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How to Reduce Production Downtime in the Oil and Gas Industry

High production or machine downtime is a growing scourge in the global oil and gas industry. An Aberdeen research found that the cost of unplanned downtimes worked out to around $260,000 every hour in 2016. When focusing on the causes of this downtime, a recent study conducted by Vanson Bourne for Service Max found that human error was the leading cause at 23%, while 70% of the surveyed companies had a complete lack of knowledge about their equipment condition.

To boost their production uptime, energy companies are embracing both predictive and corrective maintenance tools and techniques. A PWC survey on predictive maintenance found that 27% of companies are deploying visual inspection methods for maintaining their production equipment and 36% are combining the maintenance engineer’s technical expertise with a visual inspection.

So, how can you empower your maintenance technicians to reduce production downtime 

 

6 Ways of reducing production downtime in the Oil & Gas Industry 

 

Let us look at 6 effective ways in which a frontline workforce productivity platform can reduce production downtime:

Timely access to work instruction during maintenance work

Be it preventive or corrective maintenance, accurate work instructions can improve the effectiveness of maintenance operators. Well-documented work instructions can guide operators into performing their tasks efficiently and with high quality.

With an automated workforce platform, your operators now have timely access to work instructions during the actual execution rather than having to manually search for their instructions.

Equipment start-up/shutdown optimization

While planned equipment shutdowns can be devastating, they are unavoidable and must be optimized for an efficient turnaround. Through clear work instructions, equipment technicians must be instructed on the tasks to be performed between the shutdown and start-up time. This can effectively improve the cycle time associated with planned downtimes.

Remote support for field technicians

Augmented reality or AR technology is now being widely used in the oil and gas sector for maintenance operations, learning and training, and self-service. Using AR-based remote support and collaboration, field technicians can be connected with maintenance experts, who can now provide detailed instructions on what to inspect and fix in a piece of sophisticated machinery. 

Idle time optimization

Excessive idle time associated with machinery contributes to lower productivity and high emission levels. While idle or waiting time cannot be eliminated, it can certainly be minimized. For instance, major causes contributing to high machine idle time like process or workflow inefficiencies and slow production can be improved using real-time job data.

Maintenance technician training and learning

As mentioned in the introduction, poor technical knowledge can be a major factor in high production downtime. Using a AR-based frontline productivity platform, can help in guiding young on-site technicians through maintenance work and in building their technical expertise. With AR at the helm, technicians are ready faster than usual and can be trained on the job, with minimal risks to them and the machines.

Deviation or issue escalation

Any major deviations in maintenance operation time can seriously impede your efforts to reduce production downtimes. Frontline workforce platforms can aid in shortening the resolution time through immediate escalation of any deviations or equipment issues right from the time of detecting them.

 

Conclusion

We have discussed how high production downtime can be a costly affair for any oil and gas company. A connected workforce enabled with a high productivity platform is the best answer to high downtime-related problems.

With its efficient AR & AI-backed frontline workforce productivity platform, Atheer has empowered its customers from the energy sector to leverage the best from its remote assist, work assist & self assist platform capabilities.  Atheer has brought together the best of solutions in AR-based video assistance, chat and group messaging, work instructions, and workforce training to address multiple pain points and improve the efficiency of the frontline workforce in the oil and gas sector.

Want to know how Atheer can help in reducing your production downtime? Click here.


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