OCP Ecuador’s Journey to Reduce Maintenance Costs with Aspen Mtell

August 29, 2022

It’s hardly a secret that equipment downtime is costly – studies have shown that even small failures can cost hundreds of dollars per minute. 

For us, downtime can easily become catastrophic.  

With just 22 “main” engines, the loss of even one can have profound impacts on safety, on our ability to quickly respond to customer needs and on our bottom line. Thankfully, with Aspen Mtell®, we have a way to anticipate those challenges even before they happen.  

Data challenges 

Like many companies we quickly found ourselves facing a mountain of information we couldn’t process. Since we are a team of only 6 engineers, addressing reliability and maintenance issues required as much as three months' lead time – not the sort of efficiency we needed to deliver increased uptime and reduce maintenance costs.   

In our search for a way to process this data, OCP Ecuador analyzed multiple software solutions, but quickly ran into obstacles. One software package required at least 10 users to conduct analysis and maintain the solution; requiring additional investment in resources.  

Ultimately, we chose Aspen Mtell because it offered the most accurate and earliest prediction of an equipment failure and was easy to implement, giving engineers the ability to prioritize and spend time on other important tasks. Understanding the probability of failure with such accuracy was a huge win.    

How easily is Aspen Mtell implemented? 

Undertaking an implementation that requires a shift from traditional maintenance practices required support from all OCP staff, including our CEO, whose support was crucial in adoption and execution.  

Our team worked with AspenTech to learn and deploy Mtell to increase engine availability. In the past, engines would be overhauled at 16,000 hours. With only three to four months of data, Aspen Mtell was able to monitor engines and predict degradation ahead of time, allowing for early intervention. We were able to increase engine overhaul from 16,000 hours to 19,200 hours — a 20% improvement in uptime that resulted in savings of almost $500,000 per year in maintenance costs- 25% reduction. Aspen Mtell is extremely user-friendly, so we were able adopt and maintain the solution without increasing our headcount.  

Aspen Mtell frees up the OCP team for more important tasks 

Beyond increased uptime and maintenance savings, Mtell offers additional benefits, including freeing up engineers to focus on other critical tasks.  

With Mtell in place, our engineers are now able to focus on reliable life of spare parts and manage their inventory. Based on equipment availability insights derived from Mtell, we further reduced costs by updating our spare parts guidance for camshafts from 20,000 hours of life to a new benchmark of 50,000 hours.  

What lies ahead for OCP Ecuador? 

Today our personnel, from field operations to maintenance engineers, are looking at Mtell’s alert dashboard. We are now upskilling our field personnel, training them on Mtell and enabling them to progress to reliability and maintenance engineer roles. In such a tight labor market, this is a significant benefit.  

At OCP Ecuador, we have made a concerted effort to change the way we operate and maintain our assets, and insights from Mtell are enabling us to run our engines better. The results have been positive, and we have recovered our initial investment at a record pace. Going forward, we plan to deploy Aspen Mtell to cover more assets. 

Watch our on-demand webinar with OCP Ecuador to learn more about its journey towards prescriptive maintenance.  

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