Emerson Automation Experts

Emerson Automation Experts

Podcast: Digital Transformation for Walkdowns

August 19, 2019

Jerry Chen

We continue our FIRSTHAND: Operational Certainty in a Pod podcast series with a conversation with Emerson's Jerry Chen.

As an Operational Certainty consultant, Jerry works with manufacturers and producers to improve the reliability of their processes. It starts with a complete understanding of the assets used in the production process and keeping these records current as an important component of an effective reliability strategy.

We hope you'll enjoy this episode and will consider subscribing to the whole FIRSTHAND: Operational Certainty in Pod series on your iOS or Android mobile device.

Jim: Hi, everyone, and welcome to another edition of "FIRSTHAND: Operational Certainty in a Pod." Today, I'm joined by Jerry Chen. You may have caught our "5 Questions for an Emerson Expert" podcast we did together a few months ago. In case not, let me give you his background. Jerry is a Principal Field Engineer on our Operational Certainty Consulting team. They assist manufacturers and producers in developing a sustainable culture of reliability in their operations. Jerry is a mechanical engineer by way of the University of Tennessee, and he has a wide range of industry experience working for Eastman Chemical, Schlumberger, and now, Emerson. Welcome to the podcast, Jerry.

Jerry: Thank you, Jim. Thank you for having me.

Jim: You bet. And today, our discussion is around walkdowns. And I've heard the term "walkdown" used in different contexts. From a standpoint of improving reliable performance, what is a walkdown?

Jerry: It's a great question, Jim. So essentially, a walkdown is to verify the legacy equipment and remedy any gaps in the maintainable equipment asset list. Really, the priority is to identify the existence of this piece of equipment. How can you maintain something that you don't know exists? So it's really important to identify the existence of this piece of equipment.

And then it brings another question, which is how credible is that data that's currently in the ERP [Enterprise Resource Planning] or CMMS [Computerized Maintenance Management System] system? How do we know if we are over or under-maintaining that piece of equipment or maintaining it at all? That's the purpose of the walkdown, to identify the existence of the piece of the equipment and it's about finding that baseline and identifying those pieces of equipment.

Jim: Okay, that makes sense. So why are these walkdowns important?

Jerry: walkdowns are foundational to all maintenance programs. You can really, again, only fix what you know that you have. How do you know what you have? By conducting a walkdown. And then it also helps with maintenance work prioritization. You can do a criticality list and identify your most critical assets...