It is impressive to see what a city utility like that of Fort Wayne, Ind., gets when they employ top flight managers with all the modern tools. In their discussion at the Water and Wastewater Industry Forum at Rockwell Automation's Automation Fair, John Clark and Doug Fasick double-teamed a presentation all about what you get.
Clark, deputy director of capital asset management for Fort Wayne City Utilities, retired as a group manager with Dana Corporation having oversight for facilities and maintenance over eight plants. Fasick is a Certified Energy Manager and is the senior project manager for water pollution control plant engineering and Three Rivers plant engineering at the City of Fort Wayne. Together, they've put a plan in place to make the most advantageous usage of the nearly $1 billion that the City will spend over the next 15 years to upgrade their soon to be 85 MGD wastewater plant and 72 MGD water filtration plant.
"Because we have a combined sewer," Clark said, "we are under an EPA negotiated consent decree that fines us whenever we discharge raw sewage along with our stormwater, and we have an agreed-to timetable to reduce our annual discharge events from about 75 currently to 5, and eventually to 0."
"Combined experience led us to standardize on Rockwell Automation equipment," Clark said. "Most downtime in the system is due to system failure. Other vendors have had problems with corrosive atmosphere (chlorine, lime, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide), high temperatures and humidity, and we noticed that troubleshooting time on other products was much higher."
Fasick agreed. "Standardizing on one software language and system eliminated training problems, system confusion, third tier cards and extra programming lines for system interface. This in turn reduced the cost of programming the automation we were constructing."
"Standardizing VFD drives across plants allowed us to share parts and reduce inventory cost," Fasick continued. "We are working with Rockwell on setting up a parts system where they carry the inventory. Standardizing on one vendor made possible standardized training across plants, allowing personnel work at either plant as work loads demand."
Now here is where Clark's expertise as a heavy industry facilities manager really starts to be apparent.
"TPM has been implemented at both facilities," Clark said. "CMMS is used for tracking all levels of work from day-to-day to major construction projects. We have expanded implementation of total productive maintenance, 6 Sigma, 6S, and other Lean activities in our operations. Kaizen, 6 Sigma, 5Why and Poke Yoke practices are implemented."
He went on, "Tracking and verification are controlled by following ISO9001\TS16949 standards, although we have not been audited for this. We do our own self-audits, but I don't think the difference between us just doing it and getting the certificate is worth the money."
Clark said, "We have full circle control of our operations and processes. Our people tell us what works, doesn't work and what is a problem. Our tracking methods give us the data to analyze what is causing problems or limiting the level of improvement. Analysis tells us where to implement improvement processes and where we are ready to reach for the next step of improvement. We grow better as our process grows and that allows us to handle the regulatory demand placed on us. Our growth uncovers issues that need to be addressed. Improvement practices eliminate a major issue by using the standard practices and procedures we have implemented, especially as regards control systems. Therefore the utility becomes optimized by being more standardized."