Manufacturers today are looking to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of their operations while keeping quality high and costs low. At the same time, they face tough global competition.
To achieve these aims and ensure their survival, companies must identify improvements that can be made to their operations and draw up a master plan for their implementation. This has been made difficult, however, by a lack of broadly experienced lead engineers due to retirement, and the fact that engineers today tend to be more specialized and have fewer opportunities to refine their knowledge by following up on the automation platforms that they have installed. And even when companies have identified the issues that need to be addressed, they may have lost, through repeated personnel cutbacks, the expertise required to select and implement the necessary platforms and practical methodologies. And finally, it may be more difficult for them sustain the results that have been achieved through such improvements due to a lack of maintenance personnel or because the organization takes a one-off approach in implementing these activities.
It is with these needs in mind that Yokogawa has developed its VigilantPlant Services concept.
VigilantPlant Services Overview
Yokogawa provides a wide variety of automation platform solutions that help companies protect health, safety, and environment (HSE), optimize production, improve asset utilization, and maximize plant uptime. Over the past 20 years, Yokogawa has gained rich experience in providing operations improvement services to major companies in many different world markets, including Japan.
Yokogawa's reorganization of its operational and consulting services business, under the VigilantPlant Services name, is based on the belief that manufacturers require a comprehensive package of services and solutions to support their continuous improvement activities throughout the plant lifecycle.
VigilantPlant Services bring operational excellence by improving the effectiveness of automation platforms. There are three basic types of VigilantPlant Services:
1. Opportunity Identification Services: To identify new improvement possibilities and optimum solutions, Yokogawa provides free plant analysis, comparative effectiveness analysis, management seminar, master planning, and improvement leader development programs.
2. Solution Implementation Services: To effectively implement identified solutions, Yokogawa provides asset management, safety management, production management, and plant lifecycle management programs.
3. Lifecycle Effectiveness Services: Following the implementation phase, Yokogawa continually maintains and reevaluates these solutions for its customers to ensure that they remain effective throughout the plant lifecycle.
Yokogawa's VigilantPlant Services go beyond the scope of conventional consultation services to address the sustainability of improvement initiatives. The program includes the actual training of customer engineers in understanding the methodology behind these improvements. "Yokogawa also pays careful attention to the quality and reliability of its automation platforms," said Sartoru. "Toward this end, we have implemented a variety of quality management measures in our VigilantPlant Services."