Maintenance Cost Reduction for Chemical Plant


A long established batch chemicals manufacturer in the North West of England was producing 60,000 tonnes of PVC additives and stabilisers and acrylic acid per year. With a turnover of over £73m, their maintenance budget was £6m.

The client recognised a number of key issues:

  • Reactive workload
  • High percentage of man-hours on breakdowns (80%)
  • High levels of overtime
  • Poor cost control
  • High downtime and production losses
  • Strong trade-union environment
  • Poor maintenance information system 

The project challenges included:

  • To change attitudes and approach to maintenance
  • To develop strong information systems
  • To control and reduce cost
  • To increase equipment reliability



The project scope included:

An initial assessment and benchmarking study was completed which showed the status of maintenance and identified the scope for cost reduction

An implementation plan was developed which included:

  • Asset register redefinition
  • Mapping of work planning processes
  • Revised work planning and management processes and documented procedures
  • Selection and implementation of a CMMS
  • Review of equipment criticality and development of maintenance plans using FMECA/RCM
  • Revision of spare parts procedures and stock levels
  • Cleaning of spare parts data and removal of obsolete items
  • Development of training needs for technicians
  • Measurement of equipment reliability, downtime and OEE

By the end of the programme, it was clear that there a number of benefits gained by the client.
These added to the results and included:

  • CMMS implemented and used by technicians
  • Revised work management system
  • Improved shutdown management system
  • Clear understanding of costs
  • Better tracking of equipment performance
  • Improved utilisation of technicians
  • Increased proactive work


  • Production savings of £800k per annum
  • Maintenance cost of reduction of £250k
  • Spare parts reduced by 20% saving £100k
  • Overtime saving of £75k
  • Reduction in maintenance labour £215k
  • Increased ISRS safety performance
  • AMIS World Class achievement

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