Equipment Management: Roles, Objectives & Crucial Significance

I. The Fundamental Tasks of Equipment Management

The primary objective of equipment management is to accurately implement the policies and guidelines of the Party and the state.

This is achieved by adhering to the regulations and systems issued by the state, various ministries, and the parent company, and managing the production equipment through technical, economic, and managerial measures.

The goal is to ensure comprehensive planning, rational allocation, optimal selection, correct usage, meticulous maintenance, scientific overhaul, timely renovation, and updates of equipment.

It ensures that the equipment remains in good technical condition for the most economical life cycle cost, high energy efficiency, and adaptability to the needs of production development.

The specific tasks of equipment management are as follows:

i. Carry out comprehensive planning for the company’s equipment; conduct research on the equipment in use and needed, create a scientific and rational plan for equipment purchase, distribution, adjustment, repair, renovation, and update.

ii. Provide the best technical equipment (manufacturing, purchasing, leasing, etc.) for the company based on technological advancements and economic principles.

iii. Establish and implement advanced equipment management and maintenance systems to maintain equipment in optimal technical condition at a low cost, improving equipment integrity and utilization rates.

iv. Study and understand the technical laws of equipment material motion, such as wear and failure laws. Utilize advanced monitoring, testing, maintenance methods, and measures to maintain equipment effectively and flexibly, ensuring the precision and performance of the equipment meets standards and production process requirements.

v. Based on the need for product quality improvement, renovation of old products, development of new products, safe production, energy conservation, environmental improvement, etc., carry out phased renovations and updates of equipment. During a major overhaul, combine equipment maintenance with renovation, actively promote new technologies, materials, and processes, and strive to improve the modernization level of equipment.

vi. Organize equipment management work according to the objective requirements of economic laws and equipment management laws. Use administrative and economic means to reduce energy consumption costs and maintenance expenditures, and minimize the life cycle cost of equipment.

vii. Strengthen technical training and ideological and political education to cultivate a high-quality technical team. With the rapid development of chemical enterprises towards large scale, automation, and mechatronics, and the increasing demands for equipment management, higher requirements are put forward for equipment management and maintenance personnel.

viii. Carry out scientific research, summarize experiences, and exchange technologies in equipment management and maintenance. Organize technical forces to tackle key problems in equipment management and maintenance, actively promote new technologies, materials, processes, and effective experiences both domestically and abroad.

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ix. Improve the manufacture of spare parts, provide procurement, storage information, and planning of spare parts for supply departments. Promote the commercialization and socialization of equipment maintenance and parts supply.

x. Organize mass participation in management. To manage equipment well, mobilize all employees to participate, forming a situation where everyone from leadership to the masses, from the equipment management department to all relevant organizations, are managing together.

II. Main Objectives of Equipment Management

The principal aim of equipment management is to utilize state-of-the-art, economically viable equipment, and ensure its efficient, long-term, safe, and economical operation through effective measures. This guarantees the company to reap the best economic benefits.

Equipment management is an integral part of corporate management. In any company, effective equipment management ensures normal production order, high quality, high yield, low consumption, low cost, prevention of various accidents, improved labor productivity, and safe production.

Strengthening equipment management benefits the company economically, for example, a malfunctioned compressor in a 300,000-tonne synthetic ammonia plant can lead to a total system shutdown, causing substantial production losses.

Moreover, strengthening equipment management can continually innovate and upgrade old equipment, manage equipment renewal rationally, and expedite industrial modernization.

In summary, with the advancement of science and technology, the scale of companies is increasingly larger and more modern. The structure and technology of machinery and equipment are becoming more complex, making equipment management more challenging.

III. Significance of Equipment Management

Equipment management is the material foundation for ensuring the company’s production and reproduction, and it is also the basis for modern production. It signifies the level of national modernization and scientific and technological expertise.

It has significant importance in ensuring increased production, ensuring product quality, developing product types, product renewal, and reducing costs.

(1) The Position of Equipment in Companies

i. Equipment is an essential labor tool for workers to create material wealth for the country. It is a valuable national asset and the material and technical basis for modern construction.

ii. Equipment is the main body of a company’s fixed assets, generally accounting for 60% to 70% of the total value of fixed assets. It is the materialized funds of the company and the tangible assets of the company.

iii. Equipment plays a decisive role in productivity and is one of the three elements of productivity.

iv. Equipment is one of the five elements of safe production in the company, namely “people, machines, materials, laws, and environment”.

“Person” refers to all personnel on the company’s site.

“Machine” refers to the facilities, equipment, tools, and other auxiliary production tools used in the company. During production, whether the equipment operates normally and the quality of tools are another element that affects production progress and product quality.

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“Material” refers to raw materials, semi-finished products; spare parts, finished goods, etc.

“Law” refers to rules, the various rules and regulations that company employees need to follow. Without rules, there can be no standards. Various rules and regulations are a strong guarantee for company personnel to strictly follow procedures, ensure production progress and product quality, and improve work efficiency.

“Environment” refers to both the physical and the cultural environment, both of which can also impact product quality.

(2) The Role of Equipment Management in Enterprise Management

Equipment management forms the foundation of enterprise management. Each stage and process in production requires strict coordination. The continuity of production mostly depends on the normal operation of the equipment.

If equipment fails and stops, the process will be interrupted, leading to a halt in the entire production line. Therefore, only by strengthening management, operating correctly, and maintaining diligently to keep the equipment in good technical condition, can we ensure the continuity and stability of production.

Hence, equipment management is the basis of enterprise production management and one of the core managements.

Equipment management guarantees the quality of products and services. Quality is the lifeblood of an enterprise, which must rely on sophisticated equipment and effective management; otherwise, quality issues will occur.

Based on the philosophy that “the next process is our customer”, poor equipment reliability leading to delays in later stages of the process and hindering the achievement of production plans, equates to failing to meet the service quality expected by the customer.

Equipment management is the prerequisite for safe production. Poor management can lead to equipment accidents and personnel injuries. Therefore, equipment management personnel must prioritize creating a safe and environmentally friendly production environment.

Equipment management is a crucial guarantee to reduce production costs and improve economic benefits. The costs of product raw material consumption, energy consumption, maintenance fees, and more are all amortized into the product cost, all of which are directly related to the equipment.

Equipment management affects the input of product costs and the output of enterprises. Therefore, it is necessary to demand quality and benefit from the equipment.

Equipment management is a crucial condition for the long-term development of an enterprise. To survive and develop in the fierce market competition, enterprises need to continuously adopt new technologies, develop new products, rely on scientific and technological progress, improve equipment levels, and ensure the long-term development of enterprises.

Any industrial management system and technical management system are designed to meet and adapt to the needs of scientific and technological and industrial development at that time.

With the dramatic expansion of enterprise production scale and the improvement of management modernization, the status of equipment management becomes increasingly prominent and its role increasingly significant.

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In the modern management phase, due to the rapid development of science and technology, many production processes in enterprises are gradually replaced by machines and equipment, so production begins to be influenced by equipment.

The role of equipment management in enterprise management has become increasingly important.

(3) The Role of Equipment Management in Production and Technological Progress

The labor productivity of industrial enterprises is not only affected by the technical level of workers and the level of equipment management but also depends on the perfection of equipment. The technical status of equipment has a direct impact on enterprise production.

With the progress of science and technology, the degree of mechanization and automation of chemical production is getting higher and higher, and the production devices are all continuous.

The completeness of equipment status has an even more significant impact on the entire continuous production line. For example, in a certain oil refinery, the continuous production system comprised of a vacuum distillation unit, a catalytic cracking unit, and a delayed coking unit.

If any equipment fails, it could cause the production device or even the entire factory to stop production. For a fluid catalytic cracking oil refining unit with an annual output of 900,000 tons, each day of production stoppage will cause a direct economic loss of over a million yuan.

Moreover, chemical production equipment often operates under high temperature, high pressure, and high-speed conditions and is often located in environments with flammable, explosive, toxic, and corrosive media.

If equipment accidents occur, not only will it result in loss of state property and economic benefits, but it may also cause personal accidents and environmental pollution.

Therefore, good equipment management is crucial for the safe production and economic operation of chemical enterprises.

Equipment management plays a promoting role in technological progress and industrial modernization. This is because on the one hand, the process of scientific and technological progress is also the process of continuously improving labor means.

New achievements in science and technology are often quickly applied to equipment. In a sense, equipment is the crystallization of science and technology.

On the other hand, the emergence of new labor means further promotes the development of science and technology. The application of new processes and materials, and the development of new products all rely on equipment.

Therefore, improving the scientific nature of equipment management, strengthening the technical transformation and updating of in-use equipment, and striving for technical progress of different degrees every time equipment is repaired and updated, is crucial for promoting technological progress and realizing industrial modernization.

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