To improve safety and productivity and cut costs on its next turnaround, a large multi-chemical facility on the Gulf Coast sought to solve three tooling challenges: tool duplication, tool loss and footprint issues created by tool trailers brought in by multiple contractors.
By providing a managed tool trailer for all contractors to utilize, along with tool tracking, United Rentals solved these challenges and significantly reduced the plant’s overall tool spend.
Fast tool access boosts contractor productivity
A centralized tool trailer stocked with all the tools necessary for the project eliminated tool duplication while ensuring that workers had what they needed when they needed it. No time was wasted searching for a tool. In addition, every tool was in proper working order, which eliminated tool-related downtime. The productivity gains helped the plant shave five days off the turnaround schedule, which saved $961,800 in labor costs, not to mention the more than $12 million in additional revenue generated by resuming operations sooner.
When contractors asked the plant for consumables such as drill bits and saw blades, it turned to United Rentals, which quickly stocked the trailer with the items. Providing consumables through the tool trailer led to unexpected savings. While the contractors requested 2,273 consumable items, only 498 were used.
At the end of the day, the company wanted contractors to perform work safely, efficiently and without waste. United Rentals went above and beyond to assist in executing that vision.
“In a normal situation, the extra consumables would have gone home with the contractors,” said Adam Feimster, regional product development manager for United Rentals. In this case, the plant returned the unused items, saving $29,468.
Tool tracking nearly eliminates tool loss
During a turnaround, work continues around the clock. United Rentals staffed the trailer 24/7 for the duration of project, checking tools in and out by scanning the tool and the worker’s ID badge. Using proprietary software, they sent supervisors daily reports of outstanding tools so the supervisor could track down the tools before they vanished permanently.
To further safeguard high-value assets such as reciprocating saws and impact wrenches, United Rentals affixed Bluetooth tags to the assets. If a tagged asset went missing, the tool trailer coordinators could pinpoint its last known location, which made retrieval easier and more successful.
Tool tracking paid off. On a typical turnaround, tool loss runs approximately 30%. With a managed tool trailer from United Rentals, that number drops to an average of 5%, but in this case it dropped even lower, to less than 0.02%. On a project with close to $800,000 in tooling inventory, only four small items totaling $143.38 in value went missing. The savings compared to a 30% tool loss was $238,392.
Going above and beyond for the customer
In addition to providing tools, consumables and 24/7 onsite tool trailer management, United Rentals supplied tethers to support a program aimed at preventing injuries from falling objects.
“At the end of the day, the company wanted contractors to perform work safely, efficiently and without waste,” said Feimster. “United Rentals went above and beyond to assist in executing that vision.”