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Sphera launches New IRM 4.0 solution to help transform turnaround performance

The evolution of Industry 4.0 technologies has delivered unparalleled insights that are changing the way companies approach their Operational Excellence strategies. Sphera is at the forefront of this change with the release of its new Digital Turnaround software solution and services that provide turnaround managers and work teams with a radically different, far more effective way to visualize and manage activities and risks associated with major plant shutdowns, turnarounds and outages. The software delivers insights to help everyone make better, more informed decisions to help ensure turnarounds come in safely, and on time, on budget.

A turnaround is defined as a scheduled event where an entire process unit of an industrial plant is taken offline for an extended period for a revamp and/or renewal. The numbers paint a vivid picture of the complexity of turnarounds: tens of thousands of separate jobs, durations between 20 and 60 days for process plants and thousands of contractors involved in the process. It’s daunting to complete a large portfolio of maintenance tasks with potentially new contractors, planned downtime and its subsequent loss of production in a tight timeframe. And planning cycles can take years.

Industry research organization, TA Cook, found, most turnarounds (82%) don’t satisfy performance expectations. Scope creep is a major reason as to why turnarounds fail. Even the most sophisticated maintenance plan has gaps, and without the right tools—trying to adjust the plan in real time can result in increased risk, unexpected delays, prolonged downtime and costly overruns in lost production from asset downtime.

Sphera’s new Digital Turnaround solution helps teams understand and manage what’s happening, where it’s happening and what’s driving the risk. The software uses risk as a key driver in planning major turnarounds in addition to resources, materials, contractors, availability and costs. In addition, the solution provides:

• Tools to improve risk-based lean scope.
 • Holistic management and optimization of the dynamic turnaround execution.
 • Improved management and safety of turnaround for front- and back-end shoulders, which are arguably the riskiest parts of a turnaround.
 • The ability to streamline safe work processes.

“Digitally disrupting how turnarounds are managed offers organizations a compelling opportunity to limit lost production due to asset downtime, which could measure millions of dollars per day,” said Paul Marushka, Sphera’s president and CEO. “Sphera’s new software is a powerful digital enabler for organizations to advance turnaround performance and achieve their goals before, during and after the challenging turnaround process.”

The software was designed to present information in an easy-to-use format that puts action to strategy. It can improve core staff and contractor time on tools by reducing wait times up to 75%, and reducing supervisor wait times by 50% compared with a typical nondigital experience.
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