It is not necessary to totally restructure maintenance practices. A plant can start small and expand the use of process floor information as needs dictate and budgets allow. The key is to begin building a database from the smart devices now in operation and expand the use of the available information as the number of such devices grows. A scalable and expandable platform can grow into a plantwide system that supports the reliability and maintainability of all field instrumentation.
Materials and Spare Parts Management
Today’s new control systems are delivering higher productivity to meet ever-increasing expectations of equipment performance. These systems typically contain more electronics, much of it adopted from non-industrial applications, and almost all of it more sensitive to electrical disturbances than the equipment being replaced. The following discussion provides information needed to develop a strategy for protecting sensitive mission critical equipment from the effects of a poor industrial power environment.
From the very start, the implementation of a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a long and arduous process. One of the largest concerns is how to effectively get the correct data into the system in the first place, and then, how to get useful information out. The better and more consistently recording of repair activities is done, the greater potential for yielding greater and more specific information about an operation.
Scheduled shutdowns, however, can provide unique opportunities to a maintenance department not normally available during standard operation or even during short shutdown periods. Lost capacity can be restored to an overtaxed facility during an extended shutdown. Major equipment overhauls can be performed to help prevent future unscheduled shutdowns. Government mandated inspections and repairs can be accomplished during a shutdown, bringing a plant into better compliance.
When the time comes to specify replacements for mechanical power transmission couplings, it’s human nature to take the easy path…simply find something similar (if not identical) to the coupling that failed, maybe apply a few oversizing fudge factors just to be conservative. Too often, however, this practice only invites a repeat failure…or more costly system damage.
Digital measurement technology certainly has taken the test industry forward, mostly with giant strides. The exact opposite may be true, however, when it is applied to testing for aging-related failure modes such as intermittency or no fault found (NFF). Digital abstraction devices, perfect for parametric testing, rarely synchronize to real-time, randomly occurring, anomalous, or intermittent age-related failure events. This shortcoming is especially acute when large numbers of circuit nodes require testing.
Much has been written in the past about the implementation of maintenance software (CMMS systems). This article takes a slightly different approach in that it attempts to explain some of the pitfalls associated with first time implementation in SME’s. It suggests a “try before you buy” approach, which stages the maintenance software implementation to reduce both risk and cost. Tales of failed implementations abound and failure rates of 40% to 80% are commonly quoted. Real statistics are hard to come by but the following data is both relevant and current.
For most companies, gone are the days when users were forced to conform to a rigid framework dictated by the CMMS vendor and strictly controlled by the Information Systems department. Users today enjoy freedom to customise the content, look and feel of their CMMS environment on a variety of devices, from handhelds to desktops. With modern computers and software, users are overwhelmed with choices.
To manufacture products on such a large scale means stocking a lot of equipment to maintain the operation. Fort Saskatchewan plant in Alberta, Canada, Roy Lura, process leader, estimated an inventory of more than 15,000 pieces of equipment. Until recently, however, there was no way to adequately track the items. With the help of a barcode-driven tracking system, this has changed.