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Mönchengladbach, June 03, 2020

Full service for maintenance downtimes

Maintenance downtimes as investment for future plant safety and productivity

Philipp Stüer, Head of Repairs and Modernizations Service Long Products of SMS group, explains how maintenance downtimes are used as worthwhile investment for future plant safety and productivity.

Regularly scheduled maintenance standstill periods represent a considerable cost factor for plant operators. When planned intelligently and carried out efficiently, they ensure however smooth continuous operation of the entire plant and constantly high production qualities. In this way, maintenance downtimes can be used as worthwhile investment for future plant safety and productivity.

Mr. Stüer, what is the planning process for specific maintenance assignments at the customer?

Philipp Stüer: Effectiveness and efficiency of a maintenance downtime depend on an exact planning process of all details. In cooperation with the plant operator we develop binding timetables of all inspection and maintenance measures. As plant manufacturer we have all plans and technical documentations and a major advantage is expert knowledge of our engineers and technicians who have already engineered, manufactured and commissioned the plant.

Effectiveness and efficiency of a maintenance downtime depend on an exact planning process of all details Phillip Stüer, Head of Repairs and Modernizations Service Long Products, SMS group
How can personnel, spare parts and tool requirements be planned?

Philipp Stüer: Personnel planning will be organized according to customer demands. The team may comprise service experts of SMS group, customer or even external staff. Required spare parts and standard or special tools or mobile machining units must also be planned carefully and in advance. As part of an analysis prior to the start of maintenance downtimes, we match the parts warehouse with real machine requirements. The result is better availability accompanied by cost reductions through the abandonment of unnecessary parts and optimization of warehouse capacities.

How does SMS group ensure that an exact diagnosis of the plant condition is performed?

Philipp Stüer: We hold special checklists for each plant type forming the basis for comprehensive and always identical inspections. This is followed by priority evaluations of the upcoming repair work. We also make recommendations concerning which work should be carried out during one of the next maintenance shutdowns to ensure that the plant quickly returns to service.

The fact that customers benefit from the know-how of SMS group as plant manufacturer is particularly noticeable in re-commissioning. Can you explain this further?

Philipp Stüer: Functional efficiency and reliability of replaced parts and assemblies are tested with our specially developed testing plans and methods allowing the plant to quickly run up to the defined performance and quality level.

Following a successful plant restart SMS group combines the conclusions gained in a detailed analysis. Why?

Philipp Stüer: To be able to track down improvement potentials for future maintenance downtimes always with the objective of saving precious time and reducing future expenses as well as costs in the interests of the customer. In addition, the analysis results and the reports of the plant condition form the basis for optimizations. Our knowledge of the local situation places us in a position to perfect the next downtime planning as regards personnel, spare parts and tools.

Maintenance downtimes can be flexibly matched with the current order situation while it is possible to increase the level of plant utilization. Phillip Stüer, Head of Repairs and Modernizations Service Long Products, SMS group
How can future standstill intervals be organized?

Philipp Stüer: Depending on plant configuration and assignment, flexible instead of regular standstill intervals can also be determined. To achieve this, a close dialog with our customer is needed and maintenance downtimes can be flexibly matched with the current order situation while it is possible to increase the level of plant utilization. Since we additionally offer flexible maintenance contracts the companies preserve the chance to be able to react to changing realities also during the course of the year.