Are You Benchmarking Your Plant Automation?

By Dick Hill

Technology Trends

If the answer to this question is “no”, then you should seriously think about it. While you and your management may be satisfied with the status quo, your competition may have moved ahead and made their production facilities more efficient and effective in meeting business objectives.

From Business Level Benchmarking to Plant Benchmarking

Business-level benchmarking, where you compare your company against others in terms of gross income, or other business drivers is of course important. It is probably being performed at your company now on at least an annual basis. Benchmarking at the individual plant level might be a bit more difficult to organize, but is very important in that it feeds the overall business performance. These plant-level metrics also help you determine where to focus investment.

Benchmark plant metrics to reveal performance problems

Benchmarking Can Reveal Plant Performance Problems

For example, the trend of the past several years has been to reduce the headcount in various departments in process plants. The goal was to increase productivity. However, have you gone too far? Are your operators really managing the processes to improve production effectiveness, or are they so overloaded with alarms at times that they miss important events? These events might not be as dramatic as a shutdown (or worse), but they may result in out-of-spec products requiring costly rework or equally costly quality giveaway.

Do you have adequate staffing to not only maintain the automation you have, but to improve it? Even with today’s modern applications that incorporate analytics, you still need staff that know what to do with the information. Comparing your metrics to other leading companies can reveal previously unknown plant and personnel performance problems. 

If you are responsible for how your process plants perform and would like to be able to compare your automation-related metrics to others, ARC can help. First, visit our website here “Performance Benchmarking” or simply click here to “Contact Us”.   See how your business measures up. 

Engage with ARC Advisory Group