Saudi Aramco Ras Tanura Refinery Wins Reliability Program of the Year

Saudi Aramco wins Emerson Exchange 2015 honors for 'Reliability Program of the Year'

Ibrahim Naimi (center right), general manager, and Eyad Al-Basrawi (center left), reliability section head, for Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura refinery received the 2015 Reliability Program of the Year award from Emerson executives Jim Nyquist (left) and Ron Martin (right).

Effective reliability programs affect safety, availability and efficiency for process manufacturers and producers. Recently, at the Emerson Exchange conference in Denver, Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura Refinery was awarded Reliability Program of the Year.

The Saudi Aramco team reduced rotating equipment maintenance costs by 9%, slashed rotating equipment failures by 90% and eliminated 50,000 man-hours of preventative maintenance activities.

Reliability section head, Eyad Al-Basrawi noted:

Some major accomplishments related to our operational performance KPIs include improving the mean time between failures [MTBFs] for our 48 compressors by 153%, for our 116 turbines by 167% and for our 1,653 pumps by 53%.

This award was originally established in 1989 at the now discontinued Reliability Week to recognize the companies who apply the best reliability and maintenance practices worldwide. The award was restarted in 2013 at the Emerson Exchange conference in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas.

The selection criteria for the award include:

  • Established integrated proactive maintenance practices and efficient work processes
  • Demonstrated effective support for change leadership and communication programs
  • Applied predictive technologies and capabilities across a wide range of production assets

Emerson's Scott Bruni


Emerson’s Scott Bruni shared the selection process with me. It begins with preliminary nominations. Companies that accept the nomination complete questionnaires about the scope of their reliability program.

Eight semi-finalists emerge after the questionnaires are analyzed and a two-day site assessment is performed in order to generate a gap analysis chart and a strengths and improvements matrix for each semi-finalist.

The final four companies present their programs at the Emerson Exchange in a two-hour technology roundtable to a panel of Emerson Reliability professionals where reviews and scoring are performed. The four semi-finalists for this year’s conference included Saudi Aramco, CMC Steel, Corbion and Exelon. At the conference, the four companies presented aspects of their reliability programs with emphasis on the effective use of reliability-based technologies, effective work processes, integrated maintenance best practices, leadership commitment and return on investment.

CMC Steel’s Greg Evans noted that their team learned so much by participating in the process and filling out the questionnaire that they considered the experience invaluable in further advancing their reliability efforts.

Establishing a reliability-based culture was an integral part of the business results achieved by the Ras Tanura Refinery staff. A fast-track program, “Reliability Accelerated Culture Enhancement” (RACE) to establish this culture was implemented to improve rotating equipment reliability. A boot camp program was established where attendees:

…spend five days from 7 am to 9 pm talking about reliability… It accelerated the development of the workforce and supported transfer of the critical knowledge and key skills. Our operators, technicians and engineers created success story videos that were a very popular way of communicating success.

Other significant business results included:

…a 180% increase in defect identification; restructured its vibration monitoring program for a $1.1M cost avoidance; improved air system efficiency by 20%, eliminating $850K of wasted energy; and boosted steam turbine performance, eliminating $7M in wasted energy.

Congratulations on the award, achieving such impressive results and to all the participating companies on their efforts to improve overall reliability and performance.

You can connect and interact with other reliability and maintenance experts in the Reliability & Maintenance group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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