Lean Processes Help Improve the Global Oil and Gas Industry

Lean Processes Help Improve the Global Oil and Gas Industry

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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Lean Processes Help Improve the Global Oil and Gas Industry

Much like the healthcare industry, the worldwide oil and gas business is a mature industry facing challenging times. Part of the response to those challenges involves adaptation of innovative technology and modern business methodologies.

One of those methodologies is Lean Six Sigma.

The oil and gas industry is slowly recovering from a downturn that led to contraction in recent years. However, the bounce from the bottom has involved new approaches to managing both energy companies and the ancillary businesses that work with them.

One of those businesses is UECompression, a Colorado-based company that supplies air and gas compression packages to companies across the country and around the world. They also provide auxiliary equipment such as fuel boosters for turbine power plants. They distribute a number of products for air and gas compression production companies.

It’s a complex business. That’s one reason UECompression turned to Lean Six Sigma to improve operations.

Lean Six Sigma

Maximizing value for customers and minimizing the resources needed to do it. That sums up the goals of Lean Six Sigma.

Achieving the first requires focusing on eliminating defects in the product or service. Achieving the latter requires eliminating waste. All of it requires gathering information on the current process, analyzing how an operation currently works, and then identifying those defects and waste.

Lean provides a methodology for that process as well as the important work of implementing change that lead to improvements. It also supplies the methods of continuous improvement, which includes measuring the effectiveness of change and whether further changes are required.

One way of viewing Lean is that it breaks down complex processes into simple, component parts. In that way, making improvements is an easier task.

It certainly works. General Electric, Toyota, Motorola – these are just a few of the companies that have put Lean to use.

Standardizing Processes

For UECompression, incorporating Lean is all about an overall company strategy to smooth out the bumps of an up and down oil and gas industry.

Part of riding out cyclical fluctuations is determining how to best deliver their services to their customers around the world.

Company CEO Jack Maley told Boss Magazine that Lean is being implemented to reduce process cycle time and improve quality. It’s especially useful because the company opened a new facility in 2013. Maley said Lean allows the company to “take our new facility to the next level and maximize the velocity of the work we accomplish there.”

UECompression is implementing Lean strategies for manufacturing in the new facility. That includes finding the root causes of any defects in the production line, as well as identifying wasted actions within the operation.

Lean and the Oil and Gas Industry

The energy industry is increasingly turning to Lean, whereas in the past it was not applied as much in businesses with a heavy focus on engineering. In some cases, businesses within a certain niche of the industry are leveraging the benefits of Lean.

For example, in the fabrication business within the oil and gas industry, companies such as KUDU and Plains Fabrication and Supply have adapted Lean methodology as part of a restructuring of their operations.

Producers also have turned to Six Sigma. Large companies such as Shell and Suncor have implemented Lean practices into their operations. These include Value Stream Mapping, a Six Sigma tool used to diagram a process and find defects and waste, as well as equipment effectiveness, transportation issues and production operations.

Lean has proven effective across many industries over the years. Now, with a track record of success, the methodology is spreading into areas such as healthcare and oil and gas, transforming how these venerable businesses handle their operations.

The post Lean Processes Help Improve the Global Oil and Gas Industry appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

Original: http://www.sixsigmadaily.com/lean-processes-help-improve-global-oil-gas-industry/
By: James LoPresti
Posted: September 26, 2017, 12:01 pm

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