3 Steps for Tapping into Sneaky Maintenance Data

A fully populated CMMS with complete bills of materials (BOM) and spare parts inventory records for all assets is a beautiful thing. If it is complete with transaction records assigning labor and material cost to assets and linking everything to production loss records and maintenance work instructions, life is very good indeed. In fact, if you'll show me that island we'll go there. The first round of umbrella drinks is on me.

In the last 30 years of looking I have seen a few top managers who were convinced they had complete CMMSs in place, probably because they had paid for them. But I have yet to meet a plant manager with the real thing. The perfect CMMS is an ideal we should all be striving for, but we also need to get our day-to-day jobs done with the information on hand.

A great way to demonstrate the value of a CMMS, whether you own one or not, is to simulate the kind of reliability discussion you would have if the system were available and populated with data. The hole card you have here is that your organization members have been doing their jobs.  That has to mean that they've been using data. Once located, this sneaky data can be combined manually for one or two assets to approximate the output from a CMMS.

If you use the sneaky data effectively, you can do two things for the organization; score a big reliability victory and demonstrate the value of good data systems. Everybody wins; the plant increases productivity and the reliability and maintenance team build credibility. Here's how:

First, find some target equipment to fix. With the CMMS, this would be a simple statistical search. For sneaky data, go to production and/or general management and ask which equipment is giving them the biggest perennial pain (PIA). You’ll usually get two or three answers. Pick one that looks winnable in a timeframe of less than a year.

Second, convene a meeting of the maintenance and reliability, production, and financial people who have the sneaky data you need: Maintenance and reliability, maybe with purchasing's help, can gather the records of labor, spare parts and contract help that have been spent in the last couple of years on the assets. Bring the raw data with work orders and dates, and don't forget the cost of expediting and express shipping.
Production can bring in output data, foremen's logs, and production reports that have been distributed to the organization. If possible, these should be arranged ahead of time to show maintenance events by date, grouped with the financial costs and production losses that accompanied each event.
Finance can review the data and match it to their records of financial results for the time periods of the events under discussion. They can also identify production inventory that is being held to cover for equipment unreliability. This is not an expense, but it is a working capital bulge that might be unnecessary when the equipment is fixed. Involvement at this point will also help the financial people understand what you are doing.

Third, use the data you have to compile a timeline of the last year or two with complete descriptions of maintenance events, including production losses, rectification action and costs, and inventory impact. Build a yearbook for the problem assets, listing Headache Events #1 though whatever with the total impact of each event. Then develop a detailed estimate of what it would cost to conduct root cause analysis (RCA) for each event and make the necessary repairs to prevent future headaches. Sometimes you may need to do the RCAs before you can estimate the repairs.

You now have all the ingredients for a business case to correct a perennial management headache in your plant. You will also have a team with a shared belief in the action plan to make the improvements happen, including financial people who believe the numbers because they helped create them from real, sneaky data.

All this is way too much work to do for each piece of equipment in your plant. But it will demonstrate the value of data capture in a CMMS that will support this kind of decision making. But, even if you don’t get the CMMS any time soon, you know where to check for management and/or financial discomfort to aim the next sneaky data assault, and they know where to look for help.

For more detailed information on these processes, you can review three Strategic Maintenance Columns at http://www.plantservices.com/articles/2012/08-Strategic-Maintenance-data-driven-maintenance.html, http://www.plantservices.com/articles/2012/09-Strategic-Maintenance-data-driven-aim.html, http://www.plantservices.com/articles/2012/10-Strategic-Maintenance-data-driven-fire.html __________________________________________________________________________________
Read Stanton McGroarty’s Strategic Maintenance Columns at http://www.plantservices.com/voices/strategic_maintenance.html.