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Diagnostics Approach to Outage Management Made Believers Out of This Tennessee Distillery Diagnostics Approach to Outage Management Made Believers Out of This Tennessee Distillery
It wasn’t always this way. Our Experitec technicians were performing our usual repairs at this customer’s facility when we broached the topic of diagnostics as a way to insert predictive analytics into their planning process. The objectives of doing this were to save on maintenance costs, avoid unnecessary repairs, and ensure that spare parts were on hand when needed. The customer was skeptical at first; we knew we had to prove the value of performing diagnostics before it could become a central component of a more comprehensive outage management program.
Diagnostics Prove the Value

Diagnostics Prove the Value

We started by having the customer select a few critical valves as a test, using our FlowScanner™ and ValveLink™ technologies to identify red/yellow/green issues. Throughout that initial trial, we were able to demonstrate how to extend the life of those valves and save significant maintenance dollars. Later, we expanded our diagnostics to scan 10-15 valves prior to each outage. In addition, we were able to identify those valves or actuators which could be repaired at our facility.

The turning point was when we told our customer which valves DID NOT need to be repaired—they could let them go until the next outage. As a result, Experitec became more integrated in the outage process as a trusted partner. Diagnostics were clearly the game changer.

As an aside, we documented this customer’s valve history over time—and today, use that document as a cornerstone of our pre-outage meetings. The customer also uses it to build their budgets and make more informed repair decisions. Now the planning meetings have been expanded to include Operations and Engineering, in addition to Maintenance.
Depot Repairs Help Stay on Schedule
All valves that have been identified as ‘rebuild’ during our pre-outage meeting are pulled from the line. We then pick them up on our own truck and transport them to our shop in Memphis. That’s where we open them, take photos, and start our repair process. When each valve is complete, we ship it back so our customer can install it as they are ready, so as to keep to the outage schedule.
Parts Logistics Improves Reliability
Once we have our pre-outage meeting and identify the depot repairs, we start our quoting process. That information goes to our repair coordination team, so they can identify anything with a long lead time. If we see that a particular trim has a long lead time, we flag it so that we can plan accordingly—either having the customer keep spare parts on their shelf, or even entire critical valve assemblies.
Teamwork Supports Our Commitment
Coordination with our team is key. We handle all of the logistics, including any change orders from the original scope, throughout the course of the entire outage. Even our customers understand that it ‘takes a village’ and with our ongoing communication, they feel that we are on top of this.
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