Plant Insights

Digitize the Most Important 15 Minutes at Your Chemical Plant

April 14, 2021

In chemical manufacturing, situations and processes can continue across shifts and cannot be solved by a single person or team. Can you get all the information you need within the 15 minutes of the handover?

Digitize the Most Important 15 Minutes at Your Chemical Plant

Imagine the following situation: We are in the situation where we as shift supervisor take over the shift from our predecessor at 6 o'clock in the morning. We now have exactly 15 minutes to do this handover. There is a lot to understand in this limited time; there are events that are still going on, there are pending safety tasks and additionally yesterday afternoon a new instruction of the plant manager was published that you do not yet know. The question is, can you get all the information you need within these 15 minutes?

Required: a solution beyond spreadsheets

Especially in chemical manufacturing, situations and processes can continue across shifts and cannot be solved by a single person or team. This underlines the importance of clearly showing the follow-up stories which problem-solving measures have already been initiated and how they have been addressed. The challenge is that different disciplines have to work together hand in hand on the shift and beyond.

This challenge should not be met by sending e-mails. When sending information via emails, an enormous amount of wastage is generated. We keep hearing from shift managers that after 4 days off you have to find out which of the emails are still valid. The same happens when everything is written into a Word file or Excel spreadsheet. These procedures would be misunderstood digitization. Instead, for successful digitization, the communication processes must be completely reworked.

Many organizations have addressed the growing need for plant data collection with a mix of paper and home-grown tools, often purpose-built logs for a single plant or operation. Over time, these bespoke solutions make it difficult to manage the change to fully automated digital technology. How can your organization bridge the gap?

Bridge the Gap

Leading manufacturers leverage digitization in shift operations

Digitizing shift operations and especially shift handovers not only improves plant performance but also reduces risk and saves time. Software solutions can make events and operational data transparent throughout your organization, optimizing efficiency while maintaining a high level of safety. When choosing the right solution, it will be easy and fast to use, and will remove the burden of manual record-keeping for compliance and audits.

Managing shift handovers correctly is key to improving plant performance and reducing incidents. When handovers are conducted manually with handwritten notes and verbal instructions, mistakes and omissions are likely to occur frequently. That’s why the greatest likelihood of incidents occur within 30 minutes after a shift starts (Dr. TJ Larkin, Communication Consulting). What’s more, plant incidents are eight times more likely to occur during handovers, often due to a lack of digitized documentation regarding operations during the prior shift.

Smooth Handovers Reduce Incidents by 50%

“All information is recorded centrally and can be accessed at the push of the button thus saving us a lot of time." says Francisco Rodriguez, plant manager at Bayer CropScience about implementing Shiftconnector.

Streamlining communications, makes it easier for operations personnel to access critical operational data, leveraging the investment in your corporate IT infrastructure. Implementing the right software solution, your company can consolidate shift communications on one global standard. It is key that Information can be easily managed so that important activities such as shift handovers, event logging, maintenance orders, and safety inspections are properly documented. This also ensures that Information is centrally stored, leaving a fully traceable audit trail.

Shiftconnector – it’s the smart way to get things done.

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