Trending in 2021: process and maintenance data captured in one model


The trends seen in recent years by Bilfinger Tebodin now coincide like pieces of a puzzle. Aart-Jan Smit, for example, sees that in the coming years a lot will be controlled by the data generated a few years ago. 

“Bilfinger Digital Next, Bilfinger Tebodin’s sister company, now really does a lot with the customer’s data,” says Aart-Jan Smit, Sales Manager Food & Pharma at Bilfinger Tebodin. “They receive the data and can then see exactly what is happening in the factory. What exactly are you doing when it comes to production, what is the standstill of your machines? Based on this analysis, the maintenance plans and asset systems are drawn up and continuously adjusted.”

Trends of recent years

The VMT trend interview of 2016 addressed hygienic design as a trend. It became increasingly clear that it was important to include and validate the hygienic design at an early stage. Smit: “Today, hygienic design is no longer a choice for food companies, but has become the standard. In 2017, the bio based economy emerged as the most important trend. Bio based has now increasingly become part of the circular economy and we made that link in 2019.”

“Whereas in 2018 data management, digitization and BIM models became increasingly important, this too has now become a permanent part of engineering. Last year, it turned out that sustainability was increasingly on the agenda of food companies. Our Pit-stop approach, where you sit at the table with all stakeholders at a very early stage of the design phase, takes sustainability into account, including CO2 reduction, waste, water and energy savings.”

Bilfinger Tebodin increasingly looks at the full life cycle of a factory design

Design for whole life cycle

These previous trends still appear to be topical. Smit says that the current trend is the coincidence of all the pieces of the puzzle. “Bilfinger Tebodin increasingly looks at the full life cycle of a factory design and at the total cost of ownership. Previously, we mainly did engineering and only looked at the beginning: the investment. Now we also bring the sustainable and circular design together in one model. This model is then central to asset management, validation and document management.”

“From this model we are now also looking at maintenance and how you are going to arrange it. How do you make sure that you already include the maintenance in the design phase, that you know what data is needed to steer the maintenance? A machine won’t come to a standstill, because the maintenance plan allows the technical department to know exactly which machine needs a service and when.”

Data comes together

In addition to reducing maintenance costs and unplanned downtime, digitalization also provides data that can be used to optimize production or increase labor productivity. “We work together with our sister companies Bilfinger Maintenance and Bilfinger Digital Next. We bring all data from a factory together in a cloud-based platform BCAP (Bilfinger Connected Asset Performance). Form this platform we can continuously advise on improvements. This platform also brings together BIM, asset management, maintenance, ERP systems, P&IDs, work orders and documents, thus generating actual business value.”

Optimization from baseline measurement

“At customers we can first do a so-called baseline measurement, to see where they stand with the maintenance. We then take the data as the factory is running, the situation as is. All kinds of aspects are then mapped and scored, varying from general conditions, downtime and execution to training programs, documentation, reporting or communication.”

“From the BCAP platform, they will then carry out their asset management. They are going to link their documents, the workflow, the P&IDs etc. to it. The platform translates the data into visible and readable models; it’s not just a lot of numbers in Excel sheets anymore. This clear data can be used to manage the factory. Every year, the same measurement is performed and the development is reviewed.” 

Resounding results

“What we see is that real steps can be taken, that effectiveness is improved, that downtime is minimized, purely by making predictions based on data. When we measure all aspects every year, you can really see what progress has been made and what the profit and payback time of the investments is. With this approach, customers will see, for example, 7 to 15% improved plant effectiveness, 10 to 30% lower maintenance costs, 15% increased labor productivity and up to 25% reduction in unplanned downtime. In general, the capital employed is recouped within one year.

Smaller companies catch up

“Large companies are already in the process of setting this up. We carry out projects of about three to five years. They are in the process of taking on their responsibilities in the area of sustainability. We can help them with that. A baseline measurement helps to determine how they can achieve their 2030 sustainability goals, which is the low-hanging fruit to start with. From there they can start optimizing. The large companies will be the examples for the smaller companies in the years to come.”

“Smaller companies will not take up this kind of route in its entirety. But there too a baseline measurement offers insight. We then look much more closely at what the quick win is. Companies are continuously improving safety. Sometimes a quick win can be achieved by constructing walking routes, or by setting up a safe production environment. In the long term, the smaller companies will catch up with the larger ones, because with new buildings, for example, you can take all sustainability goals at once. This is easier than making existing plants more sustainable.”

What is needed for this?

“What is important is good cooperation with the customer, often on site with the right stakeholders at the table. We really need to know what the customer expects. The digitization and processing of data can be very extensive, but that also has a financial impact. If the customer’s expectations are properly discussed, you can make a clear step-by-step plan for several years and then it can fit into any financial picture.”