Bently HOST: Achieving Peace-of-mind through an Outcome Focused Solution
12 min read
Bently HOST: Outcome Services Technology
In the history of machines, from the dawn of the first industrial revolution some 200 years ago, until now, the goal of plant operators everywhere has been achieving absolute reliability from their machinery assets. Unfortunately, this goal has been hobbled by the very real fact that all machinery possesses a measure of unreliability.
It’s that measure of unreliability that we as condition monitoring practitioners have been chipping away at for centuries now. To our credit, we’ve been able to decrease unplanned downtime and increase reliability even in the face of forces such as:
Increased demands in production
Longer machine life expectancies
Demand for higher ROIs
Reduced staff skill sets
And many more…
We, as plant operators, also concede that we’ll never attain 100% reliability in an industrial environment. Things wear down, period. But, we are constantly pushing that number to be closer to 100%. Even as our machines become more complex, and thus mathematically more prone to failure, our condition monitoring strategies have become more effective, allowing us to enter the ninety-ninth percentile of reliability, and uptime numbers previous generations only dreamed of.
The traditional view of failure is that assets and their components wear out based on a predictable time interval. Failure statistics, however, show that this is only the case for a relatively small percentage of the asset population. This study, originating in the airline industry, shows that only 11% of failures exhibit wear-out zone patterns where time to failure based on run-time, or calendar time can be predicted with reasonable certainty.
The majority of assets, 89% as shown in this study, show no predictable wear-out zone based on time in service. A large percentage of these assets exhibited an infant mortality pattern. For these assets, a predictive maintenance strategy is the most effective.
Ask any machinery operator and they will tell you, at the end of the day, any failure can be traced back to a root cause, even if that cause goes all the way back to manufacturing or materials. So, when we hear talk of “random failures” in machinery assets, we understand that statement to mean a failure that is beyond a given organization’s window of investigation and spectrum of insight tools in place. The question then becomes, how can you increase your window of investigation and depth of insight, and more importantly, why should you? How can you move things from the “random” category squarely into the “known issue” category?
Getting Ahead of the (P-F) Curve
Every plant operator needs to know as much as they can about the condition of their machinery assets so as to make informed maintenance decisions. By understanding what optimal performance looks like, you can define what’s normal, and you can also identify what’s abnormal.
Of course, the traditional P-F Curve illustrates the benefits of implementing a predictive maintenance program.
A further illustration
A typical failure mode of an antifriction bearing over a P-F interval shows that in most cases, an antifriction bearing is giving visible symptoms for the progressing failure well before actual functional failure. There are many available predictive technologies that allow us to monitor the deterioration of the bearing condition without shutting down the machine.
Without such monitoring, there is no insight into what caused the incident, and when actual damage starts. In most instances, a reactionary approach to asset maintenance leads to blind spots, more downtime, higher maintenance costs and sometimes even an HSE incident. Whereas by implementing a Predictive Maintenance program, see how much wider the window of opportunity is when we work our way back through the failure timeline.
By deploying predictive maintenance and related condition monitoring strategies, we’re able to see smaller, less overt instances of wear along with conditions that will eventually lead to damage. With managing below an alert level as our goal, by possessing and analyzing this earlier data, we can prevent, or at least mitigate, the damage-causing incident that was the beginning of the traditional P-F Curve through a planned maintenance downtime versus an unplanned (and costly) outage.
Remember, it is not only important to safeguard the equipment from damage and production loss, it is equally important to predict the impeding failure and collect meaningful data to ‘learn from mistakes and operational upsets’.
Of course, this is all well and good, but there is this little issue of cost. The cost associated with gaining those predictive insights...
When discussing the costs associated with the maintenance of machinery assets in an industrial setting, it is important to understand ALL of the costs, many of which are hidden from the typical accounting of an organization’s maintenance program. In more, shall we say, short-sighted condition monitoring assessments, one might only focus on the obvious costs associated with machinery maintenance, costs such as:
...and while those are indeed costs that need to be accounted for, you are, as the saying goes, only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
As you can see here, if you want true, accurate accounting for the costs of your organization’s machinery maintenance program (or more accurately the faults within), you need to peek your head below the surface and start asking hard questions as they pertain to costs. What is the cost associated with an unplanned outage of Critical Machine X that could result in Y days of lost production? Those costs cascade out into the marketplace in the form of late deliveries, potential loss of customers, as well as safety and environmental issues. Even without a catastrophic failure, by running your equipment at less than optimal conditions - which is hard to avoid without the proper insights - you can add these hidden, sub-surface costs in the form of higher energy consumption, lower quality final product, even wasted resources (over-maintained) and reduced asset life.
It is with this level of accuracy in accounting for your maintenance program, your machinery’s criticality to your overall production line, that you will be able to come up with a hard number that can represent the value of a given machine against the costs of less than optimal operation.
“That’s great,” you say. “But what about the costs associated with setting up a truly predictive maintenance program? All that infrastructure, new sensors, new networking, new racks for high-end machinery - to say nothing of the software licenses? And exactly where am I supposed to get the expertise to run all this stuff? Those technicians aren’t exactly falling out of the sky.”
We know. We understand.
The biggest hurdles to obtaining a sound predictive maintenance strategy can be broken out into these five categories:
Ownership - Who gets the joy of overseeing all of this?
Expertise - Training or outright new hires or outsource.
Time - Extra processes = extra time = extra $$$
And to make matters worse, what about attaining a truly enterprise-level of unity among all your critical assets and machinery across your operational enterprise? How do you create a solution that can be deployed, maintained, and managed on a global scale?
And how do you do that without having to get tangled up in the five hurdles we mentioned above?
Well, the good news is that it can be done. It couldn’t have been done 20 years ago, but it can be done today by leveraging a truly symbiotic combination of cutting edge technology and industry-leading expertise.
Bently HOST is a 360 degree solution for all of your condition monitoring needs - and a whole lot more. By leveraging the power of the internet and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) along with over 60 years of world-class, industry-leading expertise that you’ve come to rely on from Bently Nevada, your organization, and all of its critical machinery can enjoy the protection that comes with a condition monitoring strategy that is designed, deployed, manned, and managed by Bently Nevada without the costs associated with developing in-house solutions for infrastructure, software, and remote monitoring.
Nearly Everything as a Service
Bently HOST solves the obvious issues of condition monitoring: by connecting your machines with hardware and software that will generate accurate, actionable, and machine-saving data with our team of experts who will monitor your assets remotely.
This brings us to the second, not so obvious issue that Bently HOST solves: the issue of cost. How do we solve this? Three key areas:
Infrastructure - By sharing our computing resources such as servers, networking, and storage remotely, you get the benefit of cutting-edge computational resources without having to manage them physically. Bently HOST handles all the hardware maintenance and upgrades for you.
Software - Harness the power of Bently Nevada’s award-winning System 1, licensed, delivered, and managed via Bently HOST.
Asset Health Management - While there are IaaS and Saas providers in the condition monitoring space, no one has the unmatched expertise of Bently Nevada’s over 60 years of condition monitoring experience. By securely connecting your systems to a Bently Nevada Remote Monitoring & Diagnostics Center, Bently HOST allows your plant assets to be observed, managed, and diagnosed by the global leader in condition monitoring. Whether as a primary or backup solution, remote monitoring via Bently HOST instantly upgrades your talent pool with centuries of combined experience in machinery asset health and monitoring.
As you can see from our service-forward approach, the idea is to remove your barriers around CAPEX, data security, expertise and many other factors that only you know about for implementing a world class predictive maintenance program.
By removing the costs associated with infrastructure setup and maintenance, eliminating the upfront costs associated with software, and building a fully skilled in-house monitoring team, Bently HOST is offering you and your organization a full Enterprise Asset Health Management program at a fraction of the traditional cost. All provided with the highest levels of data security.
Bently HOST helps improve your plant's "quality of life" as well as your organization's profitability through effective asset health management practices - a true ‘peace of mind’ for you and your business.
Why Bently Nevada?
Bently Nevada has been helping protect and manage your assets for over 60 years. Bently HOST allows you to benefit from the decades of domain expertise embedded in our best-in-class plantwide condition monitoring software, System 1, to implement a predictive maintenance strategy using real-time information about your asset health and related change management with no IT infrastructure and dedicated IT expertise at your site.
While, you are thinking about, how can you best adopt Bently HOST in your plant operations, many customers worldwide are already realizing the benefits.
Case Study #1: Power Gen
One of our customers in the PowerGen had a severe and costly breakdown of a 85 MW Steam Turbine Generator resulting in almost 3 months long unplanned outage in one year. They didn’t have any asset health monitoring and found our solution a cost-effective way to implement Predictive Maintenance Program.
This solution generated 3.7 GB of raw data every month. Bently Nevada Experts provided exception analysis insights which helped the customer avoid any unplanned downtime since the program’s roll out. Further, this increased plant availability to 97.6% and $40k USD in Capex savings for IT and software costs.
Case Study #2: Chemical
Our customer in the Agrochemical space was experiencing frequent, weekly trips on a 4MW gas turbine. They had a protection system with a standard configuration in place, but no condition monitoring system. Their request for implementing Predictive Maintenance Program was urgent and was bit challenging due to recent lockdown conditions resulting out of Pandemic.
Bently Nevada's regional team deployed Bently HOST and dispatched the necessary connectivity infrastructure at site. Further, with remote support from the local team, the necessary on-site configuration, and connectivity to our hosted System 1 was completed.
This remote data collection and analysis helped identification of the root cause (a rub at the generator rotor) and location. A cross-regional team of engineers collaborated from their home offices with the customer, resulting in $20k USD in mobilization costs savings and the avoidance of repeated future trips impacting production losses for the customer.
So there is a way to have your condition monitoring cake and eat it too…with peace-of-mind. By deploying a Bently HOST solution, through any one of our highly configurable predictive and preventative monitoring options, you can:
Get proactive, data-driven asset health management insightsto enable smarter O&M decisions
Avoid costly plant downtime
Optimize O&M costs
Improve operational safety
So is Bently HOST for me?
Due to economies of scale, data sharing regulations and the availability of on-premise expertise, many large enterprise operations already have an established Predictive Asset Management Program in collaboration with Bently Nevada.
However, for small to medium sized industrial operations who may not have created a plant-wide PdM program due to the high cost of the infrastructure investment needed to do so, or with a lack of dedicated skilled resources to oversee a program on-site, Bently HOST is likely just what you need to take advantage of the productivity gains that can only be achieved via a plant-wide asset reliability solution.
"Manufacturers that have limited resources to manage their assets properly, should consider remote asset management solutions. Remote monitoring has been gaining acceptance in the process world for a while now. Although, it will not replace hands-on work performed on the plant floor or in the field, it can significantly reduce the time to respond, analyze, and remediate asset issues. Forward thinking end users that had already implemented remote monitoring solutions are able to better address the disruptions caused due to the pandemic-related restrictions in 2020*."
For more information, contact us, and we will work with youto help your organization to achieve outcomes with an OPEX managed Bently HOST Solution.