Tag Archives: maintenance system

The Hardhead of a Maintenance Man, by Guest Blogger Joel Levitt

eMaint invites guest speakers to present at our popular Best Practices webinars, so why not have them give their two cents on our blog as well. It is our hope to feature a guest blogger, whether it’s an industry professional or an eMaint employee, each month.

Feel free to suggest topics you’d like to have discussed or let us know how useful these blog posts are.

The Hardhead of a Maintenance Man

This may be challenging to you. But why on earth are maintenance folks so hardheaded?

Actually it turns out to be a smart trait. Maintenance folks are hardheaded because they are (sometimes) speaking into intentional (and potentially contagious) ignorance! When you have to do that day in and day out you get hardheaded. Just to do your job (preservation of asset capacity) you have to be hard headed.

What are the symptoms of working in a company suffering from intentional (and potentially contagious) ignorance? Some of the main symptoms concern consequences. What to look for is a wholesale lack of appreciation of consequences.

•When we run equipment beyond its limits there will be consequences.
•When we allow operators run machines without adequate training there will be consequences.
•When we refuse to shut down for a well-designed PM there will be consequences.
•When are stockroom is depleted of expensive critical spares because they have not been used there will be consequences.
•When we do a temporary repair and never get back to fix it right, there will be consequences
There is a dark side to hardheadedness- inability to admit a mistake. Hardheadedness works so often it is very hard to admit when the reality goes against us. It gives us a reputation of being hard to work with and allows us to get away with not listening.

The truth is that sometimes the business necessity trumps good maintenance practice. Boy is it tough to tell when it does. In fact the only way to tell is by listening to our comrades in arms (operations). But that is a whole different story.

To complete this story be aware that hardheadedness is a valuable trait. It is most powerful when it is tempered by the ability to really listen to people and always consider that we might really be wrong! Oh yes and get over ourselves!

About the Author: Joel Levitt President of Springfield Resources

Joel Levitt is a leading maintenance educator and has trained more than 15,000 maintenance leaders from 3,000 organizations in 20 countries. Since 1980 he has been president of Springfield Resources, a management/consulting firm that has developed solutions for clients with a wide range of maintenance issues. Joel is a frequent speaker at maintenance and engineering conferences, has written 10 popular books, and has published over 6 dozen articles on the subject.

Can Maintenance People be "Happy"?

I’ve been working in the maintenance industry for the past 22 years.  My first foray into this mechanized world of grease, wrenches, and safety shutoffs happened immediately after graduating as a mechanical engineer in the late 1980’s.

Since then I have migrated into the world of maintenance management consulting.  This journey succeeded due to my learning maintenance software early on (DOS, remember that?), applying its power to my real world surroundings, and showing results to upper management with pretty pie charts and numbers that made them smile.

So when the creators of this CMMS blog asked me for advice on how it should look, I advised them to somehow show people that maintenance professionals can also smile, and be  happy, just like those upper management people who are easily dazzled by pie charts and excellent numbers.

So they took my advice and made the first blog branding logo a “dancing maintenance guy”.

You can watch this happy dude dancing all day long at the top right corner of this blog.  Sure, it can be puzzling to see him rockin’ that tool belt.  Does such a creature actually exist?  Is there anything besides the lunch buzzer or breaking away from work that really makes a maintenance technician happy?  And what about their supervisors and managers?  Ever see them smile (let alone dance)?

By our nature, maintenance people are motivated by a challenge to solve technical, mechanical, electrical issues.  Fix things.  And fix them well.

Motivation, of course, is to feel that rush of accomplishment (which can lead to a smile, and when it happens repeatedly, will certainly lead to a quick jig).

Here is how it can work:

The maintenance team will many times need to troubleshoot an issue to find the root cause.  Other times, the cause is pretty obvious.  In either case, the maintenance team will only need a few simple things to achieve  that goal to “fix it well”.

  • We need spare parts.
  • We need authority to make decisions that help speed the process.
  • We need efficient access to information to help define the problem clearly (equipment specifications, repair history, backup plans, safety plans, troubleshooting guides).

So, I hate to state the obvious, but knowing that all we need are these (and possibly a few other simple items) to help us stay on track and be motivated, wouldn’t you think that the answer is yes, happiness can be achieved, and maintained.  All we need is a simple process that is understood and followed by the whole team.

However, companies tend to under-support their maintenance staff, which is not only a problem with less dancing, but also lower productivity overall.

  1. Start with looking at managing all your maintenance data with a maintenance software system.
  2. Next, go through every single minute of a typical day and determine how you can reach the perfect world of all issues getting fixed, and less issues coming up (preventive maintenance).
  3. Then give the technicians the chance to take ownership of success and failure.

Next time you see a frowning maintenance person, realize that turning that frown upside down, and possibly even seeing them dance, is achievable and probably desirable.  Find out what’s missing.

If you feel that seeing your people dance is unachievable, here is another place to learn about resources available to you: EAM University

Take a Virtual Tour of Plant Efficiency

Companies are realizing that it’s no longer enough just to monitor assets. The time has come to proactively detect problems and drive corrective actions, as well as factor energy into maintenance plans, in order to stay competitive and grow. But how does an enterprise asset management (EAM) solution actually work on the shop floor to help reduce energy consumption and costs and keep your plant operating at its maximum efficiency?  

Take this interactive tour of Tricon Manufacturing, a virtual manufacturing plant, to see how EAM can help you:

  • Manage energy consumption.
  • Operate more efficiently.
  • Predict your assets’ health.

Once you’re in the plant, you’ll see six hotspots representing Infor EAM and Infor ERP solutions’ strengths. Click on +signs to open a pop-up box and access key EAM assets, including customer videos, demos, papers, case studies, and more.

How do you envision asset management working in your plant? Share your thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment to this post.

GPS Asset Tracking Solutions For Enterprise Asset Management

Business owners can now use latest GPS innovations and GPS monitoring systems to help keep track of their enterprise assets. GPS (Global Positioning System) originally developed for military applications became available for civilian navigational use since the year 1995. GPS can track all types of movable assets and equipment that are worth tracking, including vehicles like cars, trucks, jeeps, etc. Valuable equipment can be tracked anywhere in the world to locate presence and track movements.

A geo-stationary satellite can easily track vehicles equipped with GPS receivers. Business owners can use self-hosted GPS asset tracking solutions or third-party hosted GPS asset tracking solutions to keep a tab on their movable assets and machinery. There is no other usage fees involved in using the GPS technology except for the cost of GPS receivers and the cost of software installation or software rental fee.

The Mining industry with mining equipment scattered across hundreds of square miles will especially immensely benefit by the deployment of GPS based asset tracking solutions. The positions of inventory can be easily tracked and monitored for mining operations. Another use for GPS enterprise asset tracking is in the shipping and delivery industry where packages earmarked for delivery need to be tracked while the truck or vehicle that carries them is in movement. Customers would be able to get a better idea of where and when their packages are at any given point in time.

Taxi/limousine services can also be able to deploy the GPS asset tracking feature in order to deter theft and personal use of vehicles by chauffeurs. GPS receivers help business owners save time, money and effort. Regardless of the size and extent of a company or business, GPS solutions can provide peace of mind, safety and security and comfort in knowing that your assets are being tracked and information is available at your finger tips wherever they are at the moment.

GPS tracking software for an enterprise can be purchased like software as a service model (SaaS) by paying periodical fee for hosted software usage to a third party. Or the full solution can be purchased and implemented in-house.

Position Logic is a GPS asset tracking solution provider headquartered in Naples, Florida. Position Logic provides GPS fleet management solutions and GPS vehicle tracking and security tracking, stolen vehicle recovery, automatic vehicle locator, etc..

Author: L. Mohan Arun
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
How Electric Pressure Cookers Work

Maintenance KPI’s – An easy way to define yours

I’ve worked in the plant maintenance industry for years.  How did KPI’s look in those days? Here is an example KPI in 1988: “Keep the machines running”.

Fresh out of engineering school and thrown into the corporate engine, my life was all about keeping the conveyor belts running.  That was the priority (and still is, but said differently) at United Parcel Service so that little Jimmy would get his red wagon in time for Christmas.   Although we had no clue that they had a name (KPIs), here was our mission during the UPS days:

  • Keep the belts running
  • Get your PM’s done
  • Anything stopped for 15 minutes was a breakdown
  • Make sure mechanics knew how to make a repair the UPS way
  • That is..because every action that a mechanic took was measured using a DOS program built by UPS (called PEMMS)

Now UPS was way ahead of their time with work measurement, starting, of course, among the fleet delivery drivers.  They moved that successful approach to every aspect of the business, including maintenance.

Now the world is catching up to such great role models like UPS.  However, the aspect of defining KPI’s has still been somewhat behind the curve.  KPIs can be a mystery unless you happen to be a maintenance professional with enough hours available in the day for reading all the great maintenance measurement books available.  Show me one of those people and I will immediately tell you that that person is a consultant.  (No offense to the great consultants.  I am guilty as charged)

Once again the Internet is bailing us out by saving a ton of time and making KPI definitions easier to grasp and define (without having to read a novel then construct a maintenance business plan, etc).

Here is example KPI where you can see the industry baseline then work your own numbers by taking a survey: Preventative maintenance hours as a percentage of total maintenance hours

Take Small CMMS Bites

As our training staff combs through North America teaching folks how to use MP2 CMMS Software I can’t help but notice a pattern of success we are teaching that I feel will benefit folks using any type of CMMS Software.

The advice I have to share is succinctly stated in the title of this post:  Take Small CMMS Bites.  And that means don’t try to pull off a CMMS project where everything is included at the outset.

In fact, make a small manageable plan, such as scoping out the entry of all PM’s into the CMMS system using your equipment manuals.  Identify the equipment, locate the manuals, identify your resources for data entry, THEN cut all that way down again.  Instead of entering PM’s for ALL your equipment, just choose 5 pieces of equipment for your first go-round.  Take all your air compressors, for example, plus two HVAC units, and enter the PM details as recommended by the manufacturer of each.

The result will be a manageable scope of work whereby you will identify all the hurdles on a smaller scale, find solutions to get past those hurdles, and find your team succeeding at this first…small…bite, before taking the next.

Web Based CMMS Systems: Efficient, Mobile, and Environmentally Friendly

     “My facilities personnel are busy people.  They need to be out in the field getting work done … not sitting in front of a computer.”

    This familiar complaint has been repeated by my many facilities managers for quite sometime.  Their plea for help usually goes unanswered like someone yelling into a canyon and hearing the echo of their own voice.  

    But, thanks to advances in Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) technology, maintenance professionals are able access their work database from anywhere, using their BlackBerry®, cell phone, laptop or other mobile device.

     Web based CMMS systems can be installed on either the client’s internal server or it can be hosted by the CMMS provider.  The second option is known as an ASP (Application Service Provider).  For an ASP system, the customer doesn’t require any servers to run the application or the associated license costs for databases, network and security software.  Also, with an ASP system, no IT staff or resources are required.  The customer is only responsible for their internet connection. All other IT requirements are managed by the CMMS provider that is hosting the system.

     The inherent web programming in web based systems enables remote devices such as laptop computers, BlackBerry®, or cell phones to connect via the internet in real-time to the CMMS central database.  So, maintenance professionals working out in the field can have immediate access to the following features:

  • Receive, review and modifying work orders
  • Record asset data from anywhere around the globe
  • Recall critical asset information in real-time
  • Review, order & monitor inventory and spare parts data
  • Monitor project status and material or labor assignments
  • Update field personnel in real-time
  • Automatically record time and materials utilized
  • Collect data and create reports

     This technology also enhances a company’s ability to manage assets in multiple locations with one fully integrated CMMS solution that ensures maximum efficiency of labor, equipment and asset management.

     Aside from allowing maintenance professionals to work more efficiently in the field, there is also an environmental benefit to using remote CMMS technology as it creates a paperless work environment.  It is no longer necessary to print all assigned work orders.  All daily work requirements can be stored and managed through the user’s mobile device. There is also a significant reduction in travel time between the job site and the central office or remote spare parts location.

     With the advancement of web based CMMS technology, maintenance professionals everywhere are now able to leave the confines of their stationary computer and work in an efficient, mobile and paperless real-time work environment.

Web Work by Tero was one of the first true web based CMMS systems.   The advantage of a web based CMMS system is that it can be accessed anywhere.  No software installation is needed.  All that is required is an internet connection and the user can login to their database from the office, home, or another city.

Web Work by Tero
www.tero.ca
Toll Free:  1-866-818-8376
Main Phone:  604-468-1401
General Email: sales@tero.ca