit was insightful and rewarding. We attended over a dozen sessions where we had the chance to learn from industry experts like INVISTA’s Turnaround Execution Coordinator, ExxonMobil’s Differentiating Technologies Group Lead, and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company’s Product Owner.
Here are the top three takeaways from the AFPM Summit 2022, in case you missed it!
Information is a valuable currency in every dynamic team; everyone involved in a project needs to be on the same page and have quick access
to information. There’s an overwhelming push in the industry to digitize and centralize information.
We saw this when discussing turnaround and shutdown events. Everyone on the team benefits immensely from the digital information exchange, including the plant manager, process engineer, operator, and contractor. Paper and other printed materials are susceptible to the harsh environment of these petrochemical facilities and to being misplaced or lost; this can be prevented by having a digital platform for communication, progress tracking, data review, and even permitting.
Making data easily accessible goes a long way in improving a team’s performance. In the “Ease of Maintenance and Adoption with AI for Process Optimization” session, the speaker talked about how providing a user-friendly interface to interact with complex data and processes eliminates technical knowledge barriers and doesn’t exclude anyone from unlocking insights.
Smartphones and tablets have become extensions of ourselves. Why not harness their power to improve productivity and unlock insights on the job? This is the question that encapsulates the current conversation about the use of mobile devices in our industry, and was the central talking point on the “Bringing Mobile Technologies into the Reliability/Maintenance Environments” session.
The primary role of these devices boils down to communication; people on the field can receive real-time notifications about the status of the project, they can conduct inspections based on the route shown on their device, they can request signatures for approval and further the project, they can report directly from the field and extract the insights they require, etc.
The use of blastproof cases and private networks are two important steps in the industry adopting mobile devices to elevate efficiency closer to the ideal state.
New technologies and processes take time to implement, and there are many blockades to company-wide adoption. In the “How Digital Turnarounds at INVISTA Improved Execution” session, one of the speakers mentioned that top-down internal adoption is the way they found the most success; having a subject matter expert in a managerial position help pave the way and educate the rest of the team, lowers apprehension to change and is linked to decreasing the time it takes for them to become proficient in the technology/process/tool.
The speaker also pointed out that companies must provide support and training, especially in the early stages of implementation. They cited a lack of support during the transition and a lack of accountability/agency as the two main pitfalls of change management.
Managers and directors that can answer these questions are bound to have a successful implementation process:
The tools needed to solve our industry challenges must have an all-encompassing approach that touches on the three topics mentioned above; they must be flexible and accessible, while also being easy to implement and scale. Only then will the solutions provided generate a genuine impact on the performance of the industry.
If you would like to learn more about solutions like these, check out JP Interactive Viewer!