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Use Simplified Lifecycle-Cost Computations to Justify Upgrades

By Heinz Bloch Consulting Engineer |

Virtually every process-plant manager pursues the commendable goals of safely extending equipment life and maximizing both the availability and reliability of plant assets. Achieving these objectives usually requires upfront effort and money — both of which can be scarce resources. But even the realistic manager who knows that reliability comes at an ufront price may not want to authorize these expenditures on the basis of intuition or guesswork. Instead, he or she may ask for some cost justification that is linked to a payback period, a cost-to-benefit calculation, a lifecycle-improvement multiplier, or some other tangible factor. It is usually at this point in the sequence of events that the reliability engineer realizes that he or she has no data and the issue is placed at the bottom of the priority list. Things revert back to status quo and urgent repeat repairs siphon off precious resources.  Even in the absence of abundant data, many methods are available to allow us to determine, with reasonable accuracy, the monetary incentives or justification for equipment and component upgrading. Such upgrades are the key to future failure avoidance. This article describes some options for determining the value of upgrading. The…
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