Mobility add-ons for EAM/CMMS: What you need to know

Sheila Kennedy says new mobile management tools get data to whoever needs it, wherever and whenever.

By Sheila Kennedy

Industrial production companies are seeking modern mobility solutions to improve how assets, work, materials, and fleets are managed. When front-line workers are equipped with mobile devices and electronic work-flow software instead of paper and pens, it greatly improves efficiency and reduces costs. Major asset management vendors are welcoming assistance from mobility specialists to extend the value of their enterprise applications.

Mobile work management

Mobile work management solutions integrate data from EAM/CMMS systems and other sources to streamline the planning, scheduling, approvals, execution, and tracking of work. The Mobile Work Package (MWP) from eWorkMobility, a division of NextAxiom Technology, provides single-click, real-time access to work functions from the user’s current location; this, according to NextAxiom, improves productivity, reduces errors, and enhances safety. MWP and related eWorkMobility solutions are designed to serve heavily regulated industries such as nuclear power.

With MWP, “At a single site, we saw a $2.7 million return on investment and a payback period of less than one year,” says Peggy Davis, senior vice president of support services at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions in Aiken, SC.

DataGlance’s Electronic Work Package (eWP) offers a data management framework and MobilePlus technology to allow users to edit, validate, update, assign, authorize, perform, and document work. Users also can post feedback, approve work order closeouts, and archive documents.

Mobile work processes “relieve front-line workers and supervisors from administrative burdens” while giving them easy access to information, says Lee Rogers, DataGlance VP of strategy and solutions. “It enables them to focus on getting the job done right, safely, and in a timely manner.”

Ventureforth’s latest addition to its vMobile Suite, vWork Scheduler, is designed to be a one-stop shop for maintenance technicians and supervisors interacting with Oracle eAM. Besides offering planning and scheduling functions, it lets personnel in the field drill down to asset and work-order details, issue and return parts, close work orders, enter time, and create work requests.

“Mobile personnel need deep functionality in a self-supporting environment whether or not there is a signal,” says Kevin Kling, a product director at Ventureforth.

Asset fault management

Unplanned faults hinder productivity, but mobility minimizes the impact. EDI partnered with SCHAD to deliver EXTEND7000 to users of IBM Maximo EAM in automated environments. With EXTEND7000, engineers receive live, filtered alarm notifications from SCADA- or PLC-controlled assets on their mobile device so they can respond within seconds and then return quickly to planned work.

“Users can leverage machine data to interpret and predict future asset behavior right from their handhelds,” says Jim Lindsay, a vice president at EDI.

Materials handling

Mobility simplifies materials handling, as well. Radley Corp.’s Containerization & Kitting solution combines automated mobile data collection with unique data structures to organize and track pallets, containers, and fixed assets. The solution uses Radley’s IntelliLabel technology to generate serial numbers or “license plates” of associated elements.

Fleets and telematics

Vehicles used in fleets and by field service organizations require special attention. The Cyan mobile product suite from Blue Dot Solutions supports vehicle telematics; driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR); and work, asset, and inventory management to reduce fuel costs and improve driver safety and productivity.

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