Continuous improvement with CMMS

A modern CMMS can house all of your company's maintenance processes in one "system of record," curating all the data you need in one portal.


Multifilm packaging: Continuous improvement with a modern CMMS.Courtesy: Smartware GroupIn the manufacturing sector especially, any business can benefit from using a well-designed Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) for overseeing every aspect of the maintenance process. A modern CMMS can house all of your company's maintenance processes in one "system of record," curating all the data you need in one portal that's convenient and easy to use.

The benefits can be numerous. One recent example is Multifilm Packaging, a manufacturer of flexible packaging solutions for the food and beverage industries and headquartered in Elgin, Illinois. By relying on CMMS to help with maintenance continuous improvement, Multifilm Packaging was able to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.

The background on Multifilm Packaging

Multifilm Packaging has carved out quite a niche for itself in manufacturing—today, it is one of the world's leading producers of piece-wrap film. It's been successful in this area for a long time, but recently the company's leaders realized they were struggling with maintenance.

Multifilm Packaging has a maintenance staff of three journeymen technicians, one apprentice and two building maintenance, and housekeeping employees. But they were still using their own homegrown CMMS, and their previous solution had been mere pencil and paper. They needed a more advanced strategy for taking care of their maintenance needs.

Key business challenges faced

Multifilm Packaging had a few key challenges they were facing within the maintenance function. The company had two production facilities open, and both were running for 24 hours a day, five days a week. As part of that process, there were many FDA regulations they had to be careful to abide by.

In a typical month, Multifilm Packaging was handling 60 or more preventive maintenance work orders. Of those, unscheduled orders accounted for about 48% of their required maintenance time, which was a tremendous drain on productivity. What the company needed was a more efficient way of managing maintenance.

How CMMS factored in

For this reason, Multifilm Packaging turned to SaaS-based
CMMS. With the new CMMS, the company was able to automate and manage a number of processes, such as infrared thermography of electrical panels, vibration testing of motors, visual inspection of normal print runs, and ultrasonic bearing detection.

In combination with preventive maintenance and asset and equipment management functionality, among others, Multifilm Packaging also leveraged bar-coded inventory in real time, for deep visibility into replacement part availability and the satisfaction of food traceability demands.

Achieving unprecedented success

The results of Multifilm Packaging's CMMS adoption initiative were staggering. First and foremost, the company's maintenance downtime was cut by 85%. Scheduled maintenance accounted for 75% of that sum, while non-scheduled made up the other 25%.

As a result of all that saved time, Multifilm Packaging's employees were able to rededicate their time to other projects that were important to them, and organizational leaders were able to rework the budget and make the entire business more cost-effective. Everyone won, from the top of the corporate totem pole on down.

What's on the horizon?

With all of this maintenance success already in the rear-view mirror for Multifilm Packaging, you have to ask—what's next?

The company has a few future goals in mind. For one, Multifilm Packaging now aspires to have 90% of its maintenance work orders scheduled in advance and only 10% non-scheduled. In addition, Multifilm Packaging is looking to shift its operators' mindset toward reporting machine problems early rather than creating work orders for fixing them later on. Thanks to the company's highly-efficient CMMS, both goals are imminently reachable.

-Smartware Group. This article originally appeared on Bigfoot Blog. Smartware Group is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Erin Dunne, production coordinator, CFE Media,

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.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
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
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
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.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
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