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,

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