Worldwide News pumps, valves and controls made by competitors are also now included. The work is carried out at repair centers or by mobile units. Increasing the Flexibility of Fixed Maintenance Costs These after sales services are highly welcome in the chemical industry. Chemical markets have become much more volatile in the wake of the financial and economic crisis which struck in 2008 and 2009. Companies want to have greater flexibility as they manage the fixed costs of their in-house maintenance teams. To accomplish that, they are outsourcing repair and maintenance work to an increasing extent. The Frankfurt-based pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis uses an approach which is common in the industry. It leases the pumps that are used in production from a pool provided by a system supplier which takes responsibility for repair and maintenance at a fixed price. The user can budget the costs years in advance even if it does not have its own in-house maintenance personnel. The customer and the supplier split any savings if the actual costs are less than the fixed price, so they have a common interest in minimizing the repair effort. In this way, the pharmaceutical company has been able to reduce its maintenance costs while at the same time increasing pump service life. Samson is a Frankfurt-based manufacturer of valves and controls. At this company, after sales service begins back in the commissioning phase. Samson continues to gradually expand its worldwide network of service centers. The subsidiary in Dubai is assisting with the commissioning of 1,000 positioners and butterfly valves at the new Ruwais petrochemical complex. In addition to supporting the start-up of new plants, lines and equipment, Samson provides reconditioning support services. Turnaround of the BASF steam cracker in Antwerp in the spring of 2013 is one example. To handle the task of overhauling or adding roughly 150 positioners and measurement points within the space of five weeks, Samson formed a 27-member internal team of valve specialists from eleven different countries at its service base in Antwerp. Besides carrying out repairs, the team also analyzed failure modes and process conditions. Based on the results, they made recommendations for increasing product life and extending product service intervals. Repair Service Enters the Realm of Process Optimization This example is representative of a current trend which is evident in the process industry. Users increasingly expect component suppliers to make process optimization recommendations. Manufacturers which are willing to engage with customers by offering this type of service have the opportunity to accumulate applications experience which can then help them position themselves as indispensable strategic partners over the long term. The Austrian compressor supplier Hoerbiger has decided to take this approach. The worldwide reciprocating compressor service business is highly competitive. The company’s strategy is to offer an expanded range of services which can, for example, significantly increase the service life of reciprocating compressors. The services include detailed reliability, efficiency and environmental soundness (REE) audits on compressors for the purpose of achieving sustained process improvement. The audit team carries out an evaluation on site to determine the cost and effort needed to optimize a compressor. It then makes specific recommendations and implements them if requested. “Process conditions are changing at a faster rate than ever before, but compressor systems are often designed to run for 20 or 30 years. We help users to continually improve the machines in order to remain competitive,” explained Nikolaus Lubega, Business Development Manager and REE Auditor at Hoerbiger. In a highly competitive market environment, expertise-intensive service can help companies differentiate themselves from the competition. Avoiding the Pitfalls The sales team sells the first machine, after sales service sells the second. The capital goods industry is no exception to this rule. However, success based on service delivery is not automatic. Manufacturers must come up with answers to the following key questions: • How can we efficiently build and expand a sales and service network which meets the needs of our customers? • What service portfolio is actually needed to generate real value-add for the supplier and the customer? • What is the requirements profile for spare parts logistics and how do we fulfill those requirements? • What qualifications do the members of our service team need? The final point refers not only to technical qualifications but also to personal and sales skills. The service team has a major impact on the company and brand image and it holds the key to customer loyalty. A strong service team with applications experience is a valuable asset for product development and a useful resource for the sales organization. Summary: These examples show that after sales services create added value for system component manufacturers and process operators alike. They give users greater flexibility to manage maintenance costs and they help improve system availability. On the supplier side, the services can improve the bottom line and also enhance customer loyalty. n 12 A special edition from PROCESS Picture: Martin Joppen / Sanofi The Frankfurt-based pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis uses an approach which is common in the industry: It leases the pumps that are used in production from a pool provided by a system supplier which takes responsibility for repair and maintenance at a fixed price.
ACHEMA Worldwide News2/2015
To see the actual publication please follow the link above