Find the common language for maintenance

As part of the recent Enterprise Asset Management University Webcasts sponsored by IBM and moderated by Plant Engineering magazine editor Bob Vavra, Dave Reiber, Global Maximo Lead for General Motors, discussed the experiences of General Motors’ implementation of a worldwide plant maintenance system.

01/01/2010


As part of the recent Enterprise Asset Management University Webcasts sponsored by IBM and moderated by Plant Engineering magazine editor Bob Vavra, Dave Reiber, Global Maximo Lead for General Motors, discussed the experiences of General Motors’ implementation of a worldwide plant maintenance system. The archived version of this Webcast is available at www.plantengineering.com under the Plant Live tab:

There are 11 languages spoken within General Motors’ 126 worldwide manufacturing facilities in 26 countries worldwide and existing on every continent. When Dave Reiber wants to communicate about maintenance, however, he needs only one.

“There are cultural, legal and ethical issues around the world,” said Reiber, GM’s global business lead for the IBM Maximo Enterprise Asset Management system. “But something that I’ve learned is that if it is about engineering and maintenance, I speak their language.”

The task of bringing 47,000 global employees to one asset management system that creates a common language for maintenance worldwide is an ongoing effort for Reiber.

The goal at GM is to have everyone placing work orders, tracking predictive maintenance and generating reports off a single Maximo Asset Management platform by 2011.

It has been a daunting process, and was made easier by the flexibility of the Maximo software system. It also has been a process of adapting the best ideas from a previously fractured information system process and molding it into a single system which at once has both the buy-in of local participation and the standardization needed to affect real cost management at GM.

In explaining the goals and objectives, implementation and lessons learned, Reiber detailed the necessities of putting a large company such as GM onto a common maintenance management platform.

“We had to define a common maintenance process,” Reiber said. “We had 15,000 work orders a week. That becomes a big data drag. Archiving of data became an issue. But change at GM or any big company is tough at best,” he added. “There’s always a fear of change.”

For one thing, different plants were using Maximo in different ways. “In some plants, it was used for everything,” said Reiber. 'They would capture every event at some sites. At others, all they used it for was predictive maintenance. We also failed to share best practices across sites.”

Maximo’s inherent flexibility allowed for the creation of many different data screens that could be altered at local sites. The problem came when trying to standardize those screens so data collected at each plant could be analyzed and acted on in the same way.

“We had 320 different screen variations across our plant sites,” Reiber said. “To get everyone to agree on the screens that would be used…” He paused. 'I’d call them 'lively discussions’.”

Not all maintenance projects are equal, but when it came to work orders, there needed to be a picking order so maintenance staffs could give highest priority to critical functions. “We weren’t very good at scheduling,” Reiber said. “We needed to understand what is critical, what is not critical, and what is run to failure.”

Training is critical

Most of Reiber’s discussion at the EAM University event was around the importance of a training process that recognized both the native cultural issues and the need to develop a common platform for information.

“You cannot teach a maintenance process without showing people how it will relate to their jobs. You have to relate each field on the screen to a report,” Reiber said. “I’ve never been in favor of teaching Maximo or a maintenance business process. I believe you have to teach both.”

Among the critical lessons learned about a global implementation, Dave mentioned:

  • Go Slow! “When you think you’re going slowly, slow down,” Reiber noted.

  • Have a good translator %%MDASSML%% one with a maintenance background is very helpful

  • Use two instructors %%MDASSML%% one at the screen and one walking among the students answering questions at the training modules.

  • Review each field on each screen

  • Explain how a field relates to the Common Process

  • What type of data to enter %%MDASSML%% assume nothing

  • Explain how data in a field is required for output to reports

  • Vital plant ownership is created by defining the work flow processes

  • There must be active participation and much discussion for each

    • The curriculum included four two-week sessions with time in between sessions to complete on-site work. Projectors featured two screens %%MDASSML%% one in English and one in the native language. The training also included a cross-section of Maximo users %%MDASSML%% everyone from maintenance engineers to parts crib personnel to plant leadership.

      The local buy-in of plant managers is vital to success, Reiber said. 'We’d create commitment through plant ownership and buy-in,” he said. We got fantastic creativity and innovation from our staff.”

      Organizational value

      Now when Reiber meets twice a week with his global managers on maintenance issues, he knows they are working off of increasingly common data sets. This has allowed GM to move past trying to pinpoint common problems and helping them address common solutions.

      'Lately our big push has been to look at OEE (Operational Equipment Efficiency). We’re always looking at compliance,” he said. “we’re also working at trying to schedule more efficiently, so that we make sure work gets done, stays done and is done effectively.”

      “We needed the flexibility to adjust to changing environments,” said Reiber. “Big corporations tend to move slowly. We’ve been forced to move quickly because of the economy. We had to learn how to do change management — how do you move that needle quickly?”





No comments
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.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

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.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me