Spare parts lurking in corners? Let CMMS track them down

Companies spend a bundle on inventory management software to avoid overstocks and outages. But maintenance teams have a friend in CMMS.

04/01/2013



Your spare parts inventory is out of whack. Anytime a machine goes down and you go to grab a replacement part it’s either out of stock or on a shelf in Des Moines plant; your plant is in Pittsburgh. What’s more it always seems to happen on a Friday and the part won’t ship ‘til Monday!

Companies spend a bundle on inventory management software to avoid overstocks and outages. But maintenance teams have a friend in CMMS when it comes to avoiding the same problems with replacement parts inventories. Take your cues from a CMMS user at a Midwest packaging manufacturer, but get organized first.

The company’s spare parts inventory for 900 pieces of equipment was in shambles. Records showed parts were in stock, but the shelves were bare or re-orders went unchecked for parts already stocked in other plants. One time the packaging plant lost hours of production time looking for parts the maintenance tech thought were in stock but weren’t, which cost several thousand dollars in labor and lost revenue.

In fact, 2,500 SKUs in replacement parts were scattered throughout 15 to 20 “satellite” stock rooms and hidden in cabinets that were essentially “off the grid.” A machine would break down and the part was nowhere to be found. Reports calculated spare parts at $150,000 but with duplicates uncovered in all plant locations, inventory added up to $900,000! So not only were parts hard to find, overstocking was out of control.

Eventually the company purchased a CMMS package. After entering all equipment and component data into the CMMS, the company turned next to inventory control. They hunted down every spare part in every location and got a clear picture of overages and outages.

Next, using CMMS, the company consolidated parts down to two locations and the maintenance team was able to monitor usage, ensure proper stocking levels, and even prevent theft. CMMS helped the staffers set up safe levels and trigger automatic e-mail notifications when parts fell below reorder points. Then they ordered just enough parts to restore safe levels. Also work orders listed requisite parts on repaired machines.

With good detective work you may uncover parts lurking in corners. Next step is to evaluate your CMMS to ensure your spare parts inventory is properly organized. You never know, you could eliminate thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs.



The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me