View Full Version : Maintenance Personal Required
June 2nd, 2002, 04:45 PM
Ok I've been given the task to create inventory control, pm, and all the other fun stuff that goes with running a maintenance team. Just so you know I am an electrician with more than average skills and exposure to the automated world of plcs; not to sound ego bearing on any of you. I was wondering about CMMS (computer maintenance management software). This is what I wanna do: Place hour counter logic on most of our machines as part of our PM schedule which will generate work orders, warings etc. I understand that I'll have to interface the logic to a DDE or like server to extract the processor info and then generate notification via VB app or what ever. This plant I just started working for has no inventory control or work scheduling in place so I get to mold this from scratch. What I really need to know is what the best CMMS system available is and also would like to know from experienced MP2 users what they think. I know this topic is redundant but I was unable to delde/ edit my previous post.
Any help or comments welcomed,
June 2nd, 2002, 05:58 PM
We have been using MP2 here for about 4 years. It has been working quite well, but our worst problem is getting complete data. If no one checks out items on the computer, it does not know to tell you to reorder. We finally gave up and now we outsource our parts inventory.
June 3rd, 2002, 05:42 PM
Good luck, I havent seen a system that really does it all, or at least without dropping the life expectancy of most of your maint. dept. I have found that good organization, scheduling & Excel are all you need, but it takes a real commitment by those involved to make it work. I know this hasnt answered your question, but this is the voice of experience talking. If you do solicit some system from a vendor, avoid Prime Systems like the plague.
June 3rd, 2002, 05:56 PM
I've had several customers who've standardized on Maximo.
From what little I know, almost any CMMS package will set you back $125K to $250K. (And you thought RSLogix was expensive!).
But I've never been convinced that CMMS is worth it. To make it work, you have to constantly tell it who's available, what machines have been serviced (both PM and emergency repair), etc.
You spend so much time feeding the package the data, that you wind up serving it, instead of it serving you.
And although there are lots of claims that it can interface with the factory floor equipment (my previous employer went broke persuing that line of work), the fact is, that while it is technically feasible, the reality is that the ROI just isn't there.
Even if it were easy to interface a PLC with a CMMS package (through OPC, say), you would still have to configure the CMMS to know what each alarm meant, what address it is at. Perhaps reprogram the PLC to filter out nussance alarms, buffer downtime data so that it isn't lost if the OPC link breaks).
Lot's of programming. But if you don't, then all that data needs to be entered manually to get the kind of results you want ("What's my problem line?" "What alarm do I get most often?" "How much is it costing me in downtime?").
And even then, someone still has to make the judgement calls. If line A requires PM, but line B is down, and Johny is out on vacation so you're shorthanded anyway, what are you going to do?
Yes, you get pretty Work Orders, but is it worth it?
I saw one Maintenence Manager with several of those Dry-Erase calendars on the wall, and lots of Post-its. Claimed the system worked great. Could see things coming up at a glance. Flexible. User-firendly. And cheap.
June 3rd, 2002, 06:55 PM
I have implemented 2 systems using 2 different programs, one was Chief the other Maintainit by DataStream (affiliate of W.W.Grainger).
The first only monitored scheduled PM and created work orders, it did create orders for used parts stated on the work orders but wasnt tied to an inventory control system.
Maintainit was a decent system but it has one major loophole, everyone has to use it...the way it was setup/designed. Someone has to inventory parts and equipment and enter that data. When parts are removed from stock they MUST be entered again to be taken off the list. Someone or some way has to be given the system to know when machines are due for PM...ie hr meters etc.
The company (I use to work for) had me setup a system and I chose MaintainIt, they paid approx $3000 US for the program and another 25k for them to come in and setup the system...inventory parts, database parts and equipment etc al. Since it was my deal I spent twice the hrs and days as they did working on it.
Once it was all installed and running...I ran into the major problems. They (management) didnt want to follow the schedule(s) they set in the system. Noone would enter (or write down) parts that were used...so inventory was never right. I was basically a maintenance man at this place but spent as many hrs dealing with the program as I did working on the machine. Needless to say I found myself doing managerial/purchasing duties along with normal duties, with no chance of ever being able to advance.
I wont say that a system WILL NOT work but if you arent an engineer or maintenance manager or more then the odds of the system being used effectively/properly is minimal.
I would say Dave is on the right track...but again that depends on who is in charge and how much effort they wish to put into it also.
June 27th, 2003, 10:41 AM
I've worked on MAXIMO for about four years and I believe it is an excellent program. We developed it to the point we occassionally use it as a troubleshooting tool also. You need one computer savvy guy with maintenance or planner/scheduler experience to be administrator for this program. You can generate work orders, purchase orders, labor hours, links, etc. MAXIMO uses the SAP PayKey system as reference to where money or labor or equipment will be charged to. It can also automatically generate your weekly, monthly, quarterly, semis, annual PM's and it is also your inventory program. It all depends on how you set it up
June 27th, 2003, 11:21 AM
My company uses MP2, or maybe I should say my company wants us to use MP2. Most of our techs don't use it except to occasionally close the open work orders so their boss will stop bugging them about it. My advice would be to setup the easiest and cheapest process even if its only a tablet on your desk. Bottom line is: if the techs can't or won't document things now, they won't do it with expensive software either.
June 27th, 2003, 12:47 PM
I am a tech and I like Maximo because it cuts down on paperwork and I don't have to constantly monitor which job comes first or what ordered item has been received. If you tell them that it cuts down on parts/vendor research or helps in troubleshooting, they might like it. If a part has ever been ordered or a vendor has ever been used, Maximo saves you time. Also, it all depends on how you do your access levels, but if you empower everyone to make entries like work orders or purchase orders, you have better response. It is subject to abuse if you empower everyone, it only takes one bad apple. In our facility we empower everyone but jobs or purchases still have to be approved by a bossman. All it takes is a one minute phone call to the boss to approve it, or if you're not in a rush, the WO or PO will be put on a bosses que list awaiting approval. The great thing about electronic approval is that the boss can be anywhere in the world, as long as he has the proper internet/intranet access, he can electronically approve it.
June 27th, 2003, 01:00 PM
I have several years, not really recent mind you, with MP2 by Datastream. I found it OK, but only OK, not wonderful. I thought it was far too generic, as its designed for use anywhere, and is widely used by trucking compnaies. I had used an Industry specific MM program prior to that, and got accustomed to it, however it became obsolete, and far too expensive to replace.
However, I did find MP2 had a lot of capabilities, but it was slow, and IMHO, not user friendly.
Our entire corporation, over 60 plants, implemented the program, with a central database at our headquarters in the US. I got to talk to most of the other chief engineers within Canada, and everybody hated MP2. The only people using it were the ones being forced to by their GM's. But then again, nobody ever likes change.
June 27th, 2003, 01:34 PM
High management commitment... This is what you need.
Of course they think that you guys screw up. "They say... Lets automate it, they will have to follow the rules by then..."
The bottom line is and will allways be money. Wether you have an automated system or a WAG... Do they want to really invest in preventive maintenance? No shure.
You want to know if they are serious... Play this game.
First, preventive maintenance is basically composed of 3 modes.
The first mode is "Operator Maintenance". It consist of CLEANNING there machines and work places, READING dials and gages and TIGHTENING loose screws and cover.
The second mode consist of regular PM. Done by the service dept. it includes all adjustment, lube, replacement of wearable parts where a complete dismanteling of the machine is not needed.
The last mode is major overall of a machine where you have to take apart some machine or some part of it. It has to be plane way in advance.
Maximo or the other program could help you in all 3 modes BUT... just try to have management implement the first mode and see if they are serious...
Remember that since the PM was not regularely schedule and done in the past... the day that you start inspection and PM... the cost will go way up by the time you reach a point where you are close to be up to date... this cost will drive any management to the local bar... and you will have fail... Who else could they blame... :)
June 27th, 2003, 07:48 PM
Pierre is right, management will go for the cheapest. Maximo is all-inclusive (I'm beginning to sound like a salesman), it will tell you if a WO is regular PM, corrective, regulatory, etc; and what technical disciplines are involved and how many manhours. Initial implementation of Maximo is expensive, but once you get the initial training, your techs can take it from there. The price a small company has to pay is not as high as the price a big company like mine pays because I think what drives the price up (I'm not in Finance Dept) is the number of users. I'm just guessing, but I think what drove the company to buy this program is because all our regulatory checks (e.g., EPA, OSHA, MMS, ABS, USCG, etc) can be initiated and documented thru MAXIMO. For supervisors and peons alike in my facility, it cuts down on having to respond to demands from Houston HQ telling us to gather this and that technical information or documents or whatever. How many times did you get a message from fayaway HQ saying that an engineer or management type telling you to drop what you're doing and gather all these stuff for him for an analysis or study. The next you know, the big guy's name shows up on the company newsletter congratulating him for the hard work he did on his research. If someone from Timbuktu wants some info, all you have to tell him is to open up MAXIMO because all the records are in there. And here's the nice thing, if he or she insists that you do his job, you generate a WO to document your labor hours specific to that. There is a box in the document called "long description", in it you can write anything on what transpired to cover your a**. No matter what our rank is, we all have bosses, so if everyone sees your WO, it will put a stop to unfair demands. In my work place, the first question we think is "can I do the job myself", then "if I'm not qualified or my workload is too much, should I give this job to someone else?" Every person's scheduled labor hour can be tracked, great for people assigned as Planner/Schedulers. You will get initial resistance from people until they learn the system
June 28th, 2003, 05:35 AM
Absolutely NO to MP2 unless you want the program to be your life. Never again!
Lots of good advice above. Only you know if you have the staff and motivation of all concerned to support an "automated" pm system.
I'm responsible for the operation and maintenance of an oil refinery. My yellow pad, marker board, post-it notes, and log book instructions to the operators wins over any "software". Maintenance issues that are nuisance or expensive are entered into Excel.
June 28th, 2003, 09:48 AM
MSDOOLEY is right, some automated PM programs are not user friendly. I also work in the petroleum industry, and we were not too enthusiastic on MAXIMO the first time we saw it. This program will tell us when to do a job and a Planner/Scheduler (Superuser access level) can also determine if there are too many jobs for a particular day, especially if an unscheduled corrective action needs to done right away. Like any new program, it has its own quirks but once you get familiar with it, it is great. You needed a computer savvy administrator who knows SQL on the old version we have, but the newest version (version 5) is windows based (using icons). It makes the administrator's job a little easier. End-users like me (maintenance techs) don't need any programming background. The more you play with it, the more you learn. It also has a DEMO section where you can make any entries into the database without actually changing the data. This is where most people start, maybe one hour a day for one week. Almost all users start making actual entries on an existing job by completing an open Work Order (labor hours and materials) and usually gain enough confidence to generate their own WO's and PO's later. You should get a saleman from MRO to give your company a MAXIMO presentation, I'm sure it doesn't cost anything. MAXIMO is an excellent program but you have to make sure that whatever the salesman tells you how it will work, he will put IN WRITING that he will fix any bugs for free. They will paint you a rosy picture of their product or tell you what you want to hear. Any new program will have bugs in it. MRO is expensive but there are service companies with MAXIMO experienced people who can babysit you guys for several months until you all feel comfortable enough to maintain the program yourselves. We have a fairly-new consolidated warehousing facility in Louisiana and we're paying a guy to babysit our new workers there on MAXIMO for inventory purposes (a few months). They cost a lot less than MRO. BTW, MRO is owned by Rockwell Software, should give you an inkling how expensive they are.
June 28th, 2003, 06:24 PM
The place I'm working for is trying to implement Maximo, and it seems to work pretty good, just wanted to add one more thing...
One employer I worked for had a slightly different setup for parts, maximo seems to work pretty good for pm/maintenance scheduling, but the best parts inventory setup I've seen yet used a bar coder scanner. You would walk into the crib, grab the part(s) you needed, scan the barcode on the shelf, and it would ask how many used. You just typed in the number on the back of the 'wand', put into it's holder when you walked out, and it automatically uploaded to a computer. Of course, still had a few times where parts were depleted, but since they had a full time tool crib person on dayshift, every week they would walk the aisles, peek into the bins, and if any were empty, they adjusted as needed. Seemed to work pretty good, simple, minimal time and pretty much foolproof, just had to teach us mechs how to pick up a bar code scanner on entry to the crib... lol. Just wish I could remember the name of the system, been about 10 years since I used it...
As the others had posted, this is very expensive to implement, and it's not foolproof for scheduling. It's the old adage, production vs. maintenance, but as one user had posted, get a concrete commitment from management, and you can schedule the downtime needed. You can write a pm schedule, crack the manuals, and almost all will have a pm schedule, what lubrication, pretty pictures, the whole nine yards. Save ya some bucks that way. Start out with the normal schedule, and as time moves on, implement the counters, it's the best way to go... the machines don't run 24/7 (most cases), so you won't overwork your staff on a 'timeline'. Plus, I've found that when it comes out, without a schedule memorized by your mechanics, it works better. Believe me, I dread Sunday nights, because I know I'll have a power greaser attached to my hip...
June 28th, 2003, 06:38 PM
Reguardless of how good (or bad) the tracking system it all depends on the maint techs to write (or scan) thier parts that they use.
June 28th, 2003, 08:27 PM
That's right, your maintenance program is only as good as how well the techs take care of it. In my jobsite, we are motivated to document all our work because many of our PM's are regulatory (the feds can shut down our oil production facility anytime there is a serious discrepancy) and MAXIMO is our documentation that we did our inspections. From my point of view, life is easier for me, I do the job then complete it. No one is breathing down my neck because all they have to do is check MAXIMO which jobs I initiated for the day. Also, no one has asked me for a long time to research something on equipment I am responsible for because all they have to do, no matter if they are 1000 miles away, is log into the system and find the info themselves. By the way, if I sound too biased, it is because MAXIMO is the only civilian PM I worked on since retiring from the military. In the military, we just started using a new program similar to MAXIMO called MICRO-OMMS.
June 28th, 2003, 08:31 PM
bob1371 is right about parts usage. It only takes one guy to mess up the inventory. Fortunately in my jobsite, all techs are expected to reorder the part they used or risk being chewed out by the boss. The boss can tell on MAXIMO if an expended part has been reordered
June 28th, 2003, 08:47 PM
My facility has an extensive (and expensive) parts inventory but personnel number no more than 30, so we did not implement the bar code system (too much expense). I am a maintenance tech but when my boss is gone I have to fill in for him, meaning monitoring everyone's job using MAXIMO. From both perspectives, I can safely say any automated PM system is a value-added asset but it all depends on the set-up, just like what you said. Once you learn enough of MAXIMO, you can tweak it to serve your facility's needs. We got our system to the point where any of our techs can call one of those tech specialist contractors and fax them a P.O. (for the service call)with the appropriate SAP paykey in a few minutes. We even have training schedules included to track scheduling conflicts, labor hours, and costs.
June 30th, 2003, 11:05 AM
Our facility had purchased a couple of expensive cmms programs ... they did not work. Regardless of which packaged approach there was always an element of inflexibility and unreality.
Other bright people here started a small home grown solution with excell and vb. It has grown up to a full blown ms access based system that we have complete control over. One of the techs maintains and adds features to the system as a side project.
This approach has worked very well, but you do need one or two people willing and able to code in visual basic.
June 30th, 2003, 01:12 PM
I envy you, some of the best ones out there are the homegrown variety, just needs a dedicated person. Unfortunately, my facility needs Maximo to meet ISO 9001 & ISO 41001
June 30th, 2003, 01:31 PM
June 30th, 2003, 06:13 PM
We just spent 6 months setting up MP2, Our entire company has changed to it(we were one of the last plants to do so). At our plant it is used mainly for inventory of parts and equipment and seems to be fairly frendly. We have found that everyone must do their part to make it work. Originally the "Hard Heads"(old timers like me) would not want to participate(ie.)when you take a part write it down.
When it came to banning all mechanics from the parts room it started to get ugly, But the dire predictions of major downtime by having to wait for the tool crib guy to fetch a part never happened.
Our next step is to implement MP2 for PM, raw product and finished goods.
I like the system but when you have NO system to begin with it is a step in the right direction.
Make a Cherry Pie today so I can keep my job... :cool:
June 30th, 2003, 08:32 PM
MP2 for PM, raw product and finished goods.
I like the system but when you have NO system to begin with it is a step in the right direction.
Amen brother, any program can be good if all participates into it
July 3rd, 2003, 10:22 AM
If y'all need assistance or need to be walked through on Maximo, I'll be happy to assist free of chsrge. I'm just sitting at home on medical leave, not doing anything, send me a private message so I can give you my phone#
August 28th, 2003, 12:22 PM
You might look at http://www.opssys.com/
its formatted for water/wastewater maintenance, but may work for you