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CMMS optimization delivers concrete results for leading chemical producer

The Arkema Changshu industrial platform


CMMS optimization delivers concrete results for leading chemical producer
Arkema ( is a leading chemical producer with over 5.6 billion Euros revenue, for 15,000 employees in over 40 countries. With internationally recognized brands, Arkema holds leadership positions in its principal markets.


Arkema (Changshu) Fluorochemical Co., Ltd., established in June 1996, was the first foreign-invested company dedicated to the chemistry of hydrofluoric acid and CFC substitutes in China. The plant, started up in May 2000, has a production capacity of 20,000 MT Anhydrous Hydrofluoric Acid (AHF) and 35,000 MT FORANE®22 (with applications to air conditioning and the polymer industry). Over the years additional investments were made, namely a 3,000 MT organic peroxides plant (Arkema Changshu Chemicals Co. Ltd.) and a 6,000 MT vinyl compound plant (Changshu Resichina Engineering Polymers Co. Ltd.), as well as several joint-ventures.


Further developments are now under construction, which will eventually make the Changshu industrial platform Arkema’s third largest in the world.


The CMMS project


In 2001, Arkema Changshu purchased a computerized maintenance management system from a leading U.S. software supplier. The implementation of this software, however, did not make much progress until 2005 and the appointment of a new technical manager, who considered the CMMS a necessity for the successful operation of a plant of this scale. The project was shifted back into gear and finally went “live” at the end of 2007.


During this 6-year period, the implementation was plagued by all the issues typically found in IT projects in China: inadequate contract terms (man.days rather than result-driven), lack of industrial expertise by the IT vendor, high turnover of supplier’s staff and so on. Arkema’s needs naturally evolved over time, as operations developed, a phenomenon compounded by weak project management.


By the beginning of 2008, system usage was described as covering “basic daily work and some analysis from preventive maintenance history”. Some functionality was not yet in use and some re-work had to be done for which the software vendor still had mandays available. As the last project milestone was soon to be signed off, Arkema hired Siveco to conduct an independent assessment of the CMMS implementation and usage. The goal of this audit was to identify possible improvement and allow Arkema to best utilize the remaining days from the IT supplier.


The Siveco audit


The audit was conducted in June 2008 by two Siveco project managers (one focusing on maintenance management, the other on the CMMS itself). Lasting four days, the audit consisted in reviewing the technical database and work order history, an in-depth analysis of the equipment structure and interviews with users at different levels, from technicians to top managers, in all departments involved (maintenance, stock, purchasing). A report containing detailed recommendations was then prepared and presented to the Arkema team.


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The report noted fist of all the excellent level of maintenance organization at Arkema Changshu and concluded on a satisfying level of utilization of the CMMS a few months after “go live”, thanks to the know-how and efforts of the Arkema team. The necessity was clear, however, to move on to an improvement phase, i.e. not simply using the system for itself, but rather as a tool to manage, build-up knowledge, perform analysis and support decisions.


In line with Arkema’s management priorities, a number of areas were identified where quick ROI could be obtained through simple enhancements of the system, more particularly with regards to simplifying the way preventive maintenance was structured in the CMMS and the management of strategic spare parts.


After the audit


Based on the actions proposed by Siveco, the Arkema team went back to their IT supplier to correct the most pressing issues. At the same time, Siveco was asked to help implement some of the recommendations, where maintenance know-how was required and to support the deployment of the CMMS to two new plants under construction at the time. Siveco also performed a similar audit in another unit of the group, Arkema Hydrogen Peroxide (Shanghai).


The way the preventive maintenance process was handled in the CMMS and its subsequent improvement is perhaps the best example of Siveco’s no-nonsense approach. The existing preventive maintenance programs, although usable, were complex, with too many redundancies: Siveco had, during the audit, identified an opportunity to achieve the same result with a simpler, more flexible and leaner system. The same Siveco team came back to Changshu, this time with the assistance of a third consultant focused on the utilization of this particular CMMS, and conducted workshops with key users until the desired result was obtained. The joint team achieved outstanding results: the number of preventive maintenance work orders to be managed in the CMMS dropped by 75% (for the same actual tasks in the plant). The entire planning and scheduling process was thus immediately simplified, freeing time for improvement activities: analyses, optimization of job frequency, etc.


According to Bernd Kloepzig, Technical General Manager of Arkema Changshu:


“Siveco’s involvement has been very beneficial to us, delivering concrete achievements above and beyond of what our IT vendor could ever provide. The Siveco people proved to be true maintenance experts we could talk to: we understand each other. I would not hesitate to recommend Siveco for similar audits and improvement projects in the chemical industry. I am looking forward to a continuing partnership with them in future projects.”


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