Cosmo Consult optimizes Processes at Shutdown
When refineries and large plants are shut down for maintenance, often several thousand external service technician do their work there. Each process optimization then contributes to reduce the costs and duration of the shutdown. A refinery in Karlsruhe accomplished to digitalize parts of the communication and coordination processes with the service partners using mobile apps, cloud-solutions and a sophisticated system integration to save time and money.
At the sites of the process industry, the production plants are closely interlinked with each other. Therefore, a revision of the entire plant, during which production is completely shut down, is required by law at regular intervals for safety inspections. The plant operators use these shutdowns to implement maintenance and investment activities.
Roundabout 3,300 externals service technicians work with 1,000 interns on the factory premises of MiRO Mineraloelraffinerie Oberrhein GmbH & Co. KG in Karlsruhe during a shutdown. Because each day during the shutdown incurs high costs, the company is looking for ways to save time. For the scheduled shutdown in spring 2018, MiRO used a web-based shutdown portal with mobile apps for the first time. Developers of the technology is the Cosmo Consult Group, one of the world’s leading Microsoft Dynamic partners and end-to-end solution providers. With the portal it was possible to optimize the interaction with external partners in key sub-areas of the project.
Be safe during Data Exchange
A key factor for the success of the project was the digital exchange of important project data between the shutdown planning and the external service managers. In this way, technicians receive project information and assembly orders on their smartphone or tablet and can mobile confirm completed orders to the shutdown planning.The data transfers are coordinated by two data hubs; these are hubs for data that transfer information from a software or mobile app to another networked application. One of these data hubs is installed directly in the MiRO data center and controls the data exchange with the project planning systems. The mobile devices of the service technicians are networked with the second data hub. The two data hubs are also linked together.
This ensures that the mobile devices have no direct connection to the data center, which is mandatory for security reasons.
Digital Processes create Transparency
The COSMO Contractor Portal is available for the data hub running under the Microsoft Azure Cloud. The shutdown portal supplies the service technicians with mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. This includes, among other things, the COSMO Mobile Confirmation app for reporting completed project tasks or the COSMO Mobile Information tool, which provides technicians with current information on the project and installation order. Feedback is sent directly to the planning software via the two networked data hubs, where it automatically changes the current project status. With COSMO Z-Tool, another mobile app, service technicians track unplanned additional measures that arise during maintenance or installation work. With a photo and a short description, a release process is initiated, via which the production line can approve and schedule unforeseen tasks with just a few clicks.
Saving Time thanks to mobile Apps
During the shutdown 2018, 130 users in 11 different subprojects used the mobile apps of Cosmo Consult. Around 24,000 activities were recorded and tracked. With the mobile data exchange MiRO mineral oil refinery achieved that important information is available faster. This meant that subsequent work could be started earlier and unproductive waiting times and manual duplicate entries could be avoided. “On large construction sites, up to 40 percent of the working hours are unproductive, because service providers go through necessary but bureaucratic procedures. Employees also spend a lot of time searching for trades, parts or machines or waiting for permits. This can be avoided with digital technologies such as the data hub and our mobile apps.”, underlines Udo Ramin, managing director of COSMO CONSULT TIC GmbH. While extensive project plans in the form of wallpapers were previously obligatory, this time the refinery’s shutdown management worked completely digital in the areas where mobile apps were used. In an internal acceptance voting, the cc|mobile confimation received 4 out of 5 stars.