Service Plant Soon?

EAM is different from industry to industry. Just what is enterprise asset management?

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The SAP system generates the maintenance work orders at ImClone, and the Rockwell historian provides the data that enables engineers to make adjustments to the maintenance schedules or the SOPs. “The integration is not entirely seamless,” says Greguske. “What we use the historian for is to tell us, ‘something is weird.’ Then it will email the appropriate person who then decides what action is to be taken, including whether to issue a work order.”

This linkage of plant-floor data to enterprise and maintenance systems has another important driver—compliance. “The FDA doesn’t make big demands: Just prove that what you say is true,” says Greguske wryly. “From that demand comes a whole host of things that need to be done. We have to do a lot of tracking. We do assessments of every change, asking how it will impact the process or the product.”

The automated tracking is key to this documentation. “When you’re in the middle of a plant and things are running all around you and you’re in operation and something happens that’s different, it’s hard to remember what you did before. Now you have the data—objective documentation—that can show you exactly what you did,” says Greguske. “You have readily accessible data without digging through a lot of paper.”

And the benefit of gathering and analyzing all this data? 

Hard numbers aren’t available, but “production capacity is up,” says Greguske. “Capacity is up. What we’re seeing is that we’re not hiring people as we gear up. We’re getting productivity increases at a time when we need them.”  

The Electric Company

If ImClone is doing cutting-edge data analysis for maintenance optimization, Statnett, the state-owned provider of electricity for Norway, with 2006 operating revenues of NOK 6,661 billion (€868,352,216 or $1,230,171,648) is upgrading an old system more slowly and using its new EAM to ease its transition to a new business model. Like many state-owned operations, it is facing deregulation and the challenges of learning new ways of doing business. Rethinking and revamping its maintenance operations are part of that.

It went to its ERP provider IFS, which also has a strong EAM module, for help with the transition. Using its ERP vendor also plays into Statnett’s strategy of minimizing the number of software systems it uses, says Statnett’s Einar Mørk. The company already used IFS for bill processing, project management and finance, so when it discovered that the vendor also had EAM functionality, it made sense to use it. “There weren’t so many changes to the system,” he says.

Statnett’s journey to cutting-edge EAM will be a long one. It has been using the IFS system since 2001 for substation maintenance and since 2004 for line maintenance. Prior to that, says Mørk, it was working with a 20-year-old paper-based system that was less than a success. In the end, it was relegated to managing spare parts. Most of Statnett’s maintenance is handled in-house, but some line maintenance is handled by outside contractors. Work orders to the far-flung power stations across Norway are still sent by mail, says Mørk. While changing that arrangement is part of the plan, it is not the first priority.

That is managing all the preventive maintenance functions, says Ulf Stern, IFS global director for asset management, including planning for investment and upgrades. “The main idea is to plan and execute preventive and emergency work, support inventory and scheduling and manage all the maintenance technicians, including third-party suppliers,” he says.

One of the chief aims of the system is to strike the right balance between preventive and emergency work across the electrical grid, says Mørk. The focus is on preventive maintenance, he says, with the company now having a 70% preventive/30% repair ratio. The motivation is there to bring the repair number down. “As a utility, we have to pay for any downtime,” Mørk explains.

Change at Statnett is incremental. “This is a difficult process,” says Mørk. “You have to change the culture, the people, the leadership. It’s not just learning to use IFS. You’re designing new work descriptions, helping people understand how the tool works with maintenance and how it can help them.”

The Pipeline Company

Enbridge of Calgary, Alberta, operates the world’s longest crude oil and liquids pipeline system. The company owns and operates Enbridge Pipelines Inc. and a variety of affiliated pipelines in the U.S. and Canada, These systems comprise approximately 13,500 kilometers (8,500 miles) of pipeline, delivering more than 2 million barrels per day of crude oil and liquids.

Enbridge is using IBM’s Maximo EAM system to manage and track the maintenance of that system, including documentation for regulatory compliance. “We’re showing that we’re doing what our operational and maintenance manuals say we should do,” says Tom Reid, Enbridge’s team lead for Maximo services. But his job is bigger than that. He’s also using the Maximo system to help transition to a predictive maintenance model.

"We’re pulling unit run time from our SCADA system,” explains Reid. “We can schedule maintenance based on hours run rather than basing it on time. For example, we have six units on one line. The only time the fifth and sixth units got started up was when we were taking readings. That vibration was not going to be any different than the last time. So now we take a vibration reading on the machine every 700 hours rather than on a fixed time schedule.”

Like Steve Greguske at ImClone, Reid says the benefits of EAM are “soft” right now, but very real. “We are constantly expanding at Embridge. We did a comparison of the amount of equipment in the field now and in the past. We looked at the amount of equipment we had in the field, the operations and maintenance budget and the staffing. What we saw was a drastic increase in the amount of equipment, but the operations and maintenance budget was the same, if not lower, and the number of technicians was the same.”

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