In the media: Bilfinger Tebodin predicts future without a crystal ball
With foresight. That's how the team at Bilfinger Tebodin, which deals with asset management by design, looks at designs of industrial plants and production facilities. Using simulation models, among other tools, they can detect elements in designs that negatively affect availability and reliability in the long(er) term. In doing so, they know how to minimize the risk of failure.
The last months of the year are traditionally the time for presenting awards and accolades. It is no different at Bilfinger Tebodin. This consultancy and engineering organization (eight offices in the Netherlands, including Schiedam, and active internationally) presented its internal Quality Awards in November 2022. In the innovative improvements category, the award went to Tewes Remge Zeef. He works as an asset management consultant & reliability availability expert with the team with the 'foresight'. Senior consultant asset management Petra Jalink is also part of this team and supported Zeef on the two projects for which he received the Quality Award. "Those were both related to hydrogen," Zeef points out. "One of the projects is confidential and therefore I cannot name it. The other involved the design of Gasunie's Underground Hydrogen Storage Zuidwending. Using RAM studies and risk analyses, among other tools, we managed to uncover a number of areas for improvement in the design. RAM stands for reliability, availability and maintainability. The application of those studies is a quantitative method to assess those three issues in the design of a system and installation. In both hydrogen projects, this yielded an improvement in availability of more than 3 percent per year. That may seem small, but when converted to money, and taking into account a 25-year lifespan, those amounts are in the millions."
"Both clients were therefore very satisfied with the results achieved," Jalink says. "Tewes deserves credit for that, since he mainly worked on those projects." For his part, Zeef praises Bilfinger Tebodin's multidisciplinary set-up: "With us, consultancy, design and engineering, project management, procurement and construction management and a number of other services for the industry are all under one roof. This is attractive not only for our clients, but also for ourselves. With all these different disciplines, knowledge, and expertise in house, you can have great discussions and come to each other for feedback and advice. That works very well and leads to high quality and good results. In my work, the client and the engineering team provide valuable input and after studying the design, it is important that they look at how the conclusions and recommendations can be incorporated into it."
"If, after commissioning a plant or production line, it is discovered that an installation cannot run optimally or has more failures than expected, it can lead to high costs," Jalink says. "Usually it is too costly to retrofit an installation and fix this. Machines or installations often last for decades. A component with problems can cause high costs during the lifetime of such an asset. This can be prevented with asset management by design. The projects for which Tewes won the award, among others, do show that companies can benefit greatly from this."
According to Jalink and Zeef, this makes an asset management by design process advisable in many cases. Especially when the capacity of a production line is very close to demand and work is being done with delivery guarantees. Zeef: "If there are problems with availability and reliability in these situations, penalty clauses can make it very expensive. Extra verification of the design beforehand, which includes detailed examination of the long-term functioning of the installation using simulation models, is therefore highly recommended."
Energy transition and circular economy
With its services for industry, Bilfinger Tebodin is focusing significantly on the energy transition and circular economy now and in the coming years. "Our company supports operators of industrial plants in dealing with the energy transition and circular economy," Jalink and Zeef indicate. "We do this with an extensive portfolio of products and services that include biomass, CCUS [the capture, reuse and storage of CO2, ed.], electrification, energy efficiency, high-voltage transmission, hydrogen and wind and solar energy."
In doing so, Bilfinger Tebodin can offer the advantages associated with being part of a large and globally active group. By this, of course, is meant the German industrial service provider Bilfinger. That group took over N.V. Nederlandsch Technisch Bureau voor Ontwikkeling der Industrie (Tebodin), founded in 1945 by top Dutch engineer Frederik Karel Theodoor van Iterson, in 2012.