Service model for any plant
Control systems – always available, always up to date:
Stability, plant availability, investment security, transparency
Bayer MaterialScience (BMS)
Pilot testing from May 2010 to May 2011
Ongoing LCS agreement for 15 years
Scope of goods and services:
Basic services: On-call service, repairs
Maintenance services: Inspection and maintenance
Basis life cycle services: Spare parts management, obsolescence management (information service)
Extented life cycle services: Modernization, updates/upgrades services, software update services (SUS)
Security and serviceability are essential to the process industry. Control systems are closely linked to hardware and software and influence all aspects and processes of a production plant. To ensure plant availability, manufacturers must have control over the system in conjunction with the user application and manage the relatively short cycles of innovation for process control technology. Software specialists with the right industry expertise, who understand the systems and can optimize them as needed, are often required.
Manufacturers are increasingly relying on external service providers to handle these functions, and Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) is no different. BMS manufactures high quality materials and products in three categories: polycarbonate, polyurethane and coatings, adhesives and specialties. The company’s core area of expertise is product manufacturing, quality and availability.
Modern control systems are based on PC-based systems and automation components. This requires specialists with expert knowledge who often must undergo expensive and complex training. When the time came to chose a service partner, BMS selected Siemens’ industry and service experts, since the company uses as many as 30 Siemens control systems in its locations. In addition, the requirements for control system serviceability can also be incorporated directly into the control system development process.
Bayer MaterialScience and Siemens drew up and entered into a comprehensive, long-term life cycle agreement. In another phase, BMS and Siemens pilot-tested this joint framework agreement, which covers four main modules, in existing equipment in the Uerdingen factory. Building on this experience, the partners agree to add additional systems to this service agreement in the coming years. Based on this framework agreement, a service agreement with a term of 15 years will be entered into for the subsequent systems. These contracts include both services and service agreements as well as the lumpsum costs for spare parts maintenance.
The focus is on long-term serviceability, investment protection and guarantee of plant availability, while maintaining transparent and plannable costs.
The successful service partnership was based primarily on close collaboration between Siemens and Bayer in concept development and pilot testing. "We had the right intention and preparation, and the employees on both sides worked together intensively," reports Ward Beullens, who heads Systems Engineering at BMS. The service partnership with Siemens is expected to be further expanded now that the pilot project has been successfully completed. Other plants are being reviewed step by step. As the manufacturer and supplier of the control system, Siemens is a very suitable partner. However, Bayer will still retain some control over the service activities and also support its own plant and systems in the future in order to continue assessing the suppliers and technology used.
As the manufacturer and supplier of the control technology, Siemens has the right expertise and knows the system requirements. The company can therefore provide comprehensive services and supply the necessary specialists throughout the entire lifecycle of a plant. The service agreement’s long term and the services it contains increase transparency and ensure defined costs for the plant operator over the term of the agreement.
Clearly distributed responsibilities and well-defined service processes also have a positive effect on plant operation and availability – because after all, service has now become fixed part of the plant lifecycle. As a result, the responsible systems engineers with Bayer AG can focus their full attention on their own production.
The results of the service partnership and the requirements on the serviceability of control systems can now be integrated into the development process. After all, who knows a system better than its supplier? Who can locate an error faster than the engineer who was involved in developing the technology? And who is a better service partner than the expert who has worked with the system day in and day out?