Effective EAM strategy drives plant and enterprise success

Lawson Webcast focus: Creating an effective maintenance strategy
By Plant Engineering Staff November 28, 2007

Developing an effective asset management strategy is crucial not just to drive successful manufacturing, but to drive success for the organization. That’s the view offered by Brian Dunks, senior product manager for Lawson Software, during PLANT ENGINEERING’s Oct. 25 Webcast,‘Integrating EAM’.

“Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), and enterprise asset management systems (EAM) have changed little conceptually in 25 years, unlike their operational cousins the enterprise resource planning packages, which have undergone several significant changes and continue to receive a lot of attention,” Dunks told the Webcast attendees. “Insufficient attention is given to extending the core functionality to take real advantage of the EAM system’s potential — not just for the maintenance functions within your business, but for the entire business itself.”

Developing such a strategy requires the right data and the right monitoring equipment, Dunks noted. It also requires a break from the‘break-fix’ maintenance strategies all too prevalent on the plant floor today.

“We could of course also operate at room to failure strategy, which might be appropriate for certain types of assets, but not for key operational equipment,” Dunks said. “Therefore, what we really need is a solution that allows us to develop an effective maintenance strategy through the right maintenance techniques, applied in the right fashion, by the right people in the organization, to make sure we repeat at the right interval and also that they are very cost-effective.

“One way is to look at the statistics as the CMMS or EAM provides them,” he added. “Looking at them you should identify particular trends and identify problems that are occurring that shouldn’t have occurred. This takes time and experience. Another way is to use a fully integrated approach where the solution analyzes all the feedback from the work order solution looking for trends where there has been failure that shouldn’t have happened, because the maintenance strategy is in place to avoid it.”

Dunks told the Webcast audience that once the system is in place, it opens up a greater ability to link maintenance and production scheduling to increase effective maintenance without impacting productivity. “This type of solution should not only allow the planning of maintenance and manufacturing orders, but it should give you advanced functionality,” Dunks said. “For example, when you have statutory maintenance work, it should allow you to prioritize it, it should allow you to plan material requirements for manufacturing, but also material requirements such as spare parts and tools used for maintenance as well. This type of integrated approach should help you with the allocation of engineers and technicians as well.”

A question from the Webcast audience focused on developing a failure structure, something Dunks said takes time, but is crucial to the long-term success of any EAM deployment.

“To develop a effective strategy you need information. If you have no real information about the equipment and its history and how it can fail, it is very difficult,” Dunks said. “What we do in our solution for companies is they run the solution for six months to a year and the solution itself will automatically build up this failure hierarchy. Typically, after six to 12 months you can start to look at the information or solutions they are providing you with and add on to it the knowledge that the technicians the operators have to really start building quite a comprehensive failure structure.”

The full Webcast,‘Integrating EAM, sponsored by Lawson Software, can be accessed by going to www.PlantEngineering.com and clicking on ‘Webcast Archives .’

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