Essay on Reliability

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is a set of items used to measure the level of success of systems and techniques applied in an organism. The firm in this case study oversees a number of contractors tasked with operation and maintenance of a seawater purification plant. The ten KPIs are used to formulate criterion to determine whether the contractors provide correct information. According to the criteria, the percentages are calculated and categorized into colour coded groups of excellent, moderate, and critically low.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are tools used to measure the success of an organization or production process by comparing expected results to the actual output. It is worth noting that KPIs are vital to reducing the complexity of performance to fewer key indicators to make it simpler and easier for assessment. Notably, in the context of this paper, KPIs are defined as a set of both financial and nom-financial measures used to rate a contractor’s performance relative to the organization’s critical success factors (CSFs). Additionally, for the utility company in question to meet their goals in monitoring maintenance and operations, it is crucial to ensure that the contractors under them meet the required standards related to their areas of specialty.

The then KPIs developed for the utility company in this case are listed below:

  • Water loses
  • Water quality
  • Sewer blockages
  • Quality of treated effluent
  • Capacity availability factor
  • Main variable costs efficiency – chemicals
  • Power Consumption
  • Corrective rate
  • Incident rate
  • Training

When monitoring contractors whose success is primary to an organization’s survival, it is of paramount importance to develop criteria and mechanisms to verify their data and determine whether the information they provide is true or not. For the utility company at hand, such mechanisms include testing the quality of water and treated effluent, randomly determining total water losses, calculating the frequency of sewer blockages, and checking chemical cost efficiency, to mention a few. Moreover, factors such as quality, especially for water and treated discharge, are measured against existing standards to verify adherence to guidelines and effectiveness of the contractors’ systems.

Performance and verification tools ought to be efficient, and they should make sense financially. Furthermore, such tools are not applied on a daily basis but should follow particular order and conducted randomly to avoid cheating and adjustments made just to pass the test. Consequently, for each test conducted, a contractor is awarded a percentage that indicates the rate on success or complete non-compliance. The activity of conducting checks is vital, especially for processing plants, to eliminate the chances of contaminating the environment and avoiding accidents through occupational health and safety compliance measurements. This paper is concerned with developing performance rating for each of the 10 KPIs outlined above. The monitoring tool is a standard template that can be adjusted depending on the type of service provided by a particular contractor.

Mechanism and Protocol for Verification

Water Losses and Water Quality
During water purification, numerous factors may lead to significant water losses within a pipeline. For instance, pipe joints and transfer points act as the most notorious points of water leakage. Additionally, during cooling, water losses may occur through water vapor, and mechanisms ought to be installed to recapture the said material back into the pipeline. Therefore, the best way to measure is to take in to consideration water pumped into the system, water actually recovered on the other end, and expected volumes for each cycle. However, it is not practical to use volume input to determine the efficiency of a pipeline because there are changes incurred during cooling and purification. Consequently, comparing expected and actual water output quantifies water losses as a percentage.

water losses= expected output volume-actual output volumeexpected output volume x 100%

Seawater is known to have a salinity of 3.5% and a pH of 7.5 to 8.4, unlike fresh water whose with a pH slightly above or below pH 7 depending on origin. Therefore, samples should be taken randomly and tested both for pH and salinity using fresh water and unpurified seawater at the input as the standards. Subsequently, the percentage difference between required level of purity and actual achieved level should be calculated and used as the tool to rate success or failure of the purification mechanism.

Water Quality = untreated sea watr salinity-purifid water salinityuntreated water salinity x 100%

Sewer Blockages
The frequency and duration it takes before unblocking are used to measure performance. Logically, a poor system experiences more than two blockages per sewer per day, indicating that the screening process might be poor.

Quality of Treated Effluent
Standard procedures require that effluent should be treated before being released into the environment to prevent contamination and eliminate health hazards; seawater contains minerals considered harmful to human health when consumed over long periods of time or in large amounts. Additionally, the effluent discharged from seawater treatment act as breeding colonies for disease causing micro-organisms. Ultimately, the expected quality should be compared to the actual quality of discharged effluent then the percentage difference calculated.

Capacity Availability Factor
Capacity availability factor determines the amount of work, in this case, seawater purification, that a system can accommodate without applying strains on the resources. Therefore, the actual performance factor shows how well facilities are utilized and if there is any wastage. Accordingly, the firm should conduct studies to determine the actual amount produced by the purification system and the amount expected, keeping downtime into consideration.

Main Variables Cost Efficiency-Chemicals
Cost efficiency justifies the application of certain chemicals in the purification process. The cost incurred should be reasonable enough and should enhance the profitability as well as achieve remarkable results in terms of treated water quality. Therefore, comparisons should be made between achieved quality and total cost to determine the efficiency. Furthermore, information from the market concerning price of the chemicals used should be gathered and compared to actual costs reported.

Power Consumption
Power is a major factor contributing to production or process cost in plants and play a central role in determining cost effectiveness in a system. Therefore, the actual power consumption in kWh should be read from electrical meters and compared to the desirable quantities then the percentage difference should be calculated as a measure of consumption efficiency.

Corrective and Incident Rate
When accidents or breakdowns occur, measures should be put in place to prevent future occurrences or reduce their frequency over time. Therefore, once a corrective has been put in place, the difference between previous incidences and rate after correction determines success of the corrective technique. Furthermore, more frequent corrective rates mean that the technique is not as effective as it should.

System updates and technology improvements are vital to the survival of any business, and it is important to train employees to keep them updated. Additionally, safety training is vital to empower workers on the best ways of avoiding accidents and improving response mechanisms. Subsequently, to determine the effectiveness of such trainings, the performance team should have attendees fill questionnaires then compare the actual results and expected outcomes.

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