How To build an Effective Analyzer Program?
In the past decade, a lot of our Oil and Gas clients have invested heavily in online analyzers as an effective technology to monitor their operation’s health status on a real-time basis. However, through our Assessments and Engagements, we noticed that a lot of these analyzers were underutilized towards their full potential. On average, an analyzer’s effectiveness is only around 50 – 80% pre-engagement. To build an effective analyzer program, an Oil and Gas operator should approach the opportunity using the Trindent methodology:
An appropriate process must be deployed to calibrate, maintain, and model our online analyzers. Commonly, we observed two gaps in the analyzer program when it comes to process management. The first one is that the initial training from the analyzer vendor is the only knowledge transfer or development that occurred. While there is comprehensive user instruction (which is usually hundreds of pages) and plenty of online resources, the analyzer group usually relies on the initial information only and misses out on more advanced features that their analyzers can offer. The second common mistake is that the initial vendor provides a default setting for the client as a one-fit-all solution – but there is never subsequent customization from the user to tailor the analyzer settings towards the actual operating condition of the analyzers. This can lead to missing opportunities to provide more accurate data.
As a surprise, a lot of the time there is no monitoring system in place for the online analyzers. The performance of the online analyzers is merely determined by subjective opinions and experiences by one or a few individuals, without the utilization of any data analytic framework or pre-determined control limits. At Trindent, we successfully supported our clients in developing required control charts following the standard Western Electric SQC rules – to help them accurately health check their analyzer’s performance.
While the analyzers can be the most advanced version in the industry, they are likely to generate little value without the correct maintenance behavior. We usually found two common opportunities during our Assessments/Engagements. One is the unclear roles and responsibility for the analyzer maintenance. While a lot of organizations consider the maintenance of the analyzers as the primary focus and assign resources to it, a common gap is accuracy ownership. If the accuracy of the analyzer is not owned by anyone – their performance will most definitely erode over time. The other gap is that even if the duties around the analyzer are well-defined, the people assigned to those tasks are often under-trained to succeed in their job. A skill matrix or proper training program can quickly close the gap, but that is also often missing.
In the past few years, Trindent has been helping our Oil and Gas clients in improving their analyzer performance successfully around the world. Please see our success stories here.
The author of this blog, Kai Y. Wan is an Engagement Manager at Trindent Consulting.