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Industrial Workforce Mobility for Improved Safety & Operations at a Leading Chemical Facility
Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. This case study focuses on Huntsman Port Neches – a 4
square mile chemical facility located in southeast Texas. The Port Neches Facility has over 500 employees and 100 contractors with 16
operating units. Recently the Port Neches facility undertook an aggressive program – termed "Project Zero". The goal of Project
Zero is to eliminate equipment defects, safety incidents and injuries, environmental releases and unscheduled downtime at each facility.
Huntsman Port Neches faced four fundamental challenges that the phase one wireless implementation needed to address:
Design and implement a system that could execute both business value and process improvement while adhering completely to their Project Zero approach.
Implement a wireless solution that would replace a completely manual approach. (Pen-paper, phone calls).
Reduce the high costs due to equipment downtime and lifecycle run time.
Roughly 30% of the workforce eligible for Huntsman's retirement program and the majority of the plant knowledge has not been captured or documented for use by the newer, inexperienced workforce.
Huntsman partnered with three key vendors to address the challenges facing Port Neches:
Industrial Mobility contributed their MobilOps field mobility software that enables field operators to execute rounds, enter work requests for defects in real-time, monitor and control Standard Operating Conditions (SOC's) for each piece of equipment, and access the most up to date approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) for execution in the field including Consequences of Deviation (COD's) and Corrective Actions (CA's).
Motorola provided their MC9090 industry-leading, ruggedized mobile handheld computers to ensure that Huntsman personnel have a reliable, high-performance, mobile platform to run MobilOps.
Apprion installed the Apprion ION System throughout the 4 square mile plant and provides the wireless infrastructure and seamless wireless application deployment (applications include video, voice communications, energy efficiency and condition monitoring). The ION System includes IONosphere, a centralized dashboard that brings together application data, regional maps, and equipment status and maintenance views and reports.
The new wireless mobility solution installed at Huntsman replaced a completely manual process. Instead of using pen, papers and clipboards to record critical field data and then either carrying the paper- work to the central data area or calling in the data via the phone for input – now Huntsman field personnel can automatically execute inspections of non-instrumented equipment (rounds) and confirm equipment conditions.
To date, Huntsman's Mobility Solution is in three units at their four square mile Port Neches site. Initial results show significant improvements and indicate the goals of Project Zero will be achieved. With real-time wireless tracking of the rounds activity, the number of pumps requiring daily inspection has reduced by 50% – allowing more time for other more crucial inspection areas.
The new automated Mobility Solution has already provided:
Putting accurate and reliable SOC's directly into the hands of operational personnel has improved equipment reliability and driven process improvement.
Safety incidents have been reduced by over 75% and are expected to fall to zero.
Increased effectiveness in defect capture and providing accountability at all levels of the organization
Reduced maintenance costs.
Increased uptime from the improvement in overall equipment effectiveness that increases production quality and quantity.
Read More about the successful mobility solution at Huntsman: