PdM and CMMS
Read Ed Espinosa’s previous article about PdM and CMMS implementation at Puget Sound Energy at http://www.plantservices.com/articles/2013/08-why-pdm-programs-fail/.
It’s been a number of years since the selection and implementation of your CMMS has occurred. You’ve spent an enormous amount of time creating templates for various CMMS modules and then populating them with decades’ worth of what now seems to be insignificant legacy data. You’ve spent months populating these, and now it’s time to scrub them for errors. Your scrub template finds the expected errors that you overlooked. These must be repaired before proceeding. You spend even more time than anticipated correcting these before submitting these templates to your company’s EAM support group for back-end CMMS loading into a sandbox environment.
You and your team have worked very hard to achieve this milestone in your company’s MRO development. So now you have a functioning CMMS. You attend a tradeshow to benchmark how your company is doing compared to others to see where you can improve your process by increasing efficiencies, reliability, and availability, and, at the same time, reducing costs. You listen to a presentation detailing the tenets of reliability-centered maintenance (RCM). You take what you’ve learned to your leadership, and the decision is made to perform a RCM implementation. A living RCM program would most certainly be beneficial in achieving the goals identified earlier during your benchmarking exercise.
Much like the decision to implement a CMMS, the one to implement a living RCM program is equally enormous and resource-intensive for many months, and possibly years to come. Integrating the results of this study in the CMMS again is labor-intensive and demands heart-borne dedication for the benefits to be realized. Initial results are mixed and may be too early to judge if the RCM project delivered the results promised.
Figure 1. Your MRO team needs to standardize how they execute maintenance across your facilities.
In an attempt to better ascertain the results of an expensive RCM implementation, management decides your MRO team needs to standardize how they execute maintenance across your facilities (Figure 1). This need translates itself into another project from corporate, and, as all projects go, this one is no different in manpower requirements to implement it fully. Your management team decides that some sort of standardized maintenance management system or work management process is long overdue since it’s difficult to measure results with scattered, unconnected data. And, if results cannot be measured, then they can’t be managed, and, if they can’t be managed, then by the same reasoning, long-awaited improvements to your process can’t be realized. And if your process doesn’t improve, all the work and money that has been invested into your organization yields questionable returns, at best. This scenario is not a wise use of your company’s resources thus far. So, what needs to happen next?
Next, the consultants arrive on-site and yet another project begins, a long tedious and painful journey that takes time away from your real job, the work of running an effective MRO team or, at least, that is what you’d like for them to be considered. You have endless meetings to go to. Some of these are to discuss project milestones, others to discuss budgets and timelines, and yet others to discuss lessons-learned. All of this takes time, time spent to find out you are behind schedule in rolling out this work improvement project, and of course you and your team find yourselves behind in the real work that matters, the work that keeps your operation functioning and keeps the lights on.
When the consultants leave your company a year from now, the new work process is clunky at first but, with time, your crew gets the hang of it. Your KPIs are published for the first time and it clearly shows there’s plenty of room for improvement. So another journey begins to improve your process. The benefit of KPIs points to areas of where to improve, a process to be done incrementally. And, again, like most anything worth striving for, process improvement will take time.
Your organization has accomplished the following implementations: CMMS, RCM, and work management process (WMP). You have been operating with the new programs for a number of years. You and your senior management are happy with the results but feel there is more to do to take your organization up to the next level. So where do you start? What else is there to improve upon? Your senior management wants to push the limits of performance by pushing the MRO envelope to eliminate all defects and thus all failures.
The next level in the maintenance continuum for many facilities in this situation is achieving a state of mind where failures are not merely anticipated and contingencies measures kept in hot standby, but rather eliminating failures by eliminating the causes of failures. The next logical question is what are the causes of failure? To answer that, we need to look at the failures themselves to provide a hint in order to arrive at an answer.
So where does one find failures? One finds failures documented within your CMMS. They are found in your CMMS assuming you and your team are following work management philosophy of identifying and documenting work, work not already embedded in your CMMS as preventive maintenance — designed to generate into orders on a given frequency, but work stemming from observed materiel deficiencies or corrective work.