Best Practices to Establishing System Naming Conventions | MC Global Solutions

Best Practices to Establishing System Naming Conventions

“A little forethought at the start can save a lot of time in the future.”

It is advised as a best practice to build a strong naming convention and protocols during the initial setup of the Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system. This will make it easier for workers to get used to using the Maintenance Connection modules. By employing a consistent and logical format, the explorer lists will naturally group listings to simplify the look-up and search process.

There are five modules where this is particularly relevant

  1. Assets
  2. Inventory
  3. Classifications
  4. Procedures
  5. Preventative Maintenance

1. Assets

As assets are often added, modified or moved within the asset tree, the ID and name need to contain sufficient information to make them identifiable without requiring them to be altered if modified or moved. The ID can often incorporate the classification or unique numbering associated with that asset. The name should start with a general description followed by increasing levels of refinement.

Asset ID and name example

Asset ID: GENDSL200-026

Asset Name:  Generator, Diesel Standby 200KVA Siemens

Always make allowances in the ID for future additions and larger sizes. In the given example, -026 was used in preference to -26 as there is the possibility that there may be more than 99 Generators in the future.

2. Inventory

Inventory/stock items can number into the thousands for many companies.

The ID and naming of these need to be standardised to allow

  • efficient searching for a part,
  • removal of duplication from non-standard descriptions,
  • sufficient descriptors to avoid ambiguity, and
  • new items to be added that match the existing naming convention.

Often the inventory ID is not related to the description of the item, but rather a simple indexed number matching a barcode. A defined number of numerals/letters is valuable in keeping inventory in order.

Inventory ID example

Inventory ID: FIX1003456

Inventory Name:  Bolt, M16 x 100 SST

Inventory ID: MTR040403F

Inventory Name:  Motor, 4KW 4Pole 3PH 415V Foot Mount

The name, however, should follow a noun-adjective protocol. It can also include manufacturer or model details in situations where this is relevant to the correct selection.

3. Classifications

In several major industries, some standards can help in creating a set of classifications. Reporting and analysis can be enhanced by having major classification groups, these can then be broken down further into more specific descriptions.

In the International Standard for the Petroleum, Petrochemical and Gas industry ISO 14224, they used a four-letter abbreviation to group and sort classifications

Classification naming convention example

COAX = Compressor (CO) – Axial (AX)

VESE = Vessel (VE) – Separator (SE)

A similar convention can be used by incorporating the same or more letters or numbers for other industries which do not have existing standards.

4. Procedures

Avoid creating duplicate procedures and easily identify all applicable procedures when updates are required by using the classifications in the procedure and preventative maintenance ID.

As the procedure can either relate to a time or meter-based interval, or an unscheduled type of repair, the ID and name need to be flexible enough to allow for all variables.

Procedure naming convention example

VESE-M48-M-30  = Vessel, Separator 48-Monthly Mechanical Internal & External Inspection

VESE-X01-M-01 = Vessel, Separator Recoating of Corrosion Protection

5. Preventative Maintenance

The classification can be incorporated into the preventative maintenance ID and the name. A similar protocol can be used, with the main variation being the inclusion of the asset within preventative maintenance.

Preventative maintenance ID example

PM-VESE-M-COMPSTN-01 = Vessel, Separator Mechanical Service Compression Station 01

Contact us for a free demonstration

For more information and advice about Maintenance Connection CMMS, please contact our friendly and highly-experienced team at MC Global Solutions. We can arrange a free demonstration of our asset management software based on your specific issues.

 

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Enterprise Asset Management. Are you using Best Practices?

It’s easy to fall into the habit of using your Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS)/Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system for your ‘favourite problems’ on a day-to-day basis. However…

Can your powerful CMMS/EAM system do more for you?

CMMS systems are a bit like our brains. We know it’s incredible. We know it can do amazing stuff, and yet we only use 10% of it. What if you could unlock that extra 90% of your CMMS/EAM system?

Imagine the difference to your workplace if you could unlock the other 90% not being utilised… or perhaps not utilised very well…  and ensure you are implementing best practices every step of the way.

No more putting out those daily fires. No more Post-It note ‘must do’ (when you have the time) and no more frustrated inter-department emails because something slipped through the cracks and in some cases, created (predictable in hindsight) downstream issues.

Learn new ways to use your CMMS/EAM software

Your role as an operations manager is complex, and it is difficult to find the time to learn how to get the most out of your investment in a computerised maintenance management system. Or to figure out whether you could be using it better to implement best practice strategies and take more of the load off your shoulders.

See if these questions start you nodding…

  • Do you and your department get blamed for constant breakdowns?
  • Have inefficiencies started to creep into your CMMS/EAM system?
  • Have your preventative maintenance schedules become too complex?
  • Is your asset data incomplete?
  • Are you missing opportunities because the system just isn’t coping?
  • Are there complaints, tantrums, walkouts, picket lines, news reporters, and lawyers??? Ok, ok. So things haven’t become THAT drastic!

The good news is you are not alone. It’s more common than you might think for operation and maintenance managers at a large facility to have a powerful CMMS at their fingertips — but not have the time to make the most of its functionality.

It could be time for a CMMS health check

Without your CMMS/EAM system running at optimum efficiency, things start to fall apart. So, it might just be time for a full review of your CMMS/EAM system.

A CMMS health check scan will identify:

  • What percentage you’re effectively implementing and
  • What is yet to be ‘switched on’ or integrated.

Regardless of whether you are using a CMMS, or a manual system, there’s nothing like a fresh pair of expert eyes to help you see where and how you could be saving time, and getting more done in an easier manner. For example:

  • It could be appropriate naming protocols haven’t been used or adhered to.
  • Or classifications are too general — or haven’t been assigned correctly.
  • Maybe incremental errors have occurred as a result of scheduled PMs not being set correctly.
  • Or if labour records are not being kept up to date, there might be discrepancies in staff and contractor’s licenses, qualifications and competencies.

All small things, but all with potentially serious ramifications.

A health check of your system enables a CMMS/EAM consultant to take a good look into:

  • How your daily workflow operates,
  • Review your current methods and procedures, and
  • Identify opportunities for future improvements.

Valuable insights can be gained from an ‘outside’ professional analysing your system.

A health check analysis can quickly identify:

  • Deficiencies,
  • Improve efficiencies,
  • Help to optimise your CMMS/ EAM and
  • Make your job a lot easier, by simply discovering what’s working, what’s not and what to do about it!

A fresh set of expert eyes from a professional consultant can pinpoint errors, detect problems waiting to happen and help prevent future issues.

What should be included in a maintenance management system health check?

  • It must examine your current processes and study your present management systems within the CMMS/EAM.
  • It should be non-obtrusive. You can’t afford downtime, so consider conducting a health check in your quiet(er) period.
  • While some preliminary work can be carried out offsite, it’s best to conduct the assessment with the system administrator, supervisors and maintenance staff in attendance to ensure input is received from all involved.
  • A thorough system health check should generally take 2-3 days for medium-sized customers with CMMS/EAM systems. This can vary depending on the size and complexity of your system.
  • A comprehensive, in-depth report should be included. It would provide a full appraisal of your current situation, as well as recommendations for improvement, plus details of benefits you’ll enjoy as a result of implementation if required.
  • IMPORTANT: The health check should be conducted by a consultant from a technical background… not a salesperson!

Your CMMS/EAM health check report

The report is back from the ‘doctor’ on the health of your CMMS/EAS. It might require a little minor surgery, or it may just be given the all-clear. If there are a large number of potential safety and efficiency gains identified, it could be time to look at the business case for an upgrade to a more capable system.

Whatever the outcome, at least you will know where the opportunities are, and what you can do to capitalise on them.

We’d love to help you make the most of your EAM/CMMS

Like you, we care about managing preventive maintenance. Let us run a full System Health Check on your CMMS/EAM system.

With the report in hand, you can implement any or all recommendations yourself, or engage MC Global to do it all for you if you prefer.

Your health check will streamline your system and make it more efficient than ever. You’ll have peace of mind, and you’ll know that you are making the most of your investment in your EAM/CMMS.

For more information about Enterprise Asset Management systems, or advice on specific problems and challenges you are facing, please call MC Global on (07) 3303 0177 or click here to contact us.

How to calculate the life cycle cost of equipment | MC Global Blog

How to calculate the life cycle cost of equipment & the benefits of requesting new equipment to avoid costly unscheduled downtime

Life cycle cost (LCC) is an extremely useful analytical tool to help minimise waste and optimise energy efficiency, especially when incorporated into a fully-customised computerised maintenance management system (CMMS).

Background: life cycle cost calculation

The US military devised the concept of life cycle cost (LCC). It was so logical and accountable, it was adopted by other government departments and eventually adopted by big business. The U.S. Department of Energy definition of LCC,

“the sum of all direct, indirect, recurring, nonrecurring, and other related costs incurred in the planning, design, development, procurement, production, operations and maintenance, support, recapitalisation and final disposition of real property over its anticipated life span for every aspect of the program, regardless of funding source.”

Why you need to calculate the life cycle cost of equipment

As modern businesses have substantial operational plants and large pieces of equipment, it’s imperative to manage all your assets correctly in terms of productivity and safety.

Life cycle management is an important part of the tendering process. It helps determine how to get the best value from a new piece of equipment.

For example, your experience tells you a new widget would make the factory more productive. However, senior management won’t sign off on the request.

You instinctively know retaining and maintaining the old equipment is not worth the expense, but you need concise information and facts to present to them. A detailed life cycle cost analysis will be able to show management the benefits of the upgrade. This will enable management to make decisions with confidence, with all the figures clearly visible.

Benefits of a life cycle cost analysis

When pitching to management, you will be able to provide detailed pros and cons of upgrading compared with the costs of retaining, based on the life cycle cost analysis of:

  • Age
  • Condition
  • Frequency of breakdowns, and
  • Cost of breakdowns

If the production line is breaking down, you’ll be able to explain to management why.

You can confidently outline recommended solutions, present projected costs and show long-term return on investment – management will see the value in your recommendations.

A life cycle cost analysis will help you make sound buying decisions, and avoid making mistakes twice.

3 life cycle cost considerations

When calculating equipment life cycle costs, there are three areas that need to be analysed.

  1. Past scheduled work
  2. Reactive maintenance costs
  3. Forward projections

Each data set gives you important insights and takes the guesswork out of decision-making.

1. Past scheduled work

This determines the criticality of an asset. Even if it is an inexpensive part that no one notices, if it stops everything else, it is critical.

The criticality of past scheduled work covers:
  • Cost of parts
  • Labour
  • Consumables, and
  • Downtime

2. Reactive maintenance life cycle costs

When you react to a breakdown, in addition to the cost of lost productivity (particularly if it is a critical piece of equipment), you also have to account for the hard costs of parts, labour, and consumables.

It’s important to keep an up-to-date log of work orders/ work requests because if there is no system, there is no knowledge.

Downtime is even more important in terms of reactive maintenance; because it is unplanned, it has an even more significant impact.

Obviously, you cannot project ‘Murphy’s Law’ forward, but a failure analysis, such as reporting on two similar-but-different pieces of equipment can provide invaluable insights.

For example, a manufacturer will say a piece of equipment has a two-year MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) rate, but what is the ACTUAL rate in your particular environment looking backwards, as a result of your specific conditions (eg dusty, hot, humid, etc)?

Knowing this can make a tremendous difference in decision-making, and take out much of the guesswork.

3. Projecting life cycle costs forward

It is difficult to project forward manually, as it is very labour-intensive, which is no doubt why maintenance managers keep putting it off.

A proven CMMS such as the one offered by MC Global lets you define maintenance schedules in the system and project annual maintenance years in advance.

In terms of reporting, it will give you a clear, concise summary and help you put forward a compelling business case – complete with any up-spec or superior performance figures the proposed new equipment will bring.

For more information and advice about calculating Life Cycle Costs of equipment, please contact our friendly and highly-experienced team at MC Global Solutions, simply click here to contact us.

 

3 Key Steps to Managing Parts and Inventory Across Multiple Locations

Managing parts and equipment in one location is a hard enough task. Managing parts and equipment in multiple locations is infinitely more difficult.

If you’re like most companies, it’s a great feeling adding new locations; it’s a sure sign of successful growth.

However, with that exuberant feeling also comes the down side – the growing pains associated with setting up new facilities complete with larger amounts of inventory management.

To ensure your company’s successful growth, MC Global outline three key steps to take to make sure all your locations – particularly the new ones – are efficiently managing their parts and equipment operations and will continue to do so for many years to come.

 

 

Step 1: Location and Layout of Warehouse and Inventory

As in real estate, it’s all about location.

Many businesses spend vast amounts of money to make sure the location of their storefronts are in highly visible areas to attract customers, but neglect to think about where their warehouses are located.

Warehouses should be situated in highly accessible locations near main thoroughfares and major highways.

This connectivity not only reduces travel time and fuel, but it also saves on delivery charges made to and from warehouses.

Eg, opting for a location that is already on a main shipping route is a clever move because it will reduce cost and time in package delivery to your customers or affiliated companies.

As well as making sure your warehouse is located in the best possible location, the layout of inventory parts within your stockroom is of paramount importance when planning.

Think about the location, overall design and general theme of where parts are situated within your stockroom.

It pays to be consistent.

Even if your company houses stockrooms in multiple locations, if possible and practical, parts and components should have basically the same layout and be in the same location as your other stockrooms.

This will streamline part locating and make it easier for new employees being trained.

For example, if Stockroom A at the Toowoomba warehouse looks exactly the same as Stockroom B at the Rocklea location, then training new staff or sending existing employees to other stockrooms will make things easier for them; they’ll be totally familiar with the layout and operations.  To find out more about how to standardize warehouse operations call MC Global on                    + 617 3303 0177.

 

Step 2: Streamline Multiple Inventory Locations

One of the best things you can do when expanding to multiple locations is to set processes in place for inventory activity.

The first guideline you should establish is how to replenish inventory.

When a particular item becomes low in stock, your first plan of attack may NOT be to rush out and purchase new items, but instead to look within your maintenance software to check whether your other stockrooms in close proximity have an overstock of this item.

If they do, it makes sense to pull inventory from this stockroom first before purchasing new parts.

This not only saves on purchase costs and shipping but also allows for a Last in First Out replenishment of parts.

Having parts sitting on shelves which may be two, there or even five years old could be counter-productive according to inventory best practice.

Establishing minimum, maximum and re-order points on inventory is another great way to managing multiple locations.

To avoid manually keeping an eye on these levels, it’s a good idea to establish parameters and notifications within the CMMS software letting you know when parts run low, especially critical parts.

Your managers can I.D. parts that technicians use on a frequent basis, plus parts they never use, so they can match parts with the equipment on which they are used.

With practice, they can establish maximum and minimum stock levels, reorder points and criticality.

Another important key to streamlining your inventory is to make full use of mobile scanners and barcode parts.

Real-time usage of parts & inventory can save your business a lot of time and money.  It keeps the company informed about lost inventory and notifies you about shortages on frequently used inventory.

Barcoding and scanning also helps to track parts and ensures correct part ID usage for billing.

Finally, having a great Return Material Authorization (RMA) process in place will enable your organization to manage and track returns efficiently.

You’ll also save money on items not used.

 

Step 3. Streamline Your Operations & Inventory with Maintenance Connection CMMS Integration

MC Global believe that automation is crucial for any company that wants to streamline operations and inventory at multiple locations.

This automation is a given when integrating an enterprise maintenance management software into a company’s processes.

Organizations are using CMMS more and more on a daily basis to manage maintenance needs and to streamline their facilities and inventory needs.

Furthermore, they are turning to CMMS to help them function like well-oiled machines, with many locations running together and communicating superbly.

A CMMS can even be integrated with other internal systems to fully integrate them all.

In short, the benefits that stem from using a CMMS software are limitless.

To learn more about the benefits of inventory and equipment management and Maintenance Connection CMMS integration, call MC Global on +61 7 3303 0177and speak to a friendly ever-helpful team member, or simply contact us.

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How to achieve successful CMMS Implementation.

Want to hear a frightening statistic? According to a USA report, approximately 80 to 90% of all computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) implementations fail.

 

What are the reasons for this shocking CMMS failure?

Well we believe it can be attributed to 4 main aspects:

  • poorly defined goals
  • lack of leadership buy-in,
  • deficient training, and
  • a non-intuitive user experience.

For more than 13 years, MC Global have worked hand-in-hand with a host of customers on successful CMMS implementations, based around the world class Maintenance Connection product.

We’ve tackled those four above-mentioned challenges, updated our product/user feedback, and focused our resources on customer success.

As a result, we’ve orchestrated hundreds of successful implementations—from large enterprises to smaller shops—and achieved a remarkably high overall customer satisfaction and project success rating.

Which begs the question: what does a successful CMMS implementation actually look like? And precisely how can your organization ensure that all the foundations are in place to achieve success?

Based on our experience, MC Global hereby present…

 3 ways to improve your team’s CMMS onboarding and implementation.

 

  1. Partner with experienced, strategic maintenance consultants.

It’s claimed that an astounding 4 out of every 5 project management executives don’t know how their projects align with their company’s business strategy.

A non-existent plan and timeline is destined for implementation failure.

Therefore, you should partner with a CMMS provider like MC Global who will:

  • work with your management team to evaluate current business processes
  • suggest improvements if necessary
  • predict the impact of CMMS, and finally
  • determine how the software best fits into the mix.

As part of our implementation, we will work with business leaders to align your CMMS goals and advantages with existing operations. That will ensure the CMMS invariably leads to improvements in efficiency, productivity and performance.

2. Commit to comprehensive and continual training.

There is nothing like upfront training and ongoing guidance to ensure your team becomes au fait with the full functionality of CMMS software.

It also paves the way for better user adoption.

Firstly, you should ensure that your CMMS’s upfront training is designed to educate employees on the benefits and uses of a CMMS; this should be across all departments.

Secondly, make sure you offer your core maintenance team – along with key techs and vendors – the opportunity to get involved in comprehensive training resources.

Thirdly, offer opportunities for continued learning beyond the initial CMMS implementation.

This is imperative as:

  • new employees join your company
  • system updates roll out, and
  • your company grows.

 

  1. Choose a dedicated success team.

Don’t just think about the software.

CMMS technology has the ability to track and improve maintenance performance, however it isn’t always easy to implement.

Investing in a CMMS is a company-wide initiative that takes a lot of commitment—including a team dedicated to its successful execution and adoption.

That’s why you must go beyond software capabilities when evaluating CMMS options.

Choose a partner dedicated to your business and you will enjoy the following benefits:

  •  Successful onboarding. Using data migration, we will help coordinate a smooth database transformation to ensure all assets and preventive maintenance systems (PMs) are configured and accurate. This can save your team the stress and confusion of importing pertinent data.
  • Excellent lines of communication. Between implementation and adoption, communication is critical. A common error in CMMS implementation is lack of support between the maintenance team and vendor.
  • Greater business impact. If planned, developed and managed correctly, a CMMS will bring about greater efficiencies in organizational operations. MC Global helps users define project goals, roles and milestones to make better decisions about maintenance operations. 

Why MC Global Customers Win with Successful CMMS Implementations

We are in the business of helping our customers solve real business problems, and ultimately, we work to make your day-to-day life better.

We’re committed to building software that solves common business challenges, and we work hand-in-hand with you to make it happen.

Our experienced maintenance consultants work with you right from the start to provide on-site training and ensure successful implementation.

We also:

  • involve IT from day one
  • make sure all assets, PMs and inventories are successfully loaded, configured and accurate, and
  • focus on customer-attuned feature development.

For more information and advice about Maintenance Connection CMMS implementation – and how to make it a success from Day 1 – call +61 7 3303 0177 and speak to a friendly ever-helpful MC Global team member, or simply contact us.

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Using your CMMS to Go Greener in the Utilities Industry

For most companies, a strong business case exists for decreasing waste, cutting energy and water consumption, minimising transportation costs, curtailing emissions, and/or undertaking other environmentally beneficial initiatives.

Before your company spends a lot of money on certification programs, public relations campaigns, or consultant reports, consider how you can use systems like your computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS) for creating key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to your business, setting reasonable targets, and executing an action plan for achieving them.

Let’s look at some specific ways in which your CMMS might help you manage energy costs and meet environmental goals.

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Utilities management

The greatest cost of an asset stems from the “operate and maintain” stage of its lifecycle. On average, this accounts for roughly 80% of the total cost of ownership. During this stage of the asset lifecycle, one of the largest cost categories is the energy consumed by the asset.

Your CMMS will let users set improvement targets and track their progress. Some more-modern CMMS packages can track energy consumption – not unlike the metering of any asset for condition-based maintenance. This may require the addition of metering capability for individual assets, as many companies rely on utility companies to meter only site-level energy consumption.

Once individual assets are metered for energy consumption, data can be analyzed on a detailed basis. This allows for the following:

  • Use of condition-based monitoring, such as detecting equipment downtime, power surges, brownouts, and other important triggers
  • Correlation of other factors, such as aging and wear factors and prediction failure or other significant events
  • Analysis of peak, average, and total consumption
  • Translation of consumption volumes into dollar values
  • Use of lifecycle analysis to compare total cost of ownership for older equipment with costs for newer, more energy-efficient equipment
  • Validation and better understanding of utility bills.

Full article can be seen here by David Berger at PlantServices.com

Asset Management: Ageing Assets Will Affect Your Facilities Management

If a colleague makes the comment to you, “I can’t handle it anymore, we’re working in an ageing facility full of ageing assets”, what do you immediately think of?

If you’re like most of us, you’d probably picture a facility built in the 1920s with run down equipment and buildings almost collapsing under their own weight. In some cases you’d be right, and I have worked in facilities that dated back to early last century with equipment and processes that would slot right into the set of a Mad Max movie.

But the issue of “Ageing Assets” also applies to those managing brand new, freshly commissioned and state of the art facilities. “How can that be?” I hear you ask.

To answer that, first we must look at and define what is an “ageing asset”?

The term “ageing assets” can be misleading. The term does not necessarily mean that the equipment or facility is old in years. Ageing is not only about how old an item is, but is also referring to its condition and how that condition is changing over time. Ageing is the effect whereby a component suffers some form of deterioration and / or damage (usually, but not necessarily, associated with time in service) with an increasing likelihood of failure.

Fact-Packed Free eBook - Everything you need to know about asset management systems

The significance of this deterioration and damage relates to the potential effect on the equipment’s functionality, availability, reliability and safety. Just because an item of equipment is old does not necessarily mean that it’s significantly deteriorated and damaged. There are many examples of
“old” equipment and facilities still remaining fit for purpose yet newer equipment showing accelerated deterioration or obsolescence.

Every facility or piece of equipment can begin ageing even before it’s commissioned. Newly commissioned facilities may have control systems and software that have become obsolete, superseded, or requiring updates even before the plant is commissioned. Equipment that has been poorly transported or stored prior to installation may have deteriorated or lost performance even before its first use.

Generally, the more “hi-tech” the equipment or facility is, the quicker “obsolescence” becomes an issue requiring management. How many times have you bought an electronic device such as a PC, laptop or television, only to find that before you have unboxed it, there is a better, faster, shinier model already released. Your brand new device is no longer the current model and has suddenly become “obsolete” and no longer kept in stock by the store.

All assets are required to be managed correctly to maintain their fitness for purpose and to manage their “obsolescence”.

Our next in the asset management series will discuss “What is your decision making process?”.

CMMS/EAM Implementation : Internal Resistance and User Uptake

Feeling like your whole crew is against the implementation of a new CMMS? One of the key reasons any software implementation fails to “get off the ground” is poor user uptake and little or no training. Too many times the comment we hear is “no one asked me”, “we don’t want this” or “we have been told to use this but no one has shown us how”. How many organisations budget for buying software and licences but don’t allow enough to cover a comprehensive implementation and training program to go with it? Too many is the answer.

I didn’t ask for this.

Nothing will alienate staff more and give them a reason not to use the new CMMS, than excluding them from the decision process. Often the first introduction to the system is when the maintenance staff are scheduled to attend a training session. This immediately creates suspicion why it has been implemented and they will be on the defensive. They will also look for reasons why it is wrong, won’t work, not suitable, too hard to use and will fail like the last one. As part of the scoping and set-up process, the maintenance staff need to be included. In the end, they are the ones who will be relied upon to enter most of the information and to make it work. By demonstrating the functionality of the software and asking for input on what would be useful for staff, the process becomes inclusive and promotes acceptance. So when the implementation and training starts, the staff will be looking for ways to make it work for them rather than reasons it won’t work.

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Same pay more work.

A CMMS system is often seen as just another job they have to do in an already busy day. Their previous repair work flow may have been along the lines of:

o   Receive an urgent call from Production that a machine had broken down and they were behind in their orders

o   The service person would grab their toolbox and a few possible parts and go to fix the problem

o   The repairs would be carried out and they would return to their workshop

o   They may possibly record the time taken on their weekly timesheet

Now they are being asked to create a work order, carryout the repair, come back and fill out a labour report, record times and materials and possibly even make follow-up work orders. Why wouldn’t they be complaining!! They have a very valid argument that this process will add time to their daily work …… at first. What needs to be explained is that the few minutes that it will add to the process, will result in improved work practises and better planning in the future. It is a hard sell to those who have become accustomed to a reactive maintenance approach, especially when there was no requirement for recording many details. But by bringing in these changes, the end goal is to identify where problems are occurring and hopefully change to a preventative way of working. Ultimately, we are working towards order from chaos and reducing the pressure breakdown situations.

You’re just trying to spy on me.

Suspicion as to why Management want the staff to record all these details, always raises its head early in the process. Mostly by the people who might be afraid of the facts! And yes if you REALLY wanted a Big Brother environment to exist, I suppose a CMMS system could be useful. However if an employer went to this extreme, they would probably find the staff would spend more time trying to find ways to fool the system, than using it for its correct purpose. An employer needs to explain the reasons why labour hours and a report on the work performed can help the maintenance staff just as much as Management. By adding this information to the work order a better appreciation can be had of how labour is being utilised and where improvements can be made. It can even be used to justify the need for more staff or a better mix of skilled and un-skilled labour.

What’s in it for me.

So explain to me how I’ll be better off. Am I going to get paid more now that I have to use the computer more? Well probably not! However, by becoming conversant with the CMMS system, the staff will be improving their skill level and enhancing their value to the company, or another if they choose! Maintenance software is more a necessity than a luxury for most businesses and by embracing the change, staff will find that a great deal of job satisfaction can be gained. Through the reports which can be generated from the work order records, they become part of the change process. Their input aids in identifying sources of failure or adverse costs and forms the basis of a change in processes. There is satisfaction in the knowledge that your efforts have resulted in improvements in efficiencies and a more structured approach to equipment reliability. And who knows, eventually that could lead to an advancement in the company and maybe yes, you will get paid more!

If you’re interested in learning more about our user uptake and training solutions, connect with an MC Global Consultant below:

CMMS/EAM Implementation : Visibility and Reporting

Do your reports consist of rummaging through boxes of paperwork, endless spreadsheets or shrugging your shoulders….”no idea”?

A well configured system will allow you to not only record data and information quickly and accurately, it should give you better visibility in understanding the health of your asset and maintenance operations.

In this article we discuss best practices for the visbility and reporting of the data collected through your CMMS/EAM.

Don’t be afraid to tell the facts

So you have your CMMS system installed, all the staff have been instructed how they should use it and you’re collecting enough information daily to fill the MCG three times over. Before too long, someone will ask the question about what is the point of all their effort. This is where a good reporting mechanism can dispel the myth that the CMMS is simply a black hole where an infinite amount of material will disappear, never to see the light of day again. By having daily or weekly Work Order reports and longer term failure analysis available to all staff, they can begin to see the value of their input. These reports can either be accessed directly from their work terminal, displayed on a large central screen or printed and published on notice boards. The main thing is to get the information out there so that everyone can see the fruits of their labour. Too often in a factory environment you are assaulted with numerous Production efficiency charts, lost time injuries charts and tonnage shipped reports. It’s about time that the Maintenance Department started to show that their actions are improving Pro-active/Reactive work order ratios or that response times to high priority jobs has decreased from 13.0 minutes to 7.5 minutes over the last four months. And if the news isn’t all good then don’t hide it. You might find that that once the facts are out there about problems being experienced, that people are more forthcoming with possible solutions.

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Spread the news, both good and bad

All too often we want to tell the good and hide the bad. Without an effective CMMS system, the bad news is overstated by someone who has a gripe or hidden by someone who is afraid of the consequences. While no reporting system is infallible, one which can present results based on collecting facts is much more reliable than an amalgamation of anecdotal statements. Analysis of the data over a reasonable period is more credible if the source information can be traced and corroborated. If a significant variation is evident in the statistical data, more in-depth investigation can be carried out from the relevant Asset or Work Order information. This can help to identify whether the abnormality is due to a particular failure or equipment group, a variation in the operation of the business or simply poor recording methods. Staff and management are more likely to respond favourably to suggestions for improvement if they have confidence in the accuracy of the data. So by telling the good with the bad, the maintenance team are able to justify their request for staff and equipment when it comes to dividing up the pot of money at the annual budget review.

The feedback loop

One of the steps to implementing a system is to create Procedures relating to regular servicing. For example, your car service will have a list of inspections and servicing to be carried out, parts that are required and an estimate of the time it will take. This service procedure is a result of the manufacturer’s testing and an estimate of the vehicles reliability and operational environment. However it is simply based on statistical analysis of how long the vehicle can be driven before the individual parts start to fail. Car manufacturers are constantly monitoring data coming from their dealerships to identify any inherent problems with various models and the rate of failure of components. Over time this analysis can result in a variation to prescribed service periods or in the worst case a recall of vehicles due to premature failure. This is where the feedback loop in all CMMS systems comes into play. A review can be carried out by reporting on all instances of a particular Procedure being used. The report can contain a history of the time taken, materials and tools used, any non-standard parts required and a summary of the labour reports. By eliminating any data which is deemed to be extreme or an error, a review of all other data can determine if a variation to the original Procedure is warranted. This is particularly important where equipment is operated outside its normal working environment and the Manufacturer’s recommended service schedule is not appropriate to its current application. A system of regular review and optimisation should always form part of a maintenance planning regime.

Reward the achievement

Part of effectively managing your maintenance staff is to acknowledge when targets are achieved. The implementation of a CMMS system can be one of the biggest changes that a business can undertake. While management may source and make the final decision as to which software package they purchase, it is always the maintenance staff who will determine how effective it will operate. We have discussed previously about the importance of ensuring that good work practices are established and data collection is complete and accurate. So how can this be promoted? Well every working environment is different, but I always look at ways that we can use their input to highlight their achievement. If your work flow process requires that a Supervisor or Administrator is responsible for closing out a work order, make sure that feedback is given back to the serviceperson regarding their input into that work order. All too often the only time they hear anything is if they have done something wrong. The benefits of a well-documented service report can be invaluable in identifying the reliability of equipment and any potential problems which may influence production. For those staff, who demonstrate good work practises regarding system operation, they could be utilised in the analysis and review process. More often than not, they will be the ones who understand the significance of their actions and are good candidates for promotion in the company. By emphasizing the positives, hopefully a culture will develop where the CMMS system is not seen as an extra part of their work, but an integral component of change.

If you’re interested in learning more about our CMMS/EAM visibility and reporting solutions for your business or organisation, connect with an MC Global Consultant below:

Using KPI’s to manage Maintenance Optimisation

KPIs can be used within Maintenance Connection to optimise service frequencies and reduce maintenance costs. An example of this is in setting the schedules for servicing equipment which must conform to Statutory Compliance by a regulatory body.

This can include such items as Pressure Safety Valves (PSV) and Pressure Vessels. These must be inspected and maintained at regular intervals to ensure they are fit for service and do not pose a threat to people and property.Regulations for these can vary from State to State. Companies should seek advice from their local jurisdiction as the suggested options within this article may not apply to their situation.

When the initial implementation of MC is carried out, the set-up of the Modules can assist in establishing effective Reports and KPIs which will, in turn, facilitate the optimisation of the PM schedule. Logical Classifications, Failure codes and Specifications will aid in identifying recurrent problems associated with particular types of equipment or areas of operation. It will also highlight where possible over-servicing is occurring.

Let’s look at the case of PSVs. In a non-aggressive operating environment, companies will usually establish a servicing regime of approximately every two years. This will alternate between a visual inspection, looking for signs of leakage, corrosion, damage or interference and an overhaul which will require the removal, testing of the relief mechanism and replacing of corroded parts. The overhaul may be substituted with a valve exchange programme, where the existing valve is replaced with a similar pre-tested valve and the original is retained for future workshop overhaul. In most cases, the batch servicing of these valves is coordinated to lessen the down time of critical equipment and reduce labour and travel time. This schedule complies with most manufacturers’ recommendations and industry regulations. There is a considerable safety margin built into this time period and it does not take into account the variation in operating conditions.

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Synopsis

PSVs can be found on equipment in locations ranging from covered, well-maintained and clean plant rooms to exposed, oil and gas platforms on the North-West shelf of Australia. The conditions which these valves operate under are vastly different and as such, should not be subject to the same stringent testing regimes. A plan to create a relevant preventative maintenance schedule can be established used the tools within MC. It will assist in ascertaining which is the most economical routine that should be applied while maintaining safety and complying with the Regulatory Authority requirements.

Most recommended service periods take into account the “worst-case” scenario. This results in over-servicing of equipment and unnecessary operating cost. Using the data gathered in MC, a more target-based approach can be taken to reduce maintenance costs and production equipment downtime. This can be done using the following method.

Set-Up

  • When adding new equipment into MC, identify and classify the valves into functional types. These can be used to when creating the PM schedules.
  • Establish PM schedules which groups valve inspections in logical service areas. Make sure this takes into account PSVs which should be serviced together if a major piece of machinery needs to be shut down.
  • Begin with the Manufacturer’s recommended service interval unless you have a PROVEN variation to their recommendation.
  • PSV inspections are often associated with pressure vessel inspections, so thought should be given to synchronise these to reduce plant shutdown.
  • Create Failure codes which can identify PSV faults. This will be used when conducting reviews of reliability and recurring problems.
  • Create KPIs and Reports which will identify failures and corrective work orders associated with the PSV classifications which have been created.

Analysis

  • Use the PSV failure report to identify any valve types or locations which have required repair before the scheduled PM period has been reached.
  • Identify if these failures are due to environment conditions or simply due to an extraordinary event.
  • Take a sample of the PM work orders to determine the condition of thePSVs when they have been serviced:
    1. Was the valve mechanism in good condition
    2. Was there any corrosion which needed to be treated
    3. Was there any sign of leakage or bypass
  • Use the data gathered to determine if there is the need to reduce the service period (repeated failures of a type of PSV) or the scope to extend it (PM Work Order reports indicating minimal deterioration).

Optimisation

  • If failures are occurring, the PM for this type of valve in a particular location may need to be altered to ensure they are serviced to reduce failures to an acceptable level. If the PM time-frame is to be altered, an assessment should be carried out to determine its impact on other equipment:
    1. Will this create additional plant shut downs
    2. Can extra visual inspection in certain areas be sufficient to identify potential failures
    3. Can an alternative valve or manifold arrangement be used to improve reliability
    4. Is there a method to reduce the impact of the working environment – covers, coatings, repositioning
    5. Is the frequency of failures acceptable in the given situation. Does the cost of replacement and any production loss outweigh the cost of additional maintenance
  • If there are minimal signs of deterioration during the programmed maintenance, the time-frame can possibility be extended. Before this is adjusted, all consequences and benefits should be assessed:
    1. Does this schedule comply with the relevant Statutory body’s regulations. These departments will often approve a variation of the service period if recorded data and analysis can demonstrate the justification for it.
    2. Will this variation increase the danger to staff, public or equipment
    3. Will the possible increased risk of failure impact on the production capacity and profitability of the operation
    4. Does this impact on the preventative maintenance schedule of any associated equipment and create the need for additional shutdowns
    5. Are there any exceptions, based on location or age of equipment which need to be considered before extending the time period

Review

Through the use of Reports, KPIs and trend graphs, periodic reviews can be undertaken to determine the results of changes made to the servicing schedules. This can be through simply software generated alerts or notifications of events which exceed set safety parameters or through periodic detailed analysis of Failure and Work Order records. Changes to operating conditions, age of equipment and service procedures will all impact on the Preventative Maintenance schedule and as such, requires an ongoing analysis and review process.

Conclusion

By carrying out the process of Set-up, Analysis, Optimisation and Review, the ultimate aim is to improve operational efficiency and reduce maintenance costs. Maintenance Connection can provide the tools and expertise to assist customers to achieve these goals through the Work Order, Preventative Maintenance, Report and KPIs functions of the software.