Solvay, a global leader in materials, chemicals and solutions, hired Radix to develop a system to monitor online the performance of its equipment at the Paulínia unit, São Paulo (Brazil) chemical production unit. The new system will help reduce corrective and preventive maintenance orders, increase productivity, and improve plant reliability.

Radix built the system using the AVEVA OSIsoft PI System and hybrid AI models to calculate performance indicators in real-time, and identify possible failures in 145 pieces of equipment. The project evaluated all equipment, revealing the best efficiency points, and how to avoid failures related to operational deviation or possible anomalies.

User-friendly dashboards were built to allow a visual understanding of the problem, what action should be taken, and then execute virtual maintenance rounds.

"With the system, it is possible to assess the health of equipment 24 hours, from anywhere with access to Solvay's network and the PI System. In addition to the dashboards, there is also support for automatic emails, with notifications sent if a device enters a condition outside its normal operating range. Before the project, these kind of problems could not be foreseen,” said the project coordinator, Diego Paes from Radix.

By implementing the solution, Solvay’s goal is to reduce emergency work from 16% (based on the 2018 report) to 5% by 2022. The project also reduced preventive maintenance and increased efficiency on some equipment by optimizing best process conditions.

"The initial result was very positive. In a short time, the system was able to present 35 true positive events. In other words, there were 35 alerts for the Solvay's maintenance team to take action and avoid mechanical loss in the equipment chosen for the analysis (pump, centrifugal compressor, liquid ring compressors and a turbo generator),” explained Radix Project Manager Fabricio Rosado Urquhart.

He continued, “Asset performance and predictive maintenance are some of Radix's digital solutions for downstream and chemicals. These days, this industry is struggling to keep margins while needs to de-bottleneck plants to line up production with the market demand. As an end-to-end solution provider, Radix has the ability to combine process engineering domain expertise and technology to solve complex problems for plants assets and chemicals and petrochemicals supply chain."

In addition to these benefits, Solvay also noted a better integration between maintenance, operations and engineering teams, resulting in joint analysis and decision-making, which was not usual in the past.

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