Author Archive | Maintenance Technology

13

9:45 pm
January 13, 2017
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Use Catalog Profiles, Failure Codes to Analyze Assets

By Kristina Gordon, DuPont

randmDetermining why an asset failed during production is a critical function, not only for general reporting, but to measure asset costs and make informed decisions about future use. The SAP system provides an effective means of documenting the key aspects of damages, causes, tasks, and activities. Catalog profiles are used to group attributes together and allow maintenance personnel to document asset failure in the maintenance notification.

Q: What defect codes exist in the SAP catalog profile and how do you turn them on?

A :  Catalog profiles are created based on a company’s general business practices. Each company will have its own standards and naming convention and they should be followed in this setup to maintain consistency and avoid confusion.

The SAP catalog structure goes from catalog to code group to code. Each of these must be set up in the IMG (implementation guide), which is a SAP configuration. A catalog profile should be created such that it describes the equipment at a level that helps identify the possible failures associated with its particular equipment group.

Once the catalog and failure codes are configured, they are assigned to equipment masters. This will connect a catalog profile and corresponding damage or failure code to a specific equipment type, and then allow the proper failure code to be selected and added to the notification for that asset, as seen in the example below.

1701rmcsap01p

As shown in the equipment-master screen (next column), the equipment description is R/V, with some identifying characteristics (identification number 531503, in this case). The catalog profile (bottom of the screen) states the profile number with the description “Valve, Safety Relief.”

1701rmcsap02p

In the work-order notification generated for the equipment above, the object part goes into a more granular description of the catalog profile, “Disk”.

1701rmcsap03p

Finally, the failure code for the damage can be selected. In this example, the inspection produced a “Worn” result.

SAP includes the following key transactions for viewing failure-analysis results:

• MCI5: Damages, based on damage, cause, and activity

• IW67: List of tasks completed for the damages

• IW69: List of items with damage, cause, and other catalog details

• IW65: List of activities with damage, cause, and other catalog details.

Knowing the failure rate can optimize PM intervals and improve failure response and work practices. MT

Kristina Gordon is SAP Program Consultant at the DuPont, Sabine River Works plant in West Orange, TX. If you have SAP questions, send them to editors@maintenancetechnology.com and we’ll forward them to Kristina.

11

9:35 pm
January 13, 2017
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Ramp Up Your Network Security

Industrial-control-system networks may seem secure, but there are opportunities for unwanted access at just about any level and component.

Industrial-control-system networks may seem secure, but there are opportunities for unwanted access at just about any level and component.

It’s inevitable that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will continue to grow, with more and more devices connected to networks by the minute. Achieving operational efficiency of those networks, however, is not without problems—including cyber-security threats. Such threats are raising serious concerns throughout industrial operations. What are the best ways to deal with them? Yiwei Chen of Moxa Inc. (moxa.com, Brea, CA) points to the IEC62443 Standard as a good place to start.

IEC62443 is constantly evolving to provide up-to-date security guidelines and a list of best practices for different parts of a network. It also includes information for those with different network responsibilities. The ultimate goal of the standard is to help improve network safety and enhance industrial-automation and control-settings security. According to Chen, to protect their networks from internal and external threats, it’s paramount for operators to understand IEC62443. This understanding will help them deploy devices with adequate security features to protect networks from internal and external threats.

Just what types of cyber threats can arise, and what options do your operations have for combating them? Chen provided several tips.

— Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

Prevent intrusions and attacks.
The first step in preventing unauthorized access to devices on a network is to implement a password policy. Remember, however, that while password policies are effective to some degree, as the number of users and devices on a network increases, so does the possibility of the network being breached.

Protect sensitive data.
All devices on a network must support and enforce data encryption when data are transmitted. This will virtually eliminate the risk of data being stolen during transmission. The reason data integrity is so important is because it guarantees data accuracy and that information can be processed and retrieved reliably and securely when needed.

randmAudit security events.
Networks must constantly be monitored, and every event that takes place on them should be recorded for possible analysis later. Although several security precautions can be taken to prevent cyber attacks, in the event one were successful, detecting it in real time would be difficult.

Visualize network security status.
Software that visualizes network security status allows operators to monitor any abnormal or potentially damaging activity. This type of software can also help network operators prevent problems before they arise, by allowing personnel, with a quick glance, to verify the correct settings are applied to each device. The security features that are typically covered can include password policies, encryption, log-in credentials, and data integrity.

Ensure correct configuration.
Human error can cause a wide range of problems, including improperly functioning networks, lost data, and creation of significant network vulnerabilities for attackers to exploit. Networks with incorrect configurations can be manipulated by internal staff or outside forces that have gained unauthorized access. Note: Cyber attacks resulting from human error are the most common way that networks are compromised. MT

To learn more about network security and Moxa’s wide range of solutions for ensuring it, visit moxa.com.

6

8:12 pm
January 13, 2017
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Cooling Upgrade Increases Efficiency

QTS Realty Trust Inc. owns, operates, or manages data centers and supports more than 1,000 customers. Upgrading fans and controls at one facility through Vertiv (Emerson Network Power) improved efficiency and reduced operating costs.

QTS Realty Trust Inc. owns, operates, or manages data centers and supports more than 1,000 customers. Upgrading fans and controls at one facility through Vertiv (Emerson Network Power) improved efficiency and reduced operating costs.

Variable-speed technology and intelligent controls combine to reduce data-center operating expense.

There are several reasons to consider upgrading your data center’s thermal-management system, including improving capacity management, deferring capital costs, and promoting environmental responsibility. You may simply want to improve energy efficiency and reduce operating costs. In a typical data center, cooling accounts for approximately 38% of total energy consumption.

Regardless of your specific goal, if thermal-system upgrades are on your mind, you are not alone. A recent survey of information technology (IT), facilities, and data center managers in the United States and Canada found that 40% of data centers have been upgraded in the past five years. Twenty percent are in the process of upgrading, and more than 30% would be upgraded in the next 12 months.

Why the surge in thermal-upgrade projects? There is continuous pursuit for higher equipment reliability, greater energy efficiency, additional capacity, and greater insight into performance. What can’t be overlooked is the fast return on investment (ROI) achieved by those who have recently upgraded. One such company is QTS Realty Trust Inc., headquartered in Overland Park, KS. The company owns, operates, or manages 24 data centers and supports more than 1,000 customers with its data-center solutions.

QTS has experienced significant growth over the past 10 years, going from owning a single data center in 2005 to a coast-to-coast portfolio of 12 centers encompassing more than 4.7 million sq. ft. To ensure continued provision of leading-edge services and optimal performance from its newly acquired Sacramento, CA, facility, the company required improved cooling-system efficiency and greater visibility into system performance. An upgrade of fans and controls, using the latest in cooling technology, was warranted to maintain cooling stability, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.

The aim was to generate enough cost savings to yield a full ROI in 2 1/2 yr. At the same time, the company also wanted advanced monitoring capabilities to continue best-practice data-center management.

Solutions

The need for improved system visibility that would allow QTS to provide its customers with more uniform cooling, coupled with the desire for cost savings generated from improved energy efficiency, led the company to upgrade the Sacramento facility. Experiencing a very common energy-efficiency challenge in its data center, employees found that the legacy cooling systems were providing more airflow than was required in one area, while another had a deficit. Installing electrically commutated (EC) fan technology from Emerson Network Power, which is now known as Vertiv (Columbus, OH, vertivco.com) into 64 cooling units would allow cooling adjustments based on load requirements.

Management sought to partner with a company that could complete the project within a fixed five-week timeline with limited use of QTS resources and manpower. Another key challenge was that only a certain number of units could be off at any one time to maintain the level of redundancy required. This stipulation called for careful planning and coordination to ensure the project could be completed within the parameters specified. QTS also wanted to ensure their upgrade was performed by a service provider that had experience configuring the latest technology for business-critical data centers. As the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Emerson Network Power’s Liebert Services, now part of Vertiv, was chosen to ensure high-quality parts and installation from factory-trained technicians.

Originally electing to only install EC plug fans, QTS management quickly realized it was missing the opportunity to optimize the cooling system for maximum efficiency benefits. Company leaders determined it could better achieve its stability and visibility goals through the addition of the Liebert iCOM control system, which enabled under-floor pressure control through building-management-system (BMS) integration. Wireless sensors were also installed to monitor cooling improvements.

This more holistic approach gave the company added flexibility through multiple configurations inherent to the controls that balance loading in the space. These configurations include control by wireless and remote temperature sensors, advanced supervisory control, or BMS control. QTS now has the option to coordinate fans, perform auto-tuning, and customize staging or sequencing whenever it is needed to further improve energy efficiency, availability, and flexibility.

System configurations include control by wireless and remote temperature sensors, advanced supervisory control, or BMS control. The project was performed within an operating data center and completed on time.

System configurations include control by wireless and remote temperature sensors, advanced supervisory control, or BMS control. The project was performed within an operating data center and completed on time.

Benefits

The entire thermal-system upgrade project, performed within an operating data center, was completed on time without any negative impact on the company or its customers. As a result of the upgrade, QTS earned a $150,000 rebate from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and initially saved $12,000 a month in energy costs. Additional savings are expected from continued optimization.

In addition to the obvious financial benefits, QTS accomplished the following with its thermal-system upgrade:

• Reduced its carbon footprint with more than 75% immediate reduction in the energy consumption using Liebert thermal-management units

• Improved Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) by 0.16

• Provided better intelligence to BMS for improved visibility

• Improved uniformity of under-floor static pressure, allowing adjustment of air flow to match equipment loads by changing floor tiles

• Eliminated air leakage through cooling units that were previously off or in standby using the control’s proprietary virtual damper

• Exceeded minimum ROI estimates by 40% and achieved targeted savings sooner than budgeted

• Maximized free cooling through improved unit airflow and cooling control.

According to QTS western region vice president Ken Elkington, the results of the upgrade far exceeded his expectations. “We took amp draw measurements on the existing fans. As soon as we placed the first new EC plug fan into a unit, even at 100 percent speed, the power consumption dropped 30 percent,” he said. “We were very excited to see that result, but then it got even better. By varying the fan speed to match the load in the zone, the power consumption dropped another 33 percent, and we are now experiencing higher-than-expected energy savings.” MT

For more information, visit vertivco.com.

11

8:05 pm
January 13, 2017
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What’s Three Minutes of Motor Testing Worth?

Personnel at the motor-distributor’s service center used an AT5 to perform a de-energized, non-destructive motor-circuit-analysis test on the hospital’s failed motor. This type of analysis evaluates the condition of electric-motor connections, stator, and rotor.

Personnel at the motor-distributor’s service center used an AT5 to perform a de-energized, non-destructive motor-circuit-analysis test on the hospital’s failed motor. This type of analysis evaluates the condition of electric-motor connections, stator, and rotor.

A non-destructive technique offered payback by determining the root cause of a critical, repeatedly failing hospital motor.

A motor distributor in The Netherlands provided a 17-kW, 400-V motor to a local hospital in 2015. The hospital rented a portable crane to install the motor on the roof, where it was used to operate a fan. In the spring of 2016, the motor suddenly failed.

Challenge

When the motor first stopped running, the hospital’s maintenance technician had reset the unit’s variable-frequency drive (VFD). Although the motor restarted, the VFD shut it down once again.

The technician then performed an insulation-to-ground test and determined the motor winding wasn’t shorted to ground. Using a digital multimeter, he measured phase resistance and learned the phases weren’t open. Since the motor testing tools indicated a “good” motor, a decision was made to replace the VFD.

After the new VFD was installed, the motor started, but, much to the technician’s chagrin, didn’t continue running. It was at this point that the hospital reached out to the motor distributor, which promptly dispatched a technician from its service center to test the motor.

The service-center technician used a meg-ohm meter and DMM to determine that the motor wasn’t grounded and the phases weren’t open—the same as the previous findings by the hospital’s maintenance technician. Given these results, the decision was made to replace the motor. The new unit started and operated normally, confirming the new VFD was working as intended. The “suspect” motor was sent to the distributor’s service center for a more thorough inspection.

This figure shows the stator and rotor signatures from the motor-circuit analysis report, with phases listed at the top of the image.

Fig. 1. This figure shows the stator and rotor signatures from the motor-circuit analysis report, with phases listed at the top of the image.

Solution

At the service center, personnel used an All-Test Pro 5 (AT5) to perform a de-energized, non-destructive motor-circuit analysis (MCA) test on the failed unit. This type of test evaluates the condition of motor connections, stator, and rotor.

Using the AT5, connections were made to the three phases of the motor and a static test was performed. Next, the motor shaft was manually moved during the dynamic portion of the three-phase test. At the end of the test the instrument indicated the results shown in Fig. 1. This testing made it clear phase 2-1 (shown as “21” in the figure) had the problem.

Lessons learned

Owners/operators can reduce maintenance costs. A 17-kW, 400-V motor is not expensive, but when it is mounted on a roof and the owner has to rent a crane to lift that motor for installation and removal, the owner’s maintenance cost can become quite high. Had the hospital’s maintenance team used an effective motor-circuit-analysis device, they would have discovered that the motor was the bad actor, not the VFD. Many hours and dollars were wasted by ordering and installing a new VFD that had not been the true cause of the problem.

Distributors and suppliers can improve quality assurance. Motor distributors and suppliers should implement an additional quality-control measure prior to delivering new or off-the-shelf motors to their customers. Spending a few minutes to check the condition of motors will help distributors and suppliers avoid warranty issues and increase customer satisfaction. MT

To learn more about motor-testing tools and techniques from All-Test Pro (Old Saybrook, CT), visit alltestpro.com.

13

7:03 pm
January 13, 2017
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Don’t Wait For Hydraulics Failure

Fig. 1. The cavitation that caused this piston pump to fail catastrophically, to the point of melting the piston shoes, could have been detected weeks in advance through sound predictive maintenance.

Fig. 1. The cavitation that caused this piston pump to fail catastrophically, to the point of melting the piston shoes, could have been detected weeks in advance through sound predictive maintenance.

Leverage predictive tools and techniques to keep hydraulic equipment operating at peak efficiency.

Industries spend countless dollars each year to repair hydraulic equipment. Many times, hydraulic-component failures don’t hit service-interruption triggers, i.e., specified hours of lost production or dollars worth of damaged equipment, and pose no safety or environmental impact. Thus, problems can go virtually unnoticed, until it’s too late. Traditional hydraulics maintenance practices are of the run-to-failure variety, meaning that a component is replaced and the machine is returned to service without any documentation as to what caused the problem, which, accordingly, can recur.

Consider the detail of a piston pump that is shown in Fig. 1. Cavitation resulting from a restriction on the inlet line caused the unit to fail catastrophically—to the point that the piston shoes melted. This failure could have been easily detected weeks in advance through one of three proven condition-monitoring approaches:

• making a thermal image of the pump inlet

• using ultrasonics to listen for cavitation bubbles

• placing a vacuum gauge in the inlet line of the pump and monitoring for minute changes.

Since hydraulic-component failures often don’t hit service-interruption triggers and pose no safety or environmental impact, they can go virtually unnoticed, until it’s too late.

Since hydraulic-component failures often don’t hit service-interruption triggers and pose no safety or environmental impact, they can go virtually unnoticed, until it’s too late.

These types of predictive technologies, coupled with practical reliability principles and strategies, can help plant personnel quickly identify failure modes in hydraulic systems, appropriately communicate that information, and prevent premature failures and unwanted downtime. The question is, if, as Merriam Webster defines it, “maintenance is the act of maintaining or the state of being maintained,” why are so many of today’s maintenance technicians spending so much of their time working on failed hydraulic systems after the fact?

Repairing and replacing equipment, changing out parts, turning knobs, and troubleshooting are examples of “failure based” activities. A more effective use of technician and machine-operator time would be for them to regularly engage in “improvement-based” activities such as looking and listening for problems before equipment fails. That, of course, requires predictive-maintenance (PdM) routes.

Build meaningful PdM routes

When it comes to building meaningful PdM routes for hydraulic equipment, we first must understand how these systems are supposed to operate and how they can fail to perform their intended function in a circuit, down to the component level. To paraphrase one industry rule of thumb, a clear operating context forms the basis for all of a plant’s reliability efforts. 

Fig. 2. This schematic of a hydraulic-equipment circuit provides a clear operating context for the system. That context, in turn, forms the basis for all reliability efforts associated with the equipment.

Fig. 2. This schematic of a hydraulic-equipment circuit provides a clear operating context for the system. That context, in turn, forms the basis for all reliability efforts associated with the equipment.

The schematic in Fig. 2 details a typical operating context and how it applies to hydraulic-system reliability and service life. Let’s consider one item in the circuit—the hydraulic cylinder—in terms of predictive maintenance. It’s been designed to extend 12 in. in 8 sec., using 3 gal./min. (gpm) of pump flow, and operate at 1,200 psi. These design parameters represent four things that can be measured, trended, and compared to a target during this one machine function.

In the above scenario, what would be considered a functional failure and how could we measure it?

The hydraulic cylinder doesn’t extend at all, due to lack of pump flow to the cylinder, which is caused by an improperly set relief valve, allowing the pump flow to return to the reservoir. The situation could be a result of an operator adjusting the system’s relief valve to a setting below the 1,200 psi required to move the load and, thus, changing the entire machine operation.

As shown in Fig. 2, if a flow meter is installed on the discharge of the hydraulic pump and another flow meter installed on the return line of the relief valve to the reservoir, we can instantly see where oil is going. Without such monitoring devices, we play a guessing game with regard to a very simple problem that could result in many hours of downtime.

Predictive technologies, coupled with practical reliability principles and strategies, can help personnel prevent premature failures and unwanted downtime.

Predictive technologies, coupled with practical reliability principles and strategies, can help personnel prevent premature failures and unwanted downtime.

With effective PdM routes, during normal operation, a quick look at the pump-discharge flow meter would allow personnel to know whether the required pump discharge flow of 3 gpm is actually leaving the unit. Any variance in this number should prompt use of other monitoring devices to identify the root cause and develop a plan to deal with the problem before a component failure occurs. After all, decreased pump-discharge flow could have many causes, including the previously mentioned restriction on the pump inlet (cavitation). Monitoring can be done with a vacuum gauge located at the pump inlet. (Many people are unaware that a strainer/filter is typically located in the reservoir at the pump inlet. As the strainer becomes clogged over time from normal wear and debris, the vacuum pressure will rise, showing a potential problem.)

Another cause would be excessive internal wear of the pump. Over time, the pistons move in and out of the barrel, causing internal wear that opens the clearances and allows the internal leakage rate to increase. This movement of oil from high to low pressure will cause excessive heat that can be identified using thermal imaging. Trending the case temperature will reveal a slight rise over time and point to this potential problem. (Adding a flow meter to the case drain line of the piston pump would also allow personnel to see an increased leakage rate.)

The fact is that, unless a plant has condition-monitoring devices installed on its hydraulic systems, technicians and operators will always be in a reactive, or firefighting, mode.

Develop reliability scorecards

Given the fact that reliability in industry is based on measuring and improving, among other things, maintenance practices, equipment service life, and production processes, scorecards can be very effective tools.

Before a site can develop reliability scorecards, its reliability engineer, or team, and the production manager must first determine target-operating parameters. This will establish a baseline from which everything will be measured. While some facilities are willing to endure variances in their operating cycle times, some cannot due to tight production schedules and the need to produce specified numbers of products per hour.

With the increasingly complex hydraulic systems operating at many sites, highly detailed reliability scorecards, posted on the equipment with which they’re associated, can be especially valuable for plant personnel. Such information can trump the often-vague PdM checklists that OEMs and suppliers may recommend.

With the increasingly complex hydraulic systems operating at many sites, highly detailed reliability scorecards, posted on the equipment with which they’re associated, can be especially valuable for plant personnel. Such information can trump the often-vague PdM checklists that OEMs and suppliers may recommend. (Click to enlarge.)

Table I is an example of a typical reliability scorecard. In it, all operating parameters are spelled out in detail. Posted on the equipment to which it applies, this information should allow personnel to clearly understand what the machine is designed to do, as well as when it is not serving its intended design purpose and has functionally failed.

Such scorecards give operators and maintenance teams (including PdM technicians) the answers to four crucial questions:

• What do I check?

• What do I check with?

• Where do I check?

• What should I expect to read?

The increasing complexity of hydraulic systems and often-vague PdM checklists that many OEMs and suppliers recommend make the explicit information in these reliability scorecards ever more valuable for plant personnel.

Words to the wise

Sites that are truly seeking better ways to manage their hydraulic systems and, in the process, eliminate problems that could result in catastrophic failures, would do well to adopt these predictive-maintenance strategies. They can help increase a plant’s profitability by removing the avoidance costs of what it’s currently spending on repairs and send the savings back to the bottom line. MT

Information in this article was provided by Paul Craven, CFPHS. Craven manages one of Motion Industries’ (Birmingham, AL) repair shops. Certified by the International Fluid Power Society as a Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialist, he has worked in the field for 25+ years. For more information, visit motionindustries.com.

8

6:20 pm
January 13, 2017
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Win Management Support For Your Efforts

Plant profitability, on which the future of many a plant manager hangs, requires harmonious interaction among all departments.

Plant profitability, on which the future of many a plant manager hangs, requires harmonious interaction among all departments.

Establishing and sustaining successful reliability and maintenance programs is a give-and-take proposition that requires adjusting the means by which plant departments interact.

By Paul D. Tomlingson

The most important factors for successful industrial reliability and maintenance (R&M) are establishing effective programs and full support and cooperation of all other plant departments. The single ingredient that guarantees these circumstances is plant-manager leadership. Achieving these circumstances, however, calls for a give-and-take approach to overcome the reality that the performance of a site’s reliability-and-maintenance workforce can be affected by many critical activities of other departments, over which R&M personnel have no control.

This article focuses specifically on developing an effective maintenance program that ensures reliable equipment and processes—one that meshes well with management’s interest in plant profitability.

First, let’s consider some complaints from real-world operations. They may sound familiar:

• Operations didn’t release Unit 16 for scheduled repair. It failed six hours later.

• Overhaul work stopped when purchasing couldn’t deliver the transmission on time.

• The rebuild was rescheduled as the warehouse could only supply four of eight couplings.

• The insisted-upon information-system accounting is useless for work control.

• Parts seldom arrive on time because warehousing won’t attend our scheduling meetings.

• Shops insist on fabricating bearings, and we now have 55 that don’t fit anything.

• Failure to arrange capital funding for pump installations destroyed the maintenance budget.

Eliminating these unfortunate events is the domain of the plant manager. The corrections, though, must be made while preserving the assigned responsibilities of various department managers, such as purchasing agents or warehouse managers. The mission for professionals in their own disciplines is to provide quality service and effective support to plant functions such as maintenance. That service and support is only possible when the providing department, say warehousing, understands the needs of the recipient department (in this case, maintenance). The solution is to adjust the means by which departments interact. It begins by ensuring that all departments understand the operating activities of all other departments and, thus, cooperate with each other and provide desired support. In other words, if you need help, you must first tell people how they can help.

Corporate guidelines direct development of the plant manager’s production strategy. In turn, his/her objectives specify departmental responsibilities while policies prescribe the what, who, how, and why of internal and interdepartmental actions. Departments then organize procedures into programs that are implemented, tested, and verified as contributing to improvements in overall plant performance.

Corporate guidelines direct development of the plant manager’s production strategy. In turn, his/her objectives specify departmental responsibilities while policies prescribe the what, who, how, and why of internal and interdepartmental actions. Departments then organize procedures into programs that are implemented, tested, and verified as contributing to improvements in overall plant performance.

Embark on the program

Maintenance is not a stand-alone activity that can single-handedly deliver reliable equipment and processes. Help from every other plant department, coupled with strong management reinforcement, is mandatory. For example, while maintenance is responsible for planning, its success depends on support from the warehouse for material and cooperation by operations in making equipment available for scheduled work. Therefore, a quality maintenance program must clearly depict realistic, accurate, and complete interdepartmental interactions, making it a plant-maintenance program.

Most plant managers have backgrounds in operations or engineering, not maintenance. Thus, maintenance is better qualified to begin developing the initial program to ensure its practicality and accurately depict the essential support and cooperation required from other plant departments. The plant manager can then confidently align other plant departments to match assistance required by maintenance. As this process is carried out, joint input from other departments is actively sought so that the final program definition reflects an accurate portrayal of departmental interactions in support of the plant-maintenance program. The end result enables all departments to understand maintenance operations, with emphasis on the accurate details of their support for and cooperation with maintenance.

Define the program

The plant-maintenance program should depict the interaction of the total plant population, as that population requests or identifies work, and classify it to determine the best reaction. The maintenance department plans, schedules, assigns, controls, and measures the resulting work, and, finally, assesses overall accomplishment against goals such as performance standards and budgets. The program should spell out who does what, how, when, and why in which the maintenance “who,” for example, is the maintenance planner interacting with the warehouse “who.” This clearly defines the duties, roles, and responsibilities of individuals, thereby eliminating confusion, uncertainty, or duplication.

Plant-manager role

Provided with a well-defined plant-maintenance program, the plant manager can align the organization’s business plan or production strategy to assure harmonious interaction between departments to yield quality product and ensure plant profitability.

The production strategy is the plant manager’s plan for achieving profitability. It assigns objectives (responsibilities) to all departments. These include performing basic tasks such as warehouse inventory control or maintenance PM (preventive maintenance) services. But objectives also specify the quality of service to maintenance. Mutual support is emphasized. The strategy also includes policies to guide interdepartmental actions such as purchasing actions in controlling the component-rebuilding program for the warehouse.

Once objectives are assigned and policies understood, individual departments organize all of their internal and interdepartmental procedures into an operating program. The resulting programs are then implemented and tested, and performance verified.

After verification, the programs are documented and departments throughout the plant are educated on all program elements. Documentation is of sufficient quality so that, if experienced personnel were replaced with those of equal qualification, the new individuals could follow the program documentation and achieve results equal to that of the incumbents (see figure above).

Determine objectives

The objectives assigned to each department correspond to the aims of the plant manager’s production strategy. A typical maintenance objective might state, “The primary objective of maintenance is to keep production equipment in a safe, effective, as designed, operating condition so that production targets can be met on time and at least cost. A secondary objective of maintenance is to perform approved, properly engineered and correctly funded non-maintenance activities (for example, construction and equipment installation) to the extent that such work does not reduce the capability for carrying out the maintenance program. As appropriate, maintenance will monitor the satisfactory performance of contractor support when utilized to perform maintenance or capital work.”

The maintenance objective assigns specific responsibilities so that maintenance can organize properly to carry them out, guided by the previously developed program that, by this point, has been vetted by management and agreed to by all other departments. Maintenance customers are now made aware of maintenance capabilities and limitations and will request support accordingly.

Departmental objectives provide clarification of the exact responsibilities of each department to include internal operating tasks, i.e., warehouse inventory control, as well as interdepartmental actions, i.e., providing stock materials upon the request of maintenance planners. They emphasize mutual support and cooperation among all plant departments. By specifying these dual responsibilities with objectives, the plant manager is taking direct steps to establish the importance of mutual cooperation and support among all departments. In the case of maintenance, the underlying intent of these objectives is to make clear that successful maintenance is a total plant effort.

Establish policies

Policies clarify objectives assigned to each department. They prescribe the conduct of internal department activities, as well as the manner in which departments interact and preclude misunderstanding of roles and responsibilities. Consider the following examples.

Department responsibilities might include policy wording such as:

• Each department will develop and publish procedures by which other departments may obtain their services.

• Operations will be responsible for the effective utilization of maintenance services.

Preventive-maintenance policies might specify that:

• Maintenance will conduct a detection-oriented preventive-maintenance (PM) program. The program will include equipment inspection and condition-monitoring and testing to help uncover equipment deficiencies and avoid premature failure. The PM program will also provide lubrication services, cleaning, adjustments, and minor component replacement to help extend equipment life.

• PM will take precedence over every aspect of maintenance except bona-fide emergency work.

• No major repairs will be initiated until PM services have established the exact condition of the equipment and elements of the repair have been correctly prioritized.

• The overall preventive-maintenance program will be assessed annually. Assessors will ensure the program covers all equipment that requires services and that the most appropriate types of services are applied at the correct intervals. The performance of the PM program in reducing equipment failures and extending equipment life will be verified.

Planning and scheduling policies could require that:

• Planning and scheduling will be applied to comprehensive jobs, e.g., overhauls, major component replacements, to ensure that work is well organized in advance, properly scheduled, and completed productively and expeditiously.

• Criteria will be provided to help determine which work will be planned, and all major repairs will be subjected to planning procedures unless an emergency repair is indicated.

Information policies might specify that:

• Maintenance will develop and use information concerning the utilization of labor, the status of work, backlog, cost, and repair history to ensure effective control of its activities and related economic decisions such as equipment replacement.

• Performance indices will be used to evaluate short-term accomplishments and long-term trends.

Organization policies could direct that:

• The maintenance workload will be measured on a regular basis to help determine the proper size and craft composition of the work force.

• The productivity of maintenance will be measured on a regular, continuing basis to monitor progress in improving the control of labor.

• Every effort will be made to implement organizational and management techniques, such as teams or reliability-centered maintenance, to ensure the most productive use of maintenance personnel and the pro-active application of reliability strategies.

Other policies might apply to activities such as priority setting, maintenance engineering, material control, or the conducting of non-maintenance work, such as construction.

With objectives assigned and policies addressing internal and interdepartmental actions prescribed, departments can arrange their procedures into department programs. Programs will prescribe what each department member will do, how they will do it, when, and why they must perform it in a prescribed way. Program details will ensure coordination with other department members, as well as with other departments. When the resulting programs are implemented and operating properly, they will provide a reasonable guarantee of interdepartmental cooperation.

The final plant-maintenance program also yields several useful benefits. In the process of program development and documentation, who does what, how, when, and why have been debated and mutually agreed upon. Thus, the program becomes a guideline for selection of the best organization to carry it out and the criteria for selecting the best information system.

Management-support guarantee

Plant managers know that their job security and future careers will be judged on their ability to secure and sustain plant profitability. Profitability requires the harmonious interactions of all departments. Therefore, when a maintenance team demonstrates its ability to provide a quality plant-maintenance program, few plant managers will overlook the opportunity to align their production strategies, objectives, policies, and leadership with it to yield the desired profitability. The same holds true when a reliability team demonstrates its ability to provide a quality reliability program. Therein lies the best assurance for winning management support for reliability and maintenance efforts. MT

Paul D. Tomlingson has spent more than 45 years working as a maintenance-management consultant to industrial operations around the world. Based in Denver, he is the author of numerous technical articles and 11 books, including, most recently, Maintenance in Transition: The Journey to World-Class Maintenance  (2014, Independent Publishers, Chicago). Contact him directly at pdtmtc@msn.com.


learnmore2— “The Plant Manager as Change Agent, Parts 1 and 2

—  “Do We Know What We Are Talking About?”

10

5:07 pm
January 13, 2017
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Engage Millennials in Reliability, Maintainability

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By Dr. Klaus M. Blache, Univ. of Tennessee Reliability & Maintainability Center

Since Millennials now make up the largest segment of the United States workforce, what are you doing to engage them in reliability and maintainability? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the generation numbered more than 83 million in 2015. A recent IBM study stated that, by 2020, Millennials will account for 50% of the U.S. workforce and, by 2030, that number will increase to 75% (“Myths, Exaggerations and Uncomfortable Truths,” IBM Institute for Business Value, Armonk, NY, Feb. 19, 2015).

So what is a Millennial? Typically, we think of them as being between about 16 and 36 years of age (born between the early 1980s and early 2000s). You may know this demographic by other names:

• Generation Y

• Boomerang Kids (most likely to live longer with their parents)

• Trophy Kids (because they needed trophies for participation)

• Generation Me (out for themselves).

The IBM study (of 1,800 such individuals) refers to them as “Digital Natives.” I’ve also seen references to Generation Snowflake (perceived as more prone to taking offense and less resilient than previous generations).

Many sources have tagged Millennials as expecting high job satisfaction (passion over pay) and work-life balance. What they really seem to want, however, is steady career progress and related pay.

What Millennials really seem to want is steady career progress and related pay.

What Millennials really seem to want is steady career progress and related pay.

Millennials have grown up in a digital world, use extensive social networking and the Internet, and are probably more into working in teams. The IBM report has essentially debunked most of the generalizations about them. For example, it found that, when comparing Millennials to Gen X and Baby Boomers (two previous groups):

• Career goals and expectations were not that different.

• Being ethical and fair is more important than ongoing recognition.

• Their learning style is more physical (conference, classroom, by colleague on-the-job) than digital.

• They change jobs for the same reasons as other groups (quest for more money and a more-creative workplace).

• Millennials prefer more-frequent feedback.

In areas of reliability and maintainability (R&M), Millennials have the opportunity to do many things, including, but not limited to:

• Use new technologies to resolve reliability and maintainability challenges (use a drone to collect data, apply numerous apps to make work more efficient and effective, combine mobility and data access for new solutions).

• Be an integral part of the design, installation, and buy-off of assets or new-product launch (soon many Millennials will also be doing the maintaining).

• Work as a team/take a systems-based thinking approach (machinery, equipment, controls, processes, utilities, safety, environmental, and people) to ensure reliability.

• Develop algorithms on production and maintenance losses to improve throughput and reduce cost (reduce MTTR, increase MTBF, and improve availability).

• Perform reliability modeling to make trade-off decisions (what to implement).

• Understand the workings of the software reliability of programs and control systems and understand human reliability.

Workplaces and technologies have changed over time, though, as they will for Millennials. For example, remember when the old answer for cosine was adjacent over hypotenuse and values were looked up in a table? Today, we click on a calculator function. While digital tools save time, those savings should never come at the cost of understanding.

I see many Millennials completing R&M internships at companies and finding meaningful careers in, among others, the automotive, chemical, energy, aerospace, and medical sectors. Yes, work-life balance is of great importance to them. Other than that, they’re quite willing and able to take on industries’ toughest challenges—and get their hands dirty. MT

Based in Knoxville, Klaus M. Blache is director of the Reliability & Maintainability Center at the Univ. of Tennessee, and a research professor in the College of Engineering. Contact him at kblache@utk.edu.

73

6:22 pm
December 22, 2016
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Link Outsiders to Documents, Folders

randmBy Kristina Gordon, DuPont

Managing documents and history is a critical part of maintaining equipment reliability.  SAP offers several methods for tracking documents, drawings, and other important information. Here are answers to two common questions that will help you better manage information.

Q: Can you insert documents in a maintenance plan and/or maintenance task list and have them available once the order is issued directly in the maintenance order? Our maintenance contractor doesn’t have access to certain SAP transactions or maintenance task lists but needs to use maintenance procedures, manuals, and detail drawings.

A : The Document Management System (DMS) allows you to provide links outside of SAP to internal information such as equipment functional locations, materials, maintenance plans, and maintenance items. This is a robust and organized approach that ensures all documents are attached directly to the object in SAP.

Q: Can you attach an SAP object directly to a file or a folder?

A: Attaching a file allows you to connect a specific document to your work order, material, or purchase order. Attaching a folder allows you to view the entire content of the folder from a link within your object, giving you multiple selections to view and print within that folder. MT

Use these four steps to create a link that will make a folder available to an outside source.

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— Use transaction CV01N to create a document.

— Use document type “DDW,” document part “000,” and document version “00.”

— Click the enter button.

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Enter the description. This could begin with the equipment number or inventory number, but needs to easily identify the object to which the folder will be attached. Click the Create File button.

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— Use application type “HTM” (the application type will also have to be configured in SAP per your company). The description will be the same as the Document Data Description. In the first box of “Original,” add the desired data carrier. This will be the name of the “Data Carrier” your SAP team will set up. In the second box of “Original,” use the address, or folder structure, of the desired folder. Make sure to exclude the folder that the drop down would automatically take you to in the address.

— Click the green check.

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— Click the Object links tab. Click the Equipment master tab. Note: There are multiple different objects to which you can attach. We are using equipment masters as an example for this demo. Enter the desired equipment ID in the equipment field. More than one equipment ID can be added if necessary. The process is completed after clicking the save button.

— You will now be able to view the folder within the equipment master that was attached as the link.

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— To create a link to a file, the setup is very similar to that for folders. However, note the following differences:

— The application type will be the type of document that is being linked (Word, Excel, etc.)

— Description will have the desired description of the document.

— The first box of “Original” will contain the data carrier.

— In the second box of “Original,” first select the drop-down box. This will open a browser. Go to file location and click “open.” Your link will be uploaded. Follow the steps in the previous screen shots to completion.

Kristina Gordon is SAP Program Consultant at the DuPont, Sabine River Works plant in West Orange, TX. If you have SAP questions, send them to editors@maintenancetechnology.com and we’ll forward them to Kristina.

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