Archive | CMMS

47

3:22 pm
August 14, 2017
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SAP Tips and Tricks: Put Variants and Layouts to Work

randmBy Kristina Gordon, DuPont

This month we answer the question: What variants and layouts does SAP offer and how can they help users?

SAP contains search screens on almost every transaction. This allows the user to establish variants by entering a set of criteria that can be saved and displayed each time the transaction is run, without reentering the criteria. This could be a group of work orders, functional locations, materials, or all objects in a date range.

There are ways that a dynamic date range can be entered. With this option, each time the transaction is run, it can start with the current day and go backward or forward by a prescribed number of days or you may want to look at the previous month or future dates. Regardless of the criteria, the dynamic date range can be set so your criteria run on that range each time you execute the transaction, without reentering the dates.

It is possible to create several different variants for the same transaction, based on the information you want to see. Variants are at the heart of effective use of dashboards. They are time saving and accurate, helping eliminate human error.

Layouts help, too

Layouts are a component of the variant that defines the information that will be displayed on the report, once executed. The layout controls the columns, sort order, format, and filtering options.

Layouts help control the look of your report, based on the selection criteria in your variant. Just like variants, you can create multiple layouts for the same transaction, depending on the audience and how you want your information to be viewed.

To create a variant, open a transaction and enter the search criteria you would like to see every time you execute. Select Goto from the menu, then select variants, then save the variant. If the system default variant comes up, make sure to change the name and not overwrite it.

In the variant name field, enter a name for your variant. You have two options for saving your variant. The user-specific option will be a personal variant, only seen by you as the creator. To implement this, you must enter the name of the variant in the format of U_SAP USER NAME. For example, U_EG8931.

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The screen grabs above show the steps involved in setting up a user-specific variant.

The second option is a global variant that everyone can view. To create a global variant, you must start the variant name with a / then the description. If you check the box “protect variant,” only the creator will be able to change the variant.

Next, you can save your variant variables by selecting an object to create a dynamic range. In the example below right, due date was selected. Click on the selection variables button on the tool bar, then choose the value you want to save in your variant. 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.

62

7:22 pm
August 10, 2017
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Drowning In Data? Look To The ‘Stars’

Identifying and acting on the right data can transform reliability and maintenance programs from resource black holes to key business drivers.

By Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

Advances in common communication protocols and wireless networks have created the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), technology that connects everything from material supply through manufacturing to product shipping. As IIoT data quantity increases, plant personnel are in danger of drowning in a flood of information. The dilemma for many is how to make sense of it all and derive answers that help them successfully operate and maintain their processes. Keith Berriman of Emerson (Round Rock, TX) advises to “look to the stars.”

To put things in context, a bit of history is in order, beginning with the ancient Greeks. They, according to many scholars, were some of the first people to recognize patterns among the seemingly endless numbers of stars filling the night skies from horizon to horizon. Assigning names to groups of conspicuous stars, i.e., constellations, they wove references to them into their beliefs, literature, and other forms of cultural expression. Over the centuries, explorers and others have looked to many of these constellations to locate certain stars that could help them navigate the globe.

While not advocating that plant personnel take up actual celestial navigation, Berriman encourages them to consider a similar approach when dealing with the seemingly endless amounts of IIoT-generated data they’re confronting. As he explained, they can locate specific “stars” in their facilities that will tell them about the condition of assets and processes and, in turn, allow them to take action to prevent and mitigate failure. It’s an approach that’s feasible for virtually any plant.

“From an economic perspective,” Berriman said, “the cost of installing connected devices that run on wireless networks has fallen to less than 20% of traditional wired devices. This allows us to install sensors on all sorts of equipment that we previously would have to monitor with hand-held devices or through some type of invasive inspection.” That’s the good news.

The bad news is, despite the affordability and widespread availability of continuous-monitoring technologies, personnel still need to know what to look for amid the data that constantly streams from them. Unfortunately, all systems for analyzing such information are not created equal. “Depending on the system you use,” Berriman observed, “you may not be getting a full and correct picture of equipment and process conditions in your plant.” This is where his “look to the stars” approach to data pays off.

Bringing order to chaos

Berriman’s approach starts with sorting data into fixed and variable groups. “This,” he said, “helps us solve the risk-identification and -mitigation equation.”

Fixed data is set when the plant or system is built or modified. This includes:

• plant layout
• equipment design
• equipment data
• material master data (spare/OEM parts)
• performance parameters
• potential failure data.

These items become the known variables in the risk-identification and -mitigation equation. Variable data, though, changes during the operation of a process or asset, including, among other things, as a result of raw-material composition, process variation, weather, equipment condition, and work history.

By selecting the right data points, personnel can populate the equation and determine their position, which, in this case, means the condition of their site’s assets. Doing this requires building a set of “constellations” to identify and capture critical asset data.

A reliability program is designed to proactively identify and mitigate failures, while eliminating defects. A maintenance program is designed to preserve or restore function to a system. Effective data constellations allow reliability and maintenance teams to detect and repair problems before they have an impact on performance.

Data and reliability programs

An effective reliability program consists of interconnected building blocks that include the following four steps, aimed at identifying impending failures with enough warning to allow repair or replacement. Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) determines the causes of unexpected failures to improve the program and avoid similar events.

Build a complete master equipment list (MEL). The MEL includes the fixed data for the next steps in the process and the information required for planning and scheduling work and ordering parts and materials.

The MEL also contains an organized hierarchy of assets that users can follow to identify equipment. Ideally, the branches should extend down to the “functional location,” i.e., the place in the process where an asset operates. Associating a particular asset with a unique identifier allows it to be tracked as it moves from one location to another.

To complete the MEL, fixed data must be associated with each asset. This includes, among other things:

• equipment type (pump, motor) classification (centrifugal), location, process and operating information, process drawings, size, power, material of fabrication, and motor-frame size

• bills of material (BOMs), i.e., spare parts needed to make repairs to the equipment.

CMMS systems organize and sort this information in various ways and allow the roll-up of metrics, costs, and information to identify performance and trends.

Rank asset criticality. With an accurate MEL, sites can rank the criticality of their assets. While organizations often focus on one potential impact, such as production or safety, to completely understand the relative criticality of their equipment systems, they need to review a number of factors. Five basic categories are used to determine asset criticality:

• safety
• environment
• production
• maintenance cost
• quality.

Additional categories may be used and the weighting adjusted for the specific process under review. Weighting uses a series of questions with points associated with the severity of impact.

Ranking asset criticality requires data and expertise. The resulting distribution can be sorted into categories to determine the next level of analysis and develop preventive- and predictive-maintenance (PM and PdM) programs. Criticality should also be used to prioritize work and ensure high-risk issues are addressed in time to prevent failure.

Develop strategies. At this point, strategies to detect and mitigate impending failures can be developed. Tools for doing so include Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA). They ask structured questions about the function of an asset, how it might fail, the impact of failure, and how to detect signs of failure. Since RCM requires a team of subject-matter experts and significant time, it should focus on the critical group of assets and systems. FMEA, which can be conducted by one or two participants, should focus on the essential group. Templates can be used to create strategies for the monitor group. In applying templates, it’s crucial to understand the context of an asset, given the fact the same equipment in different locations may not require the same strategy.

Note: Since the impact of their failure isn’t great, assets that fall into a No Scheduled Maintenance group won’t require routine or continuous monitoring.

Select PM/PdM condition-monitoring tools. Understanding failure modes allows personnel to select the appropriate tools for the job. Typically, this selection is based on the warning that a tool provides and the cost of performing the task. The classic P-F (performance-failure) curve illustrates the relative effectiveness of different techniques. IIoT data allows sites to combine indicators and move further back up this curve to provide earlier warnings of failure and, thus, allow plant personnel more time to plan repairs and procure replacements.

Once personnel know the data they require from a site’s network of instruments, analytics, and inspections, they can generate alerts and warnings to restore assets to good operating condition. The more advanced warning they have, the more planned and organized they can be. To that end, they should set warning alarms that allow time to plan and action alarms that indicate when prompt intervention is required. These alarms, and the data they generate, are an important part of the solution to the risk-identification and -mitigation equation, in that they help determine asset condition. As Berriman emphasized, however, “The information must still be acted on.”

Data and maintenance programs

Regardless of industry sector, type of operation, or location, one constant is the basic maintenance process. All plants need to complete the following six steps to be consistent, strong performers

Identify work. Maintenance work is identified through a variety of sources. Most work should come from PM/PdM activities and the previously described warnings and action alerts. However, there will be issues identified by operations that the program missed, requested improvements, and other tasks. These issues need to be reviewed and approved before effort is expended on planning and scheduling.

Work entering the system needs to be reviewed for the completeness of information and approved before moving to planning. Known as gate keeping, this requires a dedicated resource for consistency. Ideally, the gate-keeping role belongs to Operations, i.e., the equipment owners.

Plan work. Planning is where a job is broken down into a logical sequence of tasks, maintenance craft assigned, parts ordered, and other resources identified, including such things as scaffolding and contractors. A good job plan allows accurate scheduling and work execution. Job plans should include safety and environmental precautions, work permits, and other procedures. Data collated at this step should include equipment data, materials/parts data, work history, safety/environmental data, and resource availability.

The output of this step is a backlog of planned work to build schedules and balance workforce composition, especially where contract resources are used to augment in-house maintenance personnel.

Schedule work. This step takes the job plan data for duration and resources, and integrates production-planning data and asset criticality to create a maintenance schedule that fits the production schedule. This requires collaboration between departments to understand priorities, equipment availability, and other issues. The scheduler role should be owned by Operations since, again, it owns (controls) the equipment.

The outputs of scheduling are long-range plans and a weekly calendar of maintenance work used to create daily schedules. Daily scheduling is a joint effort to select new work for the next day from the weekly schedule and to ensure incomplete work is carried forward.

Execute work. When a day’s schedule is completed, Operations can prepare the equipment and Maintenance can execute the work. This phase includes the integration of unplanned work that might supersede scheduled tasks, known as break-in work. This work needs to be managed to prevent organizations from becoming highly reactive.

Maintenance supervisors need to monitor progress on work to communicate with Operations and to ensure time is added to the next day’s schedule for incomplete work.

Follow up/capture data. Upon completion of work, data must be captured to drive analysis, planning, and other activities. That includes capturing “as found/as left” data for instruments, repair history, failed components, time, materials, and labor, among other things. The information should then be recorded in the CMMS for future use. Responsibility for this step typically falls to maintenance technicians and supervisors.

Analyze data. Once data has been captured, analysis can be performed on failure modes to determine and mitigate bad actors, or equipment with high costs and downtime. Cost and lost-production data can be used to understand budget variances and drive key performance indicators (KPIs). Reliability teams use maintenance data for detailed statistical analysis, such as Weibull, that identify patterns of failure and predict future events.

Navigating your data

According to Keith Berriman, the Industrial Internet of Things is an opportunity to increase the generation of accurate timely data without the use of invasive and time-based processes. As the integration of systems improves, the interconnectedness of data allows more accurate and simplified presentation of information for repair/replace decisions.

“But,” he cautioned, “too much unnecessary data can obscure the information personnel are looking for and hide problems that might become critical and dangerous. While technology is a great enabler, without a strong foundation, it won’t deliver the results plants seek. “The key,” Berriman concluded, “is to be able to identify and then act on the right data.” Looking to specific “stars” in your plant is a good way to ease that voyage. MT

Keith Berriman P.Eng, CMRP, is a senior reliability consultant for Emerson, based in Edmonton, Alberta. For more information, email Keith.Berriman@Emerson.com.

148

7:09 pm
July 12, 2017
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SAP Tips and Tricks: Understand Shift Factors And Tolerances

randmBy Kristina Gordon, DuPont

My recent article, “Maintenance Plans: What do all the fields mean?”, generated two very good questions from reader Nigel Wilson, who wants to further understand how a maintenance plan functions. Here are answers to those questions.

Q: What is the relationship (if any) between shift factors and tolerances? Are they used in conjunction with each other or separately?

A:  Shift factors and tolerances can be used in conjunction with each other or they can be used separately. The screen shots illustrate how this is accomplished.

Tolerance defines late or early completion time period and the impact it has on the plan schedule: (+) tolerance is set for late completions and (-) tolerance is set for early completions.

The shift factor is the percentage of shift that a plan can move if not completed on time. For example, if a maintenance plan is due Sept. 1, but the work is not confirmed until Sept. 5, the shift factor will determine the next plan due date. A100% shift on a monthly plan will move the due date to the exact day in the next month that the work was confirmed in September (in this case, Oct. 5). A 0% shift will not allow the plan to move the due date. The order was completed Sept. 5, but the due date is on the first of every month, therefore, the next due date will be Oct. 1.

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To use the shift factor and tolerance together, the principals are still the same. However, you are now taking the percentage of the shift factor into account with the completion from the tolerance. The images above illustrate how the plan change date changes with a 100% shift factor and doesn’t change with a 0% shift factor.

Q: How do shift factors and tolerances handle multiple cycles on a maintenance plan?

A:   Tolerances and shift factors react the same in single-cycle and strategy plans. Settings should be set at the strategy level, then they will carry over to each individual maintenance plan when it is created. To avoid this situation, you may also want to maintain hierarchies in the maintenance strategy against each pack, if you haven’t already done so. MT

Kristina Gordon is SAP PM Leader, DuPont Protective Solutions Business and SAP WMP Champion, Spruance Site, Richmond, VA. If you have SAP questions, send them to editors@maintenancetechnology.com and we’ll forward them to Kristina.

109

6:37 pm
July 12, 2017
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CMMS Energizes Glass Company’s Maintenance Efforts

A three-step process helped a global glass manufacturer implement a CMMS in all of its facilities, resulting in notable asset-reliability gains.

An enterprise-wide CMMS implementation can result in significant gains in asset reliability.

An enterprise-wide CMMS implementation can result in significant gains in asset reliability.

A leading manufacturer of glass and glazing systems supplies glass for architectural, automotive, and technical applications to customers around the world. Operating in 28 countries, its business is divided into four regions: North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Over time, the company sought to put increased emphasis on global maintenance excellence and the ability to standardize and benchmark metrics in all of its locations. Subsequently, the team of functional experts that focuses on automotive-glass production—which includes the company’s North American manager of Excellence in Maintenance—identified the need for a computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) system.

In early 2015, the company’s existing state of maintenance data was chaotic. While there was scattered use of existing software, plenty of valuable information was locked up in spreadsheets. The appointed functional team of experts searched for a CMMS solution with all the functions of the existing software, as well as a web-based solution with SAP interfacing capability, online training, live-chat support, and automatic updates. Company managers then defined requirements for the desired CMMS, starting with the fact it should be a software-as-a-service (SaaS) maintenance solution that offered access to real-time information, customizable asset hierarchies, and the ability to track equipment-performance trends and costs to maintain the assets.

The list of requirements also specified functionality in managing work orders and work requests, preventive maintenance, purchasing and inventory control, planning and scheduling, asset history, cost tracking, condition monitoring, document storage, and reporting. They determined that the solution offered by eMaint (eMaint.com, Marlton, NJ) was a good fit.

Multi-site implementations of anything can be challenging. In the case of its CMMS efforts, this manufacturer achieved notable success based on a methodical approach. It established goals and vision for the solution, built an asset hierarchy for greater control of equipment, and standardized processes across the entire corporation.

Steps to success

1. Establish goals and vision. The team began by mapping operations with the greatest needs, and prioritized implementation to locations with failing systems. The North American manager of Excellence in Maintenance stated that the key to quick implementation was understanding what a CMMS can do, establishing goals, and securing positive buy-in from management.

A formal project plan with milestones and goals was established. Formalizing the plan saved time and reduced costs along the way. By setting clear objectives to take advantage of the full potential of a CMMS, the company:

incorporated a defining phase to develop all pertinent data standards, ensuring consistent data collection

leveraged the knowledge of an experienced CMMS implementer for guidance

built a defined initial-implementation timeline to track progress and next steps.

Developing goals and a vision for how maintenance teams will function alongside a fully implemented CMMS is crucial. It is also important to document and communicate goals for the role of maintenance personnel in facilitating organizational success, the company’s approach to maintenance, and how a CMMS will support business processes. As it turned out, upfront planning enabled the company to be up and running in 30 days.

Asset hierarchies allow organizations to easily identify key assets on which to focus reliability and maintenance efforts.

Asset hierarchies allow organizations to easily identify key assets on which to focus reliability and maintenance efforts.

2. Build an asset hierarchy. Nine plants across the company’s North American operations were targeted to use the CMMS. About 10,000 assets were structured within an asset hierarchy, ranked according to their criticality, from the highest level to subordinate parts. Establishing asset hierarchies (as illustrated in Step 2 chart) allows organizations to easily identify key assets on which to focus maintenance and reliability efforts versus all tangible pieces, parts, equipment, and rooms.

3. Standardize across all locations. After using a financial model to establish their hierarchical structure, the company set up a template to standardize across all locations to effectively look at performance and analyze key metrics, including uptime and downtime. Completion rates for preventive maintenance are a leading metric the company can use because of the potential impact on operations. If a piece of critical equipment fails, it can shut down the entire plant, and have a negative impact on promises of quality and on-time delivery.

Analysis of metrics recorded and tracked through reports and dashboards within a CMMS opens ever-wider windows to critical business insights.

Analysis of metrics recorded and tracked through reports and dashboards within a CMMS opens ever-wider windows to critical business insights.

Results

Prior to leveraging a standardized CMMS across its operations, many of the manufacturer’s maintenance decisions were based on tribal knowledge. Today, metrics are recorded and tracked daily on reports and dashboards within the CMMS. These tools allow users to convert CMMS data into business insights by analyzing historical costs and trends.

The manufacturer’s team developed a metrics center tab on the CMMS dashboard to provide live data on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as preventive-maintenance (PM) completion rates per production-line asset. The company’s engineers use these dashboards as a home base to see everything they need, including, among other things, 24/7 activity, downtime, and open work orders.

At the beginning of each month, the CMMS system is used to report on maintenance operational metrics, including PM completion rates and technical downtime performance at each plant. These reports show how each plant stacks up against the rest, based on critical performance benchmarks; motivate employees to focus on key metrics; and increase efficiency across the board. With this level of access and organization, the company sustains a 95% preventive-maintenance completion rate.

The manufacturer also uses CMMS to support capital planning. For example, if the company is “hurting” in a certain area on a piece of equipment that’s increasingly costly to maintain, it uses data to compare repair and replacement costs. The CMMS also supports short- and long-term investment decisions.

Before its global CMMS implementation, stakeholders couldn’t track key metrics or gain insight into equipment status. As a result of the enterprise-wide CMMS implementation, the company now tracks and analyzes key metrics, standardizes performance and, ultimately, supports its emphasis on global excellence in maintenance. MT

For more information, visit eMaint, a Fluke company, Marlton, NJ, eMaint.com.

156

6:35 pm
June 16, 2017
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SAP Tips and Tricks: Improve Efficiency with Equipment Bill of Materials

randmBy Kristina Gordon, DuPont

A bill of materials (BOM) is a list of items used to perform maintenance activities. There are different types of BOMs, as they are often called but, in maintenance functions, we generally use equipment BOMs. This material list is created in a hierarchal manner and associated with one specific piece of equipment. BOMs can also be created for functional locations, making it efficient to select materials.

The second type of BOM is associated with a material type called an IBAU. This is a maintenance assembly list created by using individual parts tied to a higher-level material instead of an equipment master or functional location.

Creating a good BOM can be a critical factor in completing work for a piece of equipment. It will, at a glance, make it possible to identify the materials needed to service that piece of equipment.

In the following example, you will learn how to create a bill of material and how to display it in your work order.

Transaction IB01

Enter the equipment master number for the bill of materials you wish to create, plant code, and BOM usage 4 (plant-maintenance usage), and the date you wish to make your BOM valid from.

Click the enter button.

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Add the following information

• ICT: This indicates the status of the material, i.e., stock (L), non-stock (N) or text (T).
• Component: This is your material master number.
• Quantity: Number of components needed to service the equipment
• UN: Unit of measure for how you receive the material

Once finished, click the save button.

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You will have the ability to see the new materials on the BOM you created under the functional location in which the equipment is installed (transaction IH01).

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When creating a maintenance work order for the equipment, pull up the materials on the BOM by using the list button on the components tab of the work order.

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This automatically lists the materials on the BOM. Select the check box for the materials that you wish to carry into your work order. Click the green check mark.

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Your materials populate in your work order.

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Note that a ritual should be built around updating your BOMs on a frequency. This allows new materials, or materials with different specifications, which will also have a new material master number, to be added and any materials no longer applicable to be deleted. This can be completed in transaction IB02, change bill of materials. 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.

184

7:43 pm
May 15, 2017
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SAP Tips and Tricks: Manage Assets with Refurbishment Order

By Kristina Gordon, DuPont

randmWhen assets need to be refurbished or fabricated, SAP offers an order type called a Refurbishment Order. The purpose of this order is to assist sending the item to a repair shop, either on or off site; having that asset repaired or fabricated; and then receiving it back into inventory at a different valuation or cost. The new store-room inventory value will be based on the cost charged to the refurbishment work order.

Name a work order type by whatever nomenclature your company uses. In this example, we will call the refurbishment work order type WO10. When creating and executing a refurbishment work order, follow these steps from creation to closure. Note that some of the transaction codes used here are finance- and costing-based. Such steps may be designated only by your finance department.

1. Set up transaction IW81 (standard SAP transaction code for refurbishment):

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2. Fill in the needed information (note that the screen layout looks very different from a work order created in IW31):

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3. Create the operation steps for internal labor and a line with your PO information for outside services:

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4. Add the asset/material to the work-order components, then release and save the order:

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5. Once work is completed and the asset/material is ready to be returned into inventory, confirm the internal labor hours to the work order that was added in step 3, using transaction IW41.

6. Add actual overhead to the work order using transaction KG12:

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7. After time confirmations are completed and material movements have been made, TECO the work order.

8. Using Transaction IW8W, return the material back to inventory.

9. It is now time to financially settle the work order. This will also change the value of the material in inventory (Note that this screen looks very similar to the overhead calculation screen in KG12):

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Creating and executing a refurbishment order is more labor-intensive than normal work-order types. However, refurbishment orders will keep your inventory value correct and maintain complete tracking and history of the work performed on the asset. MT

Kristina Gordon is SAP PM Leader, DuPont Protective Solutions Business, and SAP WMP Champion, Spruance Site, Richmond, VA. If you have SAP questions, send them to editors@maintenancetechnology.com and we’ll forward them to Kristina.

632

2:22 pm
May 15, 2017
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Facilities vs. Factory Maintenance: Is There a Difference?

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The common denominators boil down to assurance of reliable equipment assets and successful delivery of product.

By Jeffrey S. Nevenhoven, Life Cycle Engineering (LCE)

Among reliability and maintenance (R&M) professionals, there are many opinions about the universal or, more precisely, not-so-universal nature of maintenance practices. We’ve all heard statements along the lines of “this organization is different,” “we’re not like them,” or “those best practices won’t work or fit here.” One perception shared by many working in the R&M trenches is that maintenance in a batch-processing manufacturing environment is considerably different from maintenance in a continuous-flow operation. Another common perception is that maintenance principles and practices within the world of non-manufacturing facilities differ greatly from those in a manufacturing organization. But do they really?

At first glance, those strongly held beliefs might seem justifiable. Below the surface, however, the inner workings of any organization are quite similar when it comes to R&M requirements. Why, then, do so many people contend that reliability and maintenance are handled differently within distinct organization types? A number of factors drive those beliefs, including operating environment, regulatory requirements, organizational structure, leadership style, business priorities, expectations, and past practice. On top of that, many influences figure into the perception that something will or will not work within a specific organization.

In reality, physical assets are void of emotion and thought. Regardless of location or organization type, such assets need to be operated and maintained appropriately and, in turn, be available to deliver reliable service, as required. Without reliability, business risks increase, asset-performance levels decrease, and costs escalate.

So different, but so similar

Assets, systems, procedures, departments, and workers exist to produce a product or service, regardless of organization type. In the healthcare sector, the product is patient experience. Within amusement, entertainment, and sports markets, it is fan/customer experience. Within the travel industry, it’s passenger experience. Within the education system, the deliverable is student experience. And, within manufacturing, the product is ultimately consumer experience.

Consider, for example, two starkly different environments: a healthcare operation and a refinery. On the exterior, a healthcare organization, such as a hospital, looks very different from an oil-and-gas refinery. Hospitals consist, primarily, of aesthetically appealing buildings and grounds while oil refineries consist of tanks, piping, and other industrial-looking structures. As we enter these operations, noticeable differences still exist.

Inside the hospital, we observe doctors, nurses, patients, and other healthcare professionals at work. At the refinery, we see operators, crafts, engineers, and other industry specialists performing their duties. One facility encompasses exam, emergency, and operating rooms, labs, registration desks, and waiting areas, while the other encompasses control rooms, repair facilities, material storage areas, and production equipment and environments.

Once we look beyond the exterior differences, though, similarities become more noticeable. Despite one organization focusing on patient health and the other on refining crude oil, both share a long list of common business practices, have comparable organizational structures, and utilize physical assets. Both are delivering a product, and both require reliable, well-maintained equipment to do it.

Healthcare operations, such as hospitals, fall under the category of facilities maintenance, or facility management, while refineries in the oil-and-gas industry fall under the factory-maintenance category. Despite the differences in form, fit, and function, these operations are very much alike when it comes to sustaining maintenance requirements. After all, the maintenance processes and practices to ensure that the HVAC system in a hospital is operational and reliable are similar to the efforts required to ensure the reliability and operation of a refinery’s cooling system.

The HVAC system in a hospital’s operating room requires the utmost care and reliability. Temperatures and airflow must be regulated within specific parameters throughout the entire surgical procedure to help prevent infection and promote healing of a patient. If the HVAC system is not working reliably, entire operating suites can be shut down, resulting in canceled surgeries, reallocation of patients to other hospitals, and even possible litigation and damage to reputation.

The process of refining crude oil into consumer fuels and other products entails several chemical-process steps that generate enormous amounts of heat and pressure. The cooling-water system, which is associated with a cooling tower, helps control these extreme temperatures and pressures by transferring heat from hot process fluids to the cooling system. Much like the HVAC system, the cooling tower is a critical asset that requires reliable operation. Unless it performs reliably, product delivery, product quality, energy consumption, the environment, and employee safety can be severely compromised.

Have the parallels between these different types of organizations become clearer?

Maintenance 101

A hospital HVAC system and a refinery cooling tower incorporate mechanical, electronic-control, transmission, and power systems, all of which need to be maintained properly. To achieve this, facility-maintenance departments and their factory-maintenance counterparts need to ensure that the following foundational methods are established and functioning well. Think of these methods as “focusing on the fundamentals” or “the blocking and tackling” of maintenance:

Asset-care program. Most assets within any organization require some level of preventive care. This includes routine cleaning, lubrication, inspection, and adjustment to maintain reliable operation which invariably includes time-based and condition-based maintenance. This should all be documented and monitored through the maintenance strategy program.

Work-management system. The work-management system encompasses the framework, infrastructure, processes, and resources needed to manage asset-care activities, reactive or proactive. It provides the means to identify, prioritize, perform, document, and report work.

Planning and scheduling function. The planning and scheduling function defines the what, how, who, and when for proactive-maintenance work activities. The collective effort of planning and scheduling aims to minimize asset downtime, improve workforce efficiency and, reduce maintenance-induced failures.

Stores (MRO) inventory-management function. To effectively fulfill its mission, the maintenance function requires reliable and prompt material support. A proficiently managed MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) inventory storeroom contributes to improved equipment reliability, workforce efficiency, and cost control.

Reliability engineering. The reliability engineering function is responsible for driving out sources of repetitive failure. Its mission is to provide leadership and technical expertise required to achieve and sustain optimum reliability, maintainability, useful life, and life-cycle cost for an organization’s assets.

Computerized maintenance-management system (CMMS). Proactive-maintenance organizations use data to effectively handle work activities, report performance, track costs, and enable continuous improvement efforts. The CMMS automates these processes, captures data, and provides information required to enable resource productivity and asset reliability.

Universal application

Regardless of where an asset resides, reliability depends on core reliability and maintenance fundamentals that span all industries and organizational types. Whatever the assets may be, i.e., motors, pumps, compressors, robots, conveyors, boilers, elevators, escalators, pelletizers, utilities, mobile equipment, fire-suppression systems, rotary-tablet presses, chillers, rolling mills, roadways, buildings, you name it, all require specific amounts of downtime for proactive preventive- and predictive-maintenance activities, including, but not limited to, replacement of wear parts, rebuilds, upgrades, and other improvements. Levels of maintenance may vary by organization type, but the fundamental requirement for it is universal. MT

A senior consultant with Life Cycle Engineering, Charleston, SC, Jeff Nevenhoven helps clients align organizational systems, structures, and leadership styles with business goals. Contact him at jnevenhoven@LCE.com.


learnmore2“Alignment Connects Individuals to Organization Objectives”

“Managing Your Value Stream”

“Get to the Root of the Cause”

“Profiles Reveal Reliability Trends”

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3:09 pm
March 13, 2017
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SAP Tips and Tricks: Maintenance Plans — What do all the fields mean?

By Kristina Gordon, DuPont

SAP Maintenance Plans determine how and when a work order or notification will be generated. (Object or notifications will be referred to as objects in this article.) The scheduling parameter settings within the maintenance plan you create dictate these rules. In response to several questions I’ve received about what should be entered and what the value represents, the following screen shot and definitions describe, in detail, the scheduling parameter settings that should be used in a typical maintenance plan. MT

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SF (shift factor) later confirmation:

Based on the percentage entered, this will dictate the next plan date, or due date, of the maintenance plan if an object confirmation has been completed after the original due date.

Example: If the due date for a plan, generated on an object, is Jan. 1, and the maintenance plan is on a 30-day scheduling frequency, however the work and confirmation of that work is not completed until Jan. 15, a 100% late SF will generate the next object on Feb. 15, 30 days after the confirmation. If the SF later confirmation is set at 0%, then the next work order will generate on the scheduling frequency of 30 days without a shift factor calculated in, meaning the work order will generate on Feb. 1.

SF earlier confirmation:

The same rules apply as above, only this formula will calculate based on early confirmation of a work order. If set at 100% and the work is performed 15 days early, the next object will be generated 15 days earlier than the original plan date. If set at 0%, the original plan date will stay the same.

randmTolerance (+):

This determines the difference between the actual completion date and the planned date.

Example: If you set a 20% tolerance on a plan that has a scheduling frequency of 30 days, the calculation the system will use is 30 days x 20% = 6 days. That means you have a 6-day “float” period that is accepted by the system and will not affect scheduling. If you complete the job and confirm the work 6 days early, the plan will not change, i.e., the dates are in the acceptable range.

Tolerance (-):

As in the above example, the parentage calculation applies and will allow a 6-day float after the plan date.

Cycle modification factor:

This calculation is used when implementing maintenance strategies. If you have a cycle duration of 60 days, but want a plan to generate in 90 days, set the cycle modification to 1.5. This will allow the plan to generate an object in 90 days while the other plans on the same strategy will generate in 60 days. The calculation used for this example is 60 days x 1.5 = 90 days.

Factory calendar:

The factory calendar dictates when the system will process scheduling. Factory calendars can be set in the header data of the maintenance plan or at the planning plant item level.

Example: If the factory calendar is set at a 5-day workweek calendar with holidays, object will not accept confirmations on non-working days (this would include weekends and holidays). You will receive a system error message “not a working day.” To avoid this, a factory calendar should be created for maintenance that allows a 7-day, 24-hour working schedule.

Call horizon:

The calculation used in this field will determine how far in advance an object is generated before the plan due date.

Example: On a 30-day plan, if the call horizon is set at 25%, the work order will generate 21 days before the plan due date of the object. It is very important to set your call horizon so that an object is generated so that the job can be planned well in advance of the plan due date.

Scheduling period:

The scheduling period indicates, in days, months, or years, how far in advance you want to see your maintenance calls.

Example: If you set the scheduling period for 365 days, the system will show the calls for that plan for one year in advance. This will help with long-term planning.

Requires confirm:

When you check this powerful box, the system determines when the next object will be generated from the plan. It will only generate when the previous call object has been completed. If you do not check this box, the system will not take into consideration whether the previous object was completed and will generate the next work order on the call date assigned.

Scheduling indicator:

This indicates when to schedule your plan. It will use time, which works in conjunction with the tolerance percentages. Time key date, which will always use the actual date, and factory calendar take into consideration the working days set in the calendar entered.

Kristina Gordon is SAP PM Leader, DuPont Protective Solutions Business, and SAP WMP Champion, Spruance Site, Richmond, VA. If you have SAP questions, send them to editors@maintenancetechnology.com and we’ll forward them to Kristina.

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