Philips Petroleum, a crude oil refinery plant based in Teeside, recently installed a process ERP system from SAP across the site. The requirement to transfer all their existing legacy data to the SAP system, highlighted that the company’s asset management data and Plant Maintenance module needed a complete makeover.
Philips Petroleum has an oil and gas processing terminal based in Teeside. The main activity of the plant is to refine crude oil and then market the resulting products. The refinery holds a 13% share of the U.K. market for commercial diesel and an 8% share of all U.K. diesel sales.
Philips recently made a corporate decision to implement SAP systems across their sites. As a result of this decision, the Teeside plant quickly realised that their own plant asset database was inaccurate and required updating before they could upload this information to the SAP system.
Philips aim was for a smooth, seamless changeover from their existing plant maintenance system to the SAP system, to ensure that they maximised their investment. Poor existing asset data uploaded to the main SAP system would hold back the main project, so some kind of ‘clean-up’ exercise was necessary.
Alan Carter, Instrument and Electrician Superintendent at Philips Teeside, was a key figure involved in the project. “We had to ensure that the engineering data we uploaded to the SAP system was both accurate and up-to-date. Some of the data we had was twenty years old and unreliable. The SAP project forced us to correct these errors.”
“Due to a shortage of manpower, we outsourced this element of the project to a local company called Pearson-Harper, who had a very good understanding of our business and what we wanted to achieve. The company also has a good track record, specialising in the implementation of maintenance management systems for blue-chip businesses around the world ,” says Carter.
Pearson-Harper worked for the best part of one year, with two of their technicians working full-time at the Teeside plant. These engineers carried out a complete data collection exercise, walking around the whole of the site, recording name plate details on plant equipment, highlighting any missing or damaged plant, and ensuring that all the existing P&I (Process and Instrumentation) diagrams were accurate. Additional staff were required back at the Pearson-Harper offices, to deal with the existing, legacy data and documents. The old data had to be compared with the newly-collected data to identify any discrepancies.
Carter explains. “It was absolutely essential, when implementing the SAP system, that we had an accurate plant asset database, in hierarchical form. We used Pearson-Harper’s Phasset software system to house all of the collected data, and then this data was imported to SAP at a later date. Phasset was an interim solution in this respect.”
Pearson-Harper carried out a pilot project in the first two or three months, based around one particular area of the Teeside plant. After this was deemed successful, the project was then expanded to cover all areas of the site for the remaining 9 months of the year.
“The project was completed on-time and hit budget, although we never actually had an ROI figure in our heads. We decided that having clean data was of paramount importance if we were to gain business benefit from the SAP system. The work Pearson-Harper did for us over the 12-month period, which included the upload of data from the Phasset software to the main SAP system, cost in the region of £600,000,” says Carter.
“We felt this was a fair price for the work done, and were so pleased with their efforts, that we awarded Pearson-Harper with our Supplier of the Quarter Award.”
Pearson-Harper completed the upload of ‘clean’ data to the SAP system within the 12-month period, and all the departments across the Teeside plant are using the system to make business decisions. Accounts, Purchasing and Maintenance departments are all benefiting from accurate, up-to-date information at their fingertips.
“If a piece of equipment such as a pump or valve breaks down and requires replacing, a maintenance engineer can now browse through the plant asset hierarchy on the SAP system to locate the suitable equipment category. He can do this without even knowing the part number or label i.d. of the equipment, because the system layout is hierarchical and therefore logical to an engineer,” says Carter.
Author: Dean Palmer