Crystalise: Asset Wellbeing Coaches for Life
In an era when everything we do is being recorded, there is so much data that is generated on a daily basis—90 percent of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone! All this data allows for greater insights and better management. In the past, organizations would benchmark their assets and solutions against their peers; however, today’s peers are on a global scale—organizations benchmark themselves with companies from across the world by virtue of the internet highways.“The rapid rate of change that the world has seen in terms of globalization, technology, and connectivity affect not only our lives but also our operating assets,” says Karsten Guster, Managing Director at Crystalise. While improvements are being made to maximize the usability of the generated data, Crystalise looks at an organization’s data from an asset management perspective to determine how it can optimize the performance of such assets. Crystalise in that sense, is unique as they combine the latest technology know-how and data with the experience and expertise of proven professionals to optimize and sustain the performance of operational assets.
Crystalise is an asset management solutions provider—delivering Asset Performance Improvements across projects and operating assets. The company has a distinctive skill set and approach with expertise in Operations, Engineering, Maintenance and IT (OEMIT) for the oil and gas, energy, mining, and infrastructure sectors. “We get involved in assets at all stages of their lifecycle from their Acquisition, Conceptual/Detailed Design, Development, Construction, Commissioning, Operations and Disposal or Abandonment. For each phase, we ensure that sustainable outcomes are achieved in a safe, reliable and efficient manner. This may entail providing due diligence operations and maintenance advice on a purchase of an asset, improving an asset integrity management system, benchmarking and then optimizing an asset’s performance or developing programs to extend the life of an asset” explains Guster. Assets need to perform, but with social media and the changes in community and social values, the need for transparency and responsiveness are vital to demonstrate that assets are being operated in a safe, sustainable, and socially acceptable manner.
The firm’s strength is its inherent knowledge, skill-set, and process that is used to improve an asset’s performance. Within the Crystalise Team, we have proven asset management expertise with numerous ISO 55000 Certified Asset Management Assessors (CAMA). The organization understands that the tradeoff between cost, risks, and performance are the decisions that inevitably influence the life and performance of an asset. Crystalise recognizes the need to harness specialists’ services providers across the entire value chain to offer a holistic solution, so it collaborates through strategic partnership arrangements with other companies to deliver best-in-class solutions to customers. “We partner, for example, with TheAsset Management College as they specialize in ISO 55000 which defines the asset management standard of how assets should be maintained. We find that clients are increasingly interested in benchmarking their performance against those standards,” explains Dr. Phil Tirabosco, Principal Consultant at Crystalise. Assets excel when an organization’s people, plant, processes, standards and IT systems are aligned and tuned to deliver a collective and shared output.
Production assets go through multiple phases during their life cycle and during each phase, there are opportunities to increase their value.
When looking at improving asset performance kpis, crystalise assesses and benchmarks the asset’s current practices as well as its performance levels
The first phase is a feasibility assessment whereby the expertise within Crystalise can help determine the relevant asset management strategy that fits with the strategy that targets the specific outcomes of the asset over its service life. Only if this is successful, will organizations move on to the next phase of development. In the next phase, Crystalise is able to assist in selecting asset management concepts with the mindset of standardization (where possible) and scalability for the future. The firm then moves onto the development phase where the rubber hits the road - clients must ensure that the asset does not break the bank when it comes to its construction and that it is affordable to maintain.
Once the asset has been designed and everything has been thoroughly thought out, the building can commence. The project capital cost will be significant; however, studies have shown that over the lifecycle the cumulative operating and maintenance costs can be up to 60% of the total cost of the asset. The long-term success and sustainability of any asset is dependent upon how efficiently and effectively it can operate and be maintained over its lifecycle; this directly affects the return of investment. Crystalise helps deliver operations and maintenance strategies, plans, procedures and assembles the data for the computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS). They ensure that the project achieves operational readiness for successful hand-over to the operations and maintenance teams, prior to ‘ready for startup’. The firm is able to help its clientele reduce their unit operating costs year on year without adversely impacting safety and integrity of the asset. The final phase is the end of life phase of an asset; which encompasses either the transfer of the asset, sale, or its decommissioning. “In some cases, there is an extension into the life of the facilities, in which instance, you need to put in place a program that aligns the design life to the end of field life, from an asset integrity management perspective,” describes Guster. “Our approach is to use our in-depth knowledge and skills in OEMIT to develop solutions that deliver safe, reliable, and sustained performance improvements,” he continues. It is Crystalise’s understanding and know-how of OEMIT that makes the firm unique in delivering the whole value chain of asset management. “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. This also applies to assets and that is why we service the full value chain,” states Ashley Black, Operations Manager for Crystalise.
Crystalise offers four key quadrants to clients — strategic expertise, specialist services, support services, and technologies & products. The Crystalise team have expert practitioners who have held senior roles in operations, engineering, and maintenance for major owners and operators of assets throughout the world. This cache of experience is ideal as it enables them to perform strategic reviews, develop improvements plans, and due diligence studies. “What we find from our competitor's landscape is that not everyone traverses the four quadrants nor do they operate in the asset management strategy sphere as this requires experts that have over 30 years of experience. This is not available in every company,” asserts Guster.
The firm’s specialized services comprise of seasoned engineering and trade background engineers, maintenance, reliability, integrity, materials and inspection engineers. A balance of academia and real-world experience ensures that practical and workable solutions are delivered every time. According to Guster, most competitors work only in the operations space— computerized maintenance management system.
Crystalise’s support services help clients implement a strategy or improvement plan that requires careful planning and scheduling together with the correct IT infrastructure in order to ensure the right activity is done at the right time with the right people and at the right cost. The firm’s experienced CMMS specialists, planners, schedulers, and database developers take an asset’s data and transform it into effective practice.
Some customers are quite specific in their needs—they approach Crystalise to optimize their CMMS, others look for an overall improvement program which requires more of a strategic engagement at the outset to deliver a tailored improvement roadmap. Customers even look at certain problem areas, while others approach the firm to optimize the performance of their assets. “We also have a clientele that requires inspections so that they receive live information on the health of their asset,” says Guster. “As we offer a holistic solution via the four quadrants, our clientele is able to select the level of engagement to suit their operating needs,” he continues.
When looking at improving asset performance KPIs, Crystalise assesses and benchmarks the asset’s current practices as well as its performance levels. This is done by analyzing asset data and meeting with the operations and maintenance teams to assess and benchmark existing practices. When completed and the performance capabilities of the asset have been identified, Crystalise, along with the client will collectively develop an improvement program as well as a roadmap to deliver improved results. According to Tirabosco, they find that many customers are not aware of their performance when compared against industry benchmarks. Crystalise works with asset operators directly, to achieve higher rates of returns. “Our clients range from service companies, operators, asset owners, to investment funds that want to maximize the value of their operating assets,” he continues.
"The crystalise team has expert practitioners who have held senior roles in operations, engineering, and maintenance for major owners and operators of assets throughout the world"
When looking at asset integrity, the firm performs a risk-based inspection process, where it identifies what actually needs to be inspected and looks at the risk of failure. This enables them to hone what must be inspected and in what frequency, eliminating inefficient inspection. In doing so, Crystalise can, in some cases, reduce inspections by around 70 percent. The firm also applies risk-based inspections when looking at the performance standards of customers’ assets as well as asset scorecards to ensure focus is maintained on what matters most.
Crystalise has a range of strategic initiatives in place that are focused on utilizing technology, asset data, and connectivity of assets. “Our future is filled with digital enterprise analytics that allow us to assess and monitor the performance of assets remotely, optimize maintenance activities, and improve asset integrity through predictive analytics,” says Guster. Crystalise’s strategic asset management expertise is becoming increasingly sought after in Asia and is finding that working for international clientele comes through referrals from past performances. “We have been invited to participate in a range of overseas opportunities and are pursuing those,” he concludes.
“Like Wellbeing Coaches our focus is to ensure that our clients’ assets are operating in a safe, sustainable and reliable manner to deliver optimum value throughout its life” concludes Karsten Guster.
December 15, 2018