Yokogawa Electric Corporation has announced the signing of an agreement on 5 September with UK-based RAP International Ltd (RAP) for Yokogawa to acquire all shares of the company and make RAP a wholly-owned subsidiary. RAP specialises in providing digitised solutions that support risk assessment, management of the permit to work (PtW) process, and governance of control of work (CoW) for all plant maintenance activities. Integrating RAP’s electronic risk assessment and permit to work software solutions with Yokogawa’s real-time plant condition monitoring will drive safety assurance, reduce turnaround times, and support customers in providing enhanced protection for their people, assets, and the environment.
Manufacturing plants rely on scheduled and unscheduled maintenance activities to keep operating, ranging from daily rounds by field service personnel to the replacement of major pieces of equipment that can require shutdown of the entire plant for days or more. Control of work is the setting in place of a predetermined system for maintenance so that all necessary steps are carried out to prevent accidents and injury to people, damage to equipment, and unwarranted release of materials into the environment. However, in many plants these CoW systems are still paper-based or semi-automated through a combination of bespoke spreadsheets and document management systems, which can contribute to human error during operations.
Since 1994, RAP has been developing and implementing software solutions with integrated best practices that let customers digitise their CoW processes to make their maintenance activities safer, more accurate, and more efficient. RAPnet, their flagship product, is a comprehensive and easy to use electronic CoW system for automating maintenance processes that is built around a large knowledge base incorporating decades of accumulated first-hand knowledge and experience. The digitised off-the-shelf solution includes standard modules for safety risk assessments, permit to work management, management of change, interlocks and overrides, and isolation management. The system is complemented by consulting services as well as mobile and cloud-based functionality to fully deliver on the digital ambitions of customers. With support for 25 languages, it has been implemented at over 150 locations in 30 countries in the oil, gas, chemical, utilities, and steel sectors.
Yokogawa provides industrial automation solutions to optimise productivity and efficiency whilst at the same time assuring plant safety and asset integrity. The company already offers solutions that can monitor the health of plant equipment, and digital platforms to support field maintenance. RAP’s solutions will further enhance Yokogawa’s asset and safety assurance value proposition. Yokogawa will expand the availability of RAP’s consultancy services and road-tested systems through its global sales network, starting in Europe. The company will also carry out development work to integrate these into its existing technology portfolio and create a digital transformation platform that enables real-time monitoring of both plant assets and maintenance procedures.
Simon Rogers, head of Yokogawa’s Advanced Solutions Division, commented, “Yokogawa believes that to create unique value for our customers it is important to integrate domain knowledge into the technology solutions we deliver. RAP’s systems are built around manufacturing industry best practices developed over the past 25 years, enabling customers to digitalise and transform their maintenance safety processes, better protect their workforce, and improve operational efficiency. One of the strategies laid out in our Transformation 2020 mid-term business plan is to expand our OPEX business, so in line with that we look forward to making this outstanding addition to Yokogawa’s safety assurance portfolio available to our customers around the world as soon as possible.”
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