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SAAMA Conference – making history by focusing on the future

The Southern African Asset Management Association (SAAMA) hosted its sixth physical asset management conference from the 14th to the 16th of May 2019 at Spier Wine Farm, Stellenbosch. The conference focused on the development of physical asset management in Southern Africa. As organisers, sponsors, speakers, delegates and exhibitors look back at the resounding success of SAAMA 2019, arrangements for SAAMA 2020, scheduled for 25 - 27 May at Spier, has already commenced.

This year, more than 200 delegates had the opportunity to be equipped by an impressive cast of academic researchers, local and international speakers, and industry experts, leaving them with renewed knowledge and confidence to significantly improve and optimise their approach to asset management – with it itself becoming more than just an industry, but rather a culture, a passion and a drive that belongs to a selective few that face the everyday challenges this industry embraces. 

Location! Location! Location!

Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch not only hosted a world class conference, but, given its serene location, created the perfect environment and atmosphere for delegates to network whilst relaxing. All this, surrounded by 327 years of history and exceptional achievements. When delegates were not being equipped with industry-related matters, they could, amongst a range of activities, attend the spa, the Werf cellar, one of the many restaurants or just embrace the rich heritage this family wine farm has to offer.

The key (note) to a successful conference

During this year’s conference speakers focused on the subject of approaching challenges smarter, and in addition, how this approach will impact the workforce, assets and operations. Smarter approaches that were discussed included: competency and employee engagement, digitalisation, IoT, mobile and technology, maturity principles and assessment, best practice in utilities and public sector, green and circular economy, and capital projects.

Equipping delegates on the above mentioned subjects, a remarkable cast of speakers – nationally and internationally bound – significantly contributed to an unprecedented experience. This panel of speakers included Dr Calie Pistorius, who assessed the strategic impact, risks and opportunities presented by emerging technologies, Wout Theuws, who gave his insights on creating a proactive safety culture, and Dean Fitt who presented the question, ‘why you need an intelligence network for your manufacturing and industrial assets’. Nezar Al Shammasi, one of the founders and Chairman of Gulf Society for Maintenance and Reliability (GSMR) based in the Arabian Gulf Region, focused on maintenance and reliability, and Senior Researcher of Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance, Zensuke Matsudaon on digital transformation. Also Ark Wingrove, an experienced Asset Management Change Leader, encouraged delegates to build a new national asset management system.

With 10 years’ experience as a reliability engineer, Oluwankemi Agunbiade, gave a presentation on ‘data integration’, and in specific ‘unlocking potential insights to improve equipment reliability’. Leading the technology strategy for AECOM’s Commercial Facilities Operations and Maintenance business, Vlad Bacalu focused on how artificial intelligence increases the reliability of assets, and  Dr Jasper Coetzee on the improvement of the ‘spare parts management process’ by applying failure modes, the ‘effects’ analysis and Delphi methods. With the focus still on spare parts, Camrin Janse van Rensburg, with over 11 years’ practical experience as a mechanical engineer in both the Power Generation and Mining industries, discussed critical spare parts for both JIG & DMS Plants.

It is expected of a world-class conference such as this to have an extensive line-up of world-class speakers. With that said, the other discussions were facilitated and lead by industry experts Darius Booysen, Arnold Botha, Lize Brink, Claudia Coetzer, Founder and CEO of Assetsman, Celso de Azevedo, Coenraad Pretorius, Maretha Price, Charlé Halgryn, Craig Henry, Allan Rienstra, Jan Willem Rustenburg, Rob van Aarle, Johan van der Walt, Dr Wyhan Jooste, Kirstin Küsel, Stephen Minné, Bennie Oosthuizen, Anne Terlouw, Dr Shanil Narain Singh, Morné Steenkamp, Herman Scheepers, improvement fanatic Julia Phala, and Susan Lubell, author of ‘Root Cause Analysis Made Simple – Driving Bottom Line Improvements by Preventing One Failure at a Time’. An unprecedented line-up comprising of 33 speakers, all focused on the development of physical asset management in Southern Africa.

Exhibitors and Sponsors

In addition to ground-breaking and unprecedented keynote presentations, exhibitors offered members of this industry information on the latest developments, global trends and best practices in asset management.

On the third day of this remarkable conference, delegates had the opportunity to take part in the first ever on-site visit to Distell, the City of Cape Town’s Faure Water Treatment Plant and the ‘African Utility Week’ exhibition . Due to its success, this on-site visit will undoubtedly be included in next year’s programme.

We would like to extend a great deal of gratitude towards our sponsors. Without speakers, there will be no delegates. Without delegates there will be no speakers. Without speakers and delegates, there will be no exhibitors. But, without sponsors there will be neither speakers, nor delegates nor exhibitors. We are grateful for King Price, our Titanium sponsor; Pragma, our Platinum sponsor; and Engineering News, our Media Partner, for initiating the success of SAAMA 2019.

Awards Ceremony 2019

What better way to celebrate the industry, than celebrating the significant role players within the industry. On the first evening of the conference this is just what the organisers did. An Awards Ceremony was held in honour of those changing history for a better future in asset management. After an elaborate submission period for nominations across the three categories – Project, Team and Individual – applicants were evaluated by the SAAMA council who awarded a score out of 10. Nominees were then ranked based on their average score and the results were as follows: 

Project Award

Congratulations to the Project Award winner:

Mercedes Benz Rivkle, with their project: Head 1 Unscrewing Faults.

Project summary:

A Focused Improvement (FI) project was conducted to mitigate downtime and improve cell availability and the Meantime Between Failure (MTBF) rates. The repetitive failures which caused cell unavailability were addressed with the implementation of design improvement. The broader team responsible for maintenance management in the body shop area of the plant were involved with the FI project which contributed to an improved culture of cross-functional problem-solving. The cross-functional approach will be continued as a standard for all FI’s.

The team discovered that the PLC and HMI were not in sync. The HMI (human machine interface) reported more specific faults which were recorded as screwing faults by the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). The PLC and HMI were synchronised. Error reporting improved as actual errors such as low oil pressure were identified and helped in understanding the problem. This improved data quality from the station substantially. The downtime has been completely eliminated.

The total monetary value saved by the project is R11 105 062.00 (56.3mins downtime per week, 16weeks, 2.5mins cycle time, cost per unit R30 820.00)

A well-deserved second place was awarded to Pragma, for their project: Operational risk reduction through structured problem solving as the leading producer of Nickel and Cobalt in Africa, followed by the City of uMhlathuze’s Asset Lifecycle Management Improvement (ALMI) project, in third place.

Team Award

Congratulations to the Team Award winner:

Exarro Coal Central, for their Core lean and agile asset management team.

The core lean and agile team consist of two Asset Care Engineers, the physical Asset Engineering Manager, the nine owners and outsourced assistant engineers, accompanied by their planning department. The broader team consists of suppliers, supply chain, mining and beneficiation operations and the support teams, such as environmental, safety and finance.

The team identified the following shortcomings:

  • No formal information physical asset management system

  • No formal physical asset management strategy

  • Outsourced companies operated individually and were silo drive

  • No central information gathering with very poor credibility for silo entities

  • Assets were in a very poor condition with very low reliabilities

  • No proactive action to wit changes or operating context

  • No formal measurement system

  • Very little assurance capability to manage risk to Exxaro

The benefits:

  • Improved availability and reliability were evident

  • Cohesive multi-stakeholder teams

  • Reduced capital

Pragma was awarded second place for their implementation of world-class best practices. Their client division has five sites in KZN, producing packaging products ranging from bottle caps and plastic containers, to liquid cartons. In third position it was the implementation of the Asset Management System at Dube Tradeport.  

Individual Award

Congratulations to the Individual Award winner:

Adriaan Scheeres

About the winner:

Adriaan Scheeres, CEO and co-founder of the Company has lead Pragma for the last 28 years. His deep understanding of asset management trends and market needs, has led to the design of unique products and services such as the On Key CMMS, Optimal Maintenance Mix and the Asset Care Service Model. This focus on leadership and innovation has put Pragma in a position to grow at an average rate of 25% annually. Besides the company growth, Pragma has also played an instrumental role in building the asset management standards and knowledge base in South Africa, Brazil and Mexico.

He was instrumental in defining the following products, concepts and methodologies:
Working with several asset types across industries he soon realised that different maintenance tactics were required to ensure the optimal maintenance of assets and he coined the term and methodology of Optimum Maintenance Mix (OMM). During Pragma’s infant years he was instrumental in the development of a best of breed enterprise asset management software system, On Key, which would in later years compete head-on with software giants SAP and IBM Maximo. Within a couple of years of starting Pragma, Adriaan initiated the outsourcing of asset management and coined the term Asset Care Centre which in later years became an industry norm. The lack of tertiary training and enablement in asset management gave rise to the Pragma Academy, and since its small beginning, the Pragma Academy became the go-to asset management training provider from operational and tactical, to strategic level. With Adriaan as inspiration and integral part of the development and testing team, Pragma developed a very well-known assessment tool, the Asset Management Improvement Plan. This was the starting point of formalising Pragma’s IP into a structured package called the Asset Care Pack.

As an enthusiastic member of the asset management community, and always wanting to help and uplift, Adriaan was instrumental in founding SAAMA. Ever since its inception, both Adriaan and Pragma have fulfilled leading roles in involving clients and other asset management service companies with the growth of asset management in South Africa. He did this by motivating their participation and membership in SAAMA. Apart from serving on the board several times, Pragma had the privilege to chair the SAAMA board on a number of occasions. Adriaan was instrumental when intrusting the Pragma Thought Leadership Conference over to SAAMA to further establish SAAMA’s role and impact in the asset management community. Over the years Pragma sponsored SAAMA events and also made staff’s time available to represent SAAMA at GFMAM, further promoting SAAMA in the international arena.

Runners up were Floris Mostert from the City of Cape Town, and Dean Griffin from Gaussian Engineering. Third position was awarded to Emmanuel Ngcobo from Ilembe District Municipality.

SAAMA 2020

The dates for the further improved SAAMA 2020 have been announced. From the 25th to the 27th of May 2020, Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch have agreed to once again be the hosts to an event that is significantly changing the industry of asset management, delegate by delegate. In addition to this, more good news is that the ‘Early Bird Special’ of R12 000 per person (excluding VAT) ends 31 August 2019.

Whether you participate as a speaker, delegate, sponsor or exhibitor, we invite and encourage you to be a participant. A participant in something significant, remarkable, exclusive, exceptional and revolutionary. A participant in not only the history of asset management, but rather in making history by investing in its future.

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