Eliminating a year of idle time by scheduling efficiently
Scheduling plant shutdowns are essential for optimizing efficiencies and running a smooth operation throughout the year. Plant shutdown activities require well-organized labor and equipment for a few weeks at a time or even months. They are necessary because shutdowns are often required by federal and state governing agencies to prevent accidents and to ensure that the plants are running within required regulations. Time is money, so site-specific plans are key when implementing a safe and effective shutdown. In addition, many facilities will be inspected during shutdowns and may have them extended if more issues are found.
Recently, a heavy industrial plant contacted Actenum to help schedule a 4-day shutdown at their plant. To ensure they made the right decision, the plant showed Actenum their schedule in Microsoft Project and asked if it could be improved upon. Actenum responded with a solution that scheduled tasks, materials and people in an optimal way. Our scheduling software was quickly loaded at the plant in just one day, which raised performance parameters far above the solution the client was previously using, enabling the shutdown schedule to be optimized. Additionally, our software eliminated the need for multiple applications or spreadsheets and time-consuming manual calculations.
Our AI-powered software took all the constraints into account to eliminate idle time. It analyzed all people involved and their tasks, then automatically optimized the schedule, so that people were working and not waiting. Is there something else the resource can do? Actenum identified how resources could be optimized and revised the schedule accordingly. With everything and everyone maximized in the schedule, resources were able to be used to their fullest with activities unfolding in the best order to ensure fewer interruptions in the process.
Actenum’s schedule optimization software delivered predictable performance by aligning schedules with business rules and constraints, enabling everyone in the organization to benefit from a complete, single-source view of operations.
Eliminating 366 days of idle time
By optimizing activities for the plant shutdown, Actenum provided a 4% improvement in reduction of idle time. In terms of days, this represented eliminating 366 days of idle time.
In terms of financial savings, considering a cost of $500 a day multiplied by 366 days, the plant potentially saved $183,000 in just three days. And because shutdowns can take place as many as six times per year at the plant, the potential savings can exceed $2 Million. “This is very significant for us because of the huge savings our scheduling software has enabled our client to enjoy,” said Owen Plowman, VP Business Development, Actenum. “Our software helped align our client’s operational decisions automatically with business goals to maximize their return on investment through intelligent, responsive, resource allocation.”
In addition to optimizing schedules, Actenum can optimize against cost resources. So you immediately see how your decisions will impact costs using “What if?” scenarios and advanced analytics. For example, what would the cost savings be if a higher cost resource, say a welder at $180 per hour, was swapped for one at $120 per hour? Actenum scheduling software can also get the plant back online earlier than the target date. An extra day can mean the difference between making or losing millions of dollars. Actenum software can achieve this by adding different sets of resources to reach a faster time-to-production date.
Increased efficiency, reduced costs
Plant shutdowns are one of the most critical times in the operation of a plant. They can affect the plant’s financial future in either a positive or negative way. The revenue lost by shutting down a plant can amount to a significant portion of an annual budget. Actenum scheduling software is a proven way to optimize the plant shutdown schedule and maximize financial savings.
To schedule a demonstration to learn more about how Actenum scheduling software can optimize your operations, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.