Case Study

Refinery maintenance and reliability process improvement

Advisian provided expertise and support to assist the client in increasing profitability through reallocation or reduction of maintenance labour resources, as well as achieving throughput objectives.

The Situation

Our client was a large (437,000 barrels per day) Texas Coast refinery providing gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil, feed stock for the plastic industry, and a variety of light and heavy end products. Both the Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and maintenance work processes used at the facility were area and unit-based vs. a refinery-wide, common platform. Maintenance overtime was high and the productivity of company and contractor maintenance forces was low when compared to industry standards. Based on industry norms, equipment reliability was also low and seen as a major profitability issue.  


Advisian conducted an assessment which resulted in a proposed improvement plan that was agreed to by company management. An internal cross-functional team was created to design and roll out an appropriate, facility-wide maintenance process to re-implement and train users on a uniform CMMS. Extensive field coaching was provided to both operations and maintenance personnel to introduce the new concepts and ingrain the behavioral changes required to sustain long-term improvement.  


Maintenance Resource Improvements:

  • Utilization of company and contractor maintenance labor resources improved through a reallocation and/or reduction of 203 Full-Time Equivalents, resulting in an annual savings of $9 million to $10 million dollars per year
  • Machine shop average turnaround time on pump overhauls decreased from a historic average of 29 days to less than six 
  • Preventive Maintenance compliance increased by more than 17 percent

Up-time Improvements:

  • In the first six months after program completion, pump failures were reduced by 34 and compressor failures by 14 as compared to the previous six months
  • Mean Time Between Failure improved by 4.8 months for pumps and 7.2 months for compressors

This program greatly exceeded the initial savings projections established during the assessment with a return on investment (ROI) of over 8:1.

The client, both locally and at the corporate level was extremely pleased with the outcome. The ongoing improvements have restored this facility from a marginal refinery to a very profitable resource.