We are physical asset management engineers headquartered in Aberdeen United Kingdom, with a subsidiary in Johannesburg, South Africa

Optimal are here to help businesses simplify physical asset maintenance. Our engineers specialise in developing enterprise asset performance and management solutions focused on optimising operations whilst increasing asset reliability

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INDUSTRIES

At Optimal, we empower our clients, by providing tools, strategies, and services that improve physical asset performance; through structured, consistent and auditable processes.

Our value-adding solutions apply to a wide range of industries and a variety of physical assets

Our Core Values

Pioneering

We are passionate about bringing innovative new technologies and methods to our clients. Fostering creativity is central to us as a business and we strive to find new and unique ways to approach each situation in order to achieve the best possible results.

Excellence

You need a business which provides you with excellent results, clear methods, and total satisfaction. We engage with our clients to ensure solutions provided by us, deliver excellent results that are absolutely customised to current and future needs.

People

People are our greatest asset. We form partnerships and develop relationships based on trust and commitment to ensure integrity on all sides. Our people are empowered by providing clear goals and incentives, enabled with authority, resources, tools, and processes.

Physical Asset Management Redefined
Case Studies
Want to find out more about our Case Studies?

Additional information / more details available upon request.

For more information on our Case Studies, contact us today.

Maintenance Strategy Development & Optimisation: Mining equipment

Client – Confidential

Industry – Mining

Location – South Africa | Zimbabwe | Botswana

Year Completed – 2018-Ongoing

Project Summary

A major Mining Operator in South Africa was seeking to enable and sustain significant increase of equipment performance at the operating sites across Diamond, Platinum, Coal and Iron Ore commodities. The sites are experiencing excessive equipment downtime and poor asset reliability and availability due to ineffective maintenance strategies.

Optimal were engaged in 2018 to develop plant/equipment hierarchies, conduct criticality analysis, Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) followed by Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) procedures, and spares analysis across their sites. The project is still ongoing and being rolled to multiple sites and assets.

Our team of Reliability Engineers are deployed to the various sites and work directly with the key client stakeholders to facilitate maintenance strategy development utilising Reliability Centred Maintenance techniques.

Key Benefits | Outcomes

The project is delivering the following:

  • Up to date asset registers and plant hierarchy with equipment subdivisions
  • Fully defined functional locations with equipment and Bills of Material (BoMs)
  • Internal risk matrix driven criticality and failure modes that are aligned to maintenance tasks
  • Strategy based maintenance plans with site scheduling data and activity for scheduled work
  • Maintenance work packages with labour and material resource allocation
  • Activity based maintenance cost with determined budgeted lives for technical objects
  • Detailed spares list covering stock or non-stock items as well as an optimised critical spares lists. Assigned ABC classification for inventory management, lead time and procurement quantity.

Overall, as part of this project, Optimal has become a trusted partner for the client with the new maintenance regimes leading to equipment availability and reliability increase of 15% on average across the sites and subsequent maintenance cost savings.

Glycol System RCM & Spares Study

Client – Confidential

Industry – Oil & Gas

Location – United Kingdom

Year Completed – 2021

Project Summary

Optimal were engaged by a North Sea Operator to carry out a review of the maintenance for a Glycol Dehydration system (including the KO Drum and the Contactor Tower) installed on an FPSO due to reliability and availability issues. The client had limited preventive multidiscipline maintenance being carried, resulting in a largely “fix on fail” approach. Additionally, a number of remedial issues had built up which subsequently came to light when trying to fault find recurrent operational issues.

The Optimal project team carried out a maintenance review using Failure Modes Effects Criticality Analysis (FMECA) and Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) principles to derive appropriate maintenance tasks for the system.

Key Benefits | Outcomes

The project delivered the following:

  • Derived Maintenance Tasks packaged for Maximo upload
  • Spare Parts Review report including recommended spare part list and preservation requirements
  • Summary Report detailing boundaries, context, assumptions, exclusions, noted vulnerabilities and recommendations.

The project has demonstrated how a FMECA / RCM analysis can be conducted to produce a revised maintenance regime to facilitate improvements/reduction in downtime and has increased the awareness of the RCM methodology. Overall, Optimal were able to help the client reduce their risk, improve availability and optimise productivity.

Power Generation Maintenance Review Project

Client – Confidential

Industry – Oil & Gas

Location – United Kingdom

Year Completed – 2020-2021

Project Summary

Optimal undertook a Failure Mode driven maintenance and spares strategy review for the main power generation gas turbines on two offshore platforms with the aim to increase availability of the turbines from 92% to 98%. Although there was redundant generative capacity there was still a high potential for power interruption during load shedding and run ups on switch over which caused production problems.

In total, there were 5 turbines (3 x PGT25 and 2 x LM2500 Dual Fuel Aeroderivative turbines) with differing age and manufacturing origins, and as a result maintenance and spares had to be developed for each turbine system. For this scope, Optimal carried out a holistic Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) derivation study (including vendor support tasks) for the whole of the power generation systems including:

  • A spare parts review
  • A spare parts preservation assessment
  • Vulnerability Analysis.

Key Benefits | Outcomes

The project delivered the following:

  • A completely new suite of bespoke systematic maintenance tasks (in a SAP compliant format) that could be proactively performed to prevent, or to diminish to a satisfactory degree, the consequences of failure
  • Visibility of vendor tasks created and aligned with the overall maintenance planning regime
  • Identified a total of 40 new vulnerabilities that could hinder the safe working of the turbine packages. Recommended mitigation activities were defined within the Vulnerability Report
  • Updated spare parts lists with preservation recommendations to meet availability targets and ensure rapid reinstatement after any down time
  • Demonstrated the capability to conduct a complex RCM project, which required collaboration with client’s personnel and external stakeholders through remote workshops/meetings.

Overall, Optimal were able to help the client reduce their risk, improve availability and optimise productivity.

Asset Management Audit, Policy and Framework Development Project

Client – Confidential

Industry – Mining

Location – Zimbabwe

Year Completed – 2021

Project Summary

Optimal were appointed to assess client’s current asset management system for two Gold mines in order for them to develop a robust Asset Management System aligned to ISO 55001. This required a development of an Asset Management Policy and framework to align with the principles of ISO 55001 following an initial maturity assessment.
The key elements of the scope of work were defined as follows:

  • Undertake a maturity assessment and present outcomes using a customised Asset Management auditing tool
  • Develop Asset Management Policy (AMP) and Framework
  • Provide roadmap with recommendations for Asset Management System improvement

The scope was completed via a site audit, during which interviews and workshops were conducted with senior management and operational staff at the Head Office and both of the mine sites.

Key Benefits | Outcomes

Optimal delivered the following:

  • An Asset Management Policy
  • A definition of the scope and objectives of the Asset Management System
  • A master system framework that will support the Asset Management Policy. This included recommendations for an outline local / group organisational structure to achieve the set-out objectives
  • A Summary Report which included observations / recommendations / roadmap for the establishment of sustainable Asset Management System.

The next steps are for Optimal to support the client in the delivery of the Asset Management improvement roadmap.

Spares & Materials Strategy Development: Nuclear Sector

Client – Confidential

Industry – Nuclear

Location – United Kingdom

Year Completed – 2020

Project Summary

A large scale Nuclear facility were looking to address ongoing poor visibility and planning for materials, which was leading to high material management costs and significant amount of obsolete stock being held across various warehousing sites. A core priority for the organisation was to ensure high asset availability to meet stringent safety and environmental requirements.
The basis of the project was to improve stock and spares holding of over £91 million, of which an estimated £53 million of stock was over 20 years old, taking up to about 40% of warehouse capacity.

The Optimal project team undertook a review of organisation’s materials management practices to establish the ‘As is’ state and determined the desired ‘To be’ outcome using major Systems Architecture Frameworks TOGAF 9.2 (The Open Group Architecture Framework) and SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework).

Following the analysis, Optimal delivered a Materials Management Strategy designed to provide:

  • a framework for decision making across the organisation in the short, medium and long term
  • a resource loaded plan to deliver and execute the strategy.

Key Benefits | Outcomes

The project delivered a comprehensive Materials Management Strategy providing the following:

  • Direction to Projects and Operations on the best practice approach for the management of spares and materials
  • Appropriate recognition and management of the risk of equipment unavailability through the identification of critical spares
  • Guidance for ensuring that spares records are kept up to date and master data records updated as new materials requirements are identified
  • Support to the ongoing Obsolescence Management Programme
  • Alignment of objectives between the operations, maintenance and logistics functions
  • Optimisation of the overall cost associated with materials management and effective utilisation of the company’s working capital.

Since the handover of the strategy, client has established the recommended Materials Management Steering Committee through activities of which £14m worth of stock has been identified for disposal, £2.1m of which has been achieved through the first year of strategy implementation. This has helped to free up an estimated 20% of current warehousing space. The committee has also secured buy in for closedown of legacy warehouses and established plans for the fit for purpose stock holding.

Asset Register Update and Strategic Asset Management Plan Development Project

Client – Confidential

Industry – Water Utility

Location – South Africa

Year Completed – 2020

Project Summary

This project established a fully updated Asset Register and Inventory including GRAP (Generally Recognised Accounting Practice – South Africa). It included a condition grading scale and End of Life (EOL) estimates by individual asset. In addition to the GRAP compliant asset register, a Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) spanning a 10 years’ time horizon has also been compiled and presented as part of the scope deliverables.

Key Benefits | Outcomes

We delivered a verified and updated Asset Register delivered incorporating GRAP compliance and forecast for major intervention intervals. Further asset maintenance improvement facilitated by the roadmap developed as part of the SAMP.

Greenfield Maintenance & Materials Strategy Development: Sulphur Dioxide Abatement Plant

Client – Confidential

Industry – Mining

Location – South Africa | Polokwane

Year Completed – 2019-2020

Project Summary

Optimal were contracted to develop an asset register for critical and non-critical systems for an SO2 abatement plant, with three smelting complexes relating to the Metallurgical Complex, and then develop asset tactics for these sites based on RCM framework. Utilising our inhouse asset performance management software, we developed the plant hierarchy, performed criticality analysis and implemented RCM methodology for maintenance strategy development. Material and labour resources were identified and built into the hierarchy, with resource requirements for preventive maintenance used to inform the development of maintenance cost as a budgeting parameter, taking into account the current age of technical objects. This was used to produce the complete asset registers and hierarchies for these sites, with equipment subdivisions, defined Functional Locations with Equipment and Bills of Materials (BoM), and fully defined criticality and failure modes with each maintenance task directly linked to a failure mode.

Key Benefits | Outcomes

We delivered a complete asset register with associated system hierarchies defined, Bills of Materials captured, and full maintenance strategy developed along with complete maintenance work packages that were then uploaded to SAP for execution for a greenfield SO2 Abatement Plant.

Physical Asset Verification Pilot Project

Client – Confidential

Industry – FMCG

Location – United Kingdom

Year Completed – 2020

Project Summary

For this project, Optimal was requested to review an existing asset register for various SSP sites with the aim to identify gaps specific to the selected sites. Visits were arranged to verify and capture data; critical to updating the register. Based on initial assessment of data provided, a scope was developed which covered:

  • Detailed Review of Asset Register
  • Site Visit and Data Capture
  • Asset Data Validation
  • Data Analysis and Optimisation

An inhouse data management software tool was used to create a digital replica of the assets register, which incorporated site and asset specific information. During each site visit, area specific risk assessment was conducted. Assets were located based on unique identifiers. Missing information, such as equipment type, age, model, cost, etc. were captured using the mobile version of the data management software. Asset photos were also taken and attached to the digital register for data validation as well as condition and criticality assessment. The data was post-processed and optimised according to relevant Catering & Facilities Standards; ISO 19650 for asset information digitization, BS 8544 for lifecycle costing and SFG20 for facilities maintenance management.

Key Benefits | Outcomes

We delivered a set of verified asset register data capturing the following undertakings:

  • Gap Analysis to identify missing data and site visits to bridge the gaps
  • Validation of the existing data and optimisation in line with relevant industry standards
  • Fully defined functional locations, hierarchy and physical location specific naming conventions
  • Asset financial analysis using KPIs, such as NPV, payback period and benefit to cost ratio
  • Maintenance strategy conforming to SFG20 as per equipment category
  • Asset condition and criticality assessment based on CIBSE Guide M.
Technical Guide Development: Energy Institute Guidance for Temporary or Permanent Removal of Equipment from Service in the Oil & Gas Sector

Client – Energy Institute

Industry – Oil & Gas

Location – United Kingdom

Year Completed – 2017-2018

Project Summary

With a number of North Sea Oil & Gas assets ageing and coming to end of productive life Operators have a requirement to plan and undertake decommissioning activities. The Energy Institute engaged Optimal to provide technical writing and editing services to address the need to define decommissioning and mothballing industry best practices for upstream Oil & Gas production assets and equipment.

Optimal worked with the UK Energy Institute Aging and Life Extension Committee (ALECOM) to produce a guidance document for the effective management and maintenance of the integrity of equipment and systems taken out of service and their related structures, on either a temporary or permanent basis. The purpose of the document was to facilitate good practice throughout the industry. This was driven by the HSE focus on asset integrity (KP3) and aging and life extensions of asset (KP4).

Key Benefits | Outcomes

The project delivered the following:

Industry best practice guidance document covering:

  • Regulatory drive for decommissioning and mothballing activities
  • Decision considerations and scenarios for decommissioning v mothballing
  • Guidance on best practice for typical upstream Oil & Gas equipment mothballing and decommissioning activities.

Overall, Optimal were able to bring together a team of subject matter experts and working collaboratively with the industry representatives deliver the comprehensive document covering all equipment, facilities and structures found in the UK Continental Shelf (UK CS) upstream Oil & Gas industry. This document was published in 2019 under ISBN 978 1 78725 124 3, document title ‘Guidance on the management and maintenance of the integrity of structures, equipment and systems taken out of service on either temporary or permanent basis in the upstream oil and gas industry’.
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3-7%
AVAILABILITY IMPROVEMENT
10-25%
PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT
8-20%
MAINTENANCE COST REDUCTION
5-10%
SPARE PART INVENTORY REDUCTION
3-40%
HSE INCIDENTS REDUCTION