Case: SIMAM CI, West Africa (2023)

Operational Assessment led to substantial gains for customer

Customer

Our solution

The outcome

Scope of supply

SIMAM CI, a major LPG filler and distri­butor in Côte d’Ivoire, was experiencing challenges with the sub-optimal efficiency and stability of their production, as well as with the maintenance of their filling equipment. An Operational Assessment by MAKEEN Energy experts laid all their issues bare and gave them a roadmap for how to optimise their business.

Located in the capital of Abidjan, SIMAM CI’s facility for filling of LPG cylinders has been running for over 10 years. MAKEEN Energy was in contact with them from the start and helped to develop their  business concept from the ground up. Starting out with just a few stand-alone filling machines, SIMAM-CI today has over 2 million cylinders in circulation, and their plant has grown considerably into a large operation with several large storage tanks, a busy carrousel filling line, and palletiser units.

However, this rapid growth has not been without a few challenges. SIMAM-CI found that they experienced operational challenges. To find out what was wrong, our Customer Support team offered to perform a complete evaluation of their business – a service we call Operational Assessment. SIMAM-CI saw the value in our proposal and happily accepted.

Operational and technical expertise combined

In the beginning of May 2023, our Operational Assessment team members Raj and Remi paid a 4-day visit to SIMAM-CI’s facilities to get a better understanding of their operation. They each brought their separate expertise to SIMAM-CI. As our operational expert, Raj has a deep knowledge of production planning, LEAN processes, and process and workspace optimisation. And Remi, with his long technical background with MAKEEN Energy equipment, was able to analyse the way the equipment was operated and maintained. Together, they could form a complete 360-degree picture of SIMAM-CI’s operational challenges.

Over these 4 days, our Operational Assessment team evaluated the plant’s LEAN culture, production process and planning, bottlenecks, equipment maintenance, and safety practices. That included talking to the people working at the site, analysing the setup and flow of cylinders going through the filling process, inspecting the different workspaces and storage areas, and looking at data gathered from SIMAM-CI’s equipment. They also did a Value Stream Mapping to visualise the different parts of their operation and the potential areas for improvement.

The detailed report we received following the assessment has become a reference for our team. The recommendations and suggestions provided by MAKEEN Energy have enabled us to implement strategic changes that have already positively impacted our LPG bottling operations. We look forward to continuing our partnership with MAKEEN Energy and will not hesitate to recommend MAKEEN's services to others in our sector.

Director of Operations, SIMAM-CI

Arriving at a diagnosis

At the end of their assessment, two things stood out
to Raj and Remi. First, that there was an insufficient degree of knowledge among the personnel about how to properly maintain the equipment they were using. This could be explained with the exponential growth the facility had experienced in a short time, pushing the operational team to concentrate on filling instead of maintenance. This situation made them delay the maintenance, leading to longer breakdown times. As a consequence, the facility output was not able to live up to its full capacity.

Second, they found out that the equipment was not set up in the best way, limiting their efficiency.

A road map for the future

Our Operational Assessment team presented their findings to SIMAM-CI with a complete and detailed report that highlighted all the areas in which they saw potential for improvement. Among those, they emphasised the importance of maintenance and spare parts management to help the machines achieve their intended capacity and reduce the time spent addressing breakdowns.

SIMAM-CI was open and understanding, and they had faith in the expertise of our assessment team. Following the assessment, they decided to sign a service agreement with MAKEEN Energy to ensure that we always had a technician present at their site to coordinate and schedule maintenance of equipment. And they now have a clear, actionable guide of how to keep their business on a positive trajectory going forward.

For us, the whole idea behind offering the Operational Assessment service is to help our customers and improve their operations with MAKEEN Energy’s unique know-how about LPG filling operations. You wouldn’t want your doctor to prescribe a bunch of medicine without first doing a thorough diagnosis ofyour condition. In the same way, we want to ensure a proper operational diagnosis to recommend the best solutions that directly address the real operational challenges experienced by our customers. In an operational assessment, we take a 360-degree view of LPG filling operations, from bottling productivity, filling quality, layout, equipment conditions, as well as process safety.

Raj Dhillon Operational Excellence Leader, MAKEEN Energy

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