The maintenance assessment: a stepping stone for improvement (Ⅱ)
3. The supporting tools and resources
Benchmarking with international standards and other companies plays an important role in all Siveco China assessments.
Our growing customers’ database in China and abroad allows us to benchmark your operations to other plants in similar or different industries. We also run multisite assessments with internal benchmarking between your own sites.
A strong basis for our maintenance benchmarking in China has been the annual “Maintenance in China” survey that Siveco China has run in association with the Sino-European School of Technology of Shanghai University and the European Chambers of Commerce since 2006, covering over 1,500 multinationals in the country.
Owing to Siveco China’s strong background in using technology to support maintenance improvement, IT tools play an important part in supporting assessment services, depending on the scope and size of the assessments.
The three main IT tools used by Siveco China to manage all its projects are:
8Manage: for project management
bluehoney: for project activity time and cost reporting
Ding Talk: for travel approvals and internal chat communication
In addition, detailed methodology guidelines for each types of assessment is pre-established, serving as a guide for Siveco China’s engineers during the assessment itself, in Excel and/or document formats, centralized in Siveco China’s cloud server.
Finally, when conducting site assessments, Siveco China engineers are equipped with bluebee® Surveyor: a unique tool to capture information from the field, record asset conditions, or even to build a complete facility or plant database by simply walking around and taking pictures. Follow-up actions (job request, preventive job) are automatically created and updated into Siveco China’s central server database. Depending on the scope of contract, Siveco China can then deliver a complete technical database, including photos, remedial actions to be taken, etc. in CMMS format (by remote access or installed at the customer’s site).
All our management systems are web based or mobile based, allowing access from anywhere.
The Siveco China back-office
Assessments are conducted by true maintenance experts appointed on the project, under the responsibility of a dedicated project manager:
- Our team members have worked previously as maintenance managers, preventive maintenance engineers, CMMS leaders in facilities, manufacturing and infrastructure projects.
- The Siveco China team comprises both local experts and foreign experts with experience of world-class maintenance.
- Our CMMS experts have working knowledge of various systems (CMMS, ERP, SCADA) available in the Chinese market.
In addition, during the entire project, the assessment team will have access to Siveco China Shanghai’s back-office resources, which includes:
Back-office teams and the Siveco China network of experts on specific technologies (e.g. vibration analysis or corrosion), specific facilities or equipment (e.g. HVAC specialists) or methodologies (e.g. IEC standards).
Centralized IT tools including benchmarking database and CMMS.
4. The assessment and its benefits in practice
In practice, for the typical assessment, two Siveco China engineers will come to your site for approximately one week. For a CMMS/EAM assessment, one engineer will focus on maintenance management, the other on the utilization of the system itself. For a more organizational assessment or a facility condition assessment, the assessment will involve specific industrial skills as required. Onsite work will be concluded by a presentation workshop, followed by report preparation time, before the final deliverables are handed over to the client.
Siveco China has experience conducting assessments in all three target segments: Facility Management (property owners and FM suppliers), Industry (factories in various industry, process or discrete manufacturing) and Infrastructures. Nowadays, in addition to independent assessments, all our projects include a start-up assessment and our “enhanced maintenance contracts” also utilize our assessment practice. The accumulated experience of our team (some of our team members have been active in this field since 1997) is unparalleled in China.
Some of the concrete benefits observed in previous assessments include:
Maintenance organization assessment at a large process plant
The overall conclusion of the assessment showed that the company should focus on improving performance instead of further cost cutting: analysis of financial figures and comparison with benchmarks show that the plant has extra capacity to fund this effort, i.e. it can easily afford the additional cost. This would result in downtime reduction with easily measurable returns: a detailed technical study estimated returns at 1 million RMB within one year on the main machines alone.
Benchmarking of key metric (figures are in millions RMB).
CMMS assessment (SAP PM and various other systems) at a chemical plant
The in-depth assessment showed that the company underutilizes its SAP infrastructure but has built a practical way to work around it, using various additional systems and well-defined management procedures. Overall the maintenance system is working rather well compared to similar companies in China, whether using SAP or other CMMS tools. This is to the credit of the company’s strong maintenance team members and management.
Weaknesses in analysis and decision support started to affect the capability of the maintenance division to improve its performance, while production put increasing demands on reliability.
Siveco China recommended implementing small improvements in SAP Work Orders and to develop better reports (probably using the SAP Business Warehouse tool already in place in other departments). A third-party mobile solution would certainly enhance the inspection process, allowing a full feedback loop to manage preventive maintenance improvement. The costs/benefits of the various options were analysed.
CMMS assessment (Maximo) at automotive plant
The assessment found that the maintenance organization focuses its efforts on basic preventive maintenance: inspection, greasing, etc… as it lacks the necessary tools to eliminate failure through technical analysis. As the maintenance team is understaffed and busy with production-related tasks, and without proper support from the CMMS, they do not have the time to manually process long lists of WO feedbacks, although they do have the technical knowledge to understand their machines and find solutions.
This situation finally leads them to insure themselves against breakdown risk by adding more inspections (i.e. more workload). This is consistent with the pure “workstation approach” of the current failure analysis tool: the inspection plan is based on workstation.
The systems proved to be one of the bottlenecks and no solution was proposed by the IT vendor other that providing resources to develop reports. These problems reflect implementation- rather than software-related weaknesses, resulting in low ROI on the CMMS investment.
Siveco China recommended a complete course of action, based on improving technical feedback, with standard pick-lists for downtime, causes, actions etc. The equipment structures should be reorganised to accommodate such reporting (currently not possible). IEC 81346 or ISO 14224 standards were proposed as the basis for this change.
Facility condition assessment at a major retailer
A full facility assessment was conducted in one of the buildings, covering the building itself and all systems (HVAC, water, fire-fighting, lifts, etc). The study also included a review of the FM suppliers’ contracts, the quality of their work and the paper-based reporting systems. Siveco China delivered a full assessment report in two formats: office documents (word file with pictures, Excel list of recommended actions, updated maintenance plan in Ms Project format) and in database format, easily up-loadable into a CMMS. For each problem detected, a diagnosis was proposed, together with corrective and future preventive actions, allowing the retailer not only to take immediate measures, but also to prevent reoccurrence of problems. A management solution was proposed in order for the customer to better manage its facilities in the long term.