HSP Urges Asset Planning
Industry Supplier Urges Assets to Plan for Equipment Needs
The fact that assets are continuing to be caught out by the unexpected need for essential components was highlighted by an industry survey undertaken earlier this year by the equipment specialist. As many as 74% of those surveyed, including engineers, supply chain managers and procurement specialists, reported that this was the most common problem encountered during shutdowns.
“Shutdown planners are very experienced but even they may not always be aware of how long equipment lead times may be,” says HSP CEO, Peter Everett. “When you take into consideration the need to review quotes, the procurement process can take as long as four-six weeks. When decisions are left too late, those involved with engineering or procurement issues are under pressure to move fast and the supply chain is under strain to do the best they can to fulfil that need.”
During the procurement process, identifying the correct product/specifications (23%) and the engineering review of quotations (37%) were highlighted as the most time-consuming activities. The types of equipment that might carry a longer-lead time include essential items such as compressors, boilers and pumps, yet ancillary equipment such as pipes, valves and flanges can also take weeks to procure. Without these ‘secondary’ items in place, in some instances assets are unable to restart operations.
“Unlike us, not all equipment suppliers offer 24 hour support,” warns Everett. “Equally, not all of the manufacturers we deal with are open around the clock and they can quickly become frustrated when client needs change repeatedly. This increases the need for us to maintain pressure on them to get complex items such as valves quoted or manufactured on schedule.
“Each hour of downtime has a significant economic impact, so it’s even more crucial that assets prepare ahead for downtime, while suppliers should have extensive inventory and access to fast track manufacturing in order to respond to equipment needs as quickly as possible.”
HS Pipequipment, Tel: 01635 201329
Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 15
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