Getting a Handle on the Drip:
By Tracy Watson
Many states are experiencing the driest year in a decade, prompting many water municipalities to consider drastic measures to meet current and future water demand. Many water organizations are proposing rate increases for water consumption. As homeowner associations look at their fiscal landscape, they are also facing the realities of potential increases in the rates they must pay for water usage, which in turn they will either absorb or pass on as increased HOA dues. Given the undesirability of the latter option, HOAs are looking for alternatives that allow them to manage increased water costs, which computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) can help them to do.
Leaking sprinkler systems, pumps and fountains can exacerbate water utility costs unnecessarily. While obvious water leaks can be readily redressed, many leaks may not be as apparent to the naked eye, such as pumps that are hidden by the fixture they service (e.g., underground valves and pipes). Deploying maintenance crews to do visual checks on an entire water system is costly and time-consuming, but through utilizing CMMS HOAs can “see” where irregularities in water distribution are occurring throughout the entire system and compare those areas month-over-month and year-over-year, thereby quickly identifying anomalies that may be caused by faulty equipment, obstructions, leaks, or other factors. (Source: eMaint Facilities Maintenance Management)
In addition to this helicopter view of a development, HOA managers can also expeditiously deploy the appropriate personnel to service any water fixtures and see exactly when they have completed the work and/or if other resources are needed, without having to expend extra time in redundant communication. Rounds (the checklist for maintenance staff) can be generated through CMMS, further reinforcing preemptive versus reactive maintenance and the associated cost-savings that creates. Through helping HOAs detect potential issues before they become serious ones, CMMS can help minimize outlying costs associated with damage and/or compounded waste due to poor water systems maintenance.
By Tracy Watson
When we talk about overall equipment efficiency or effectiveness (OEE) we are talking about a system of measuring the efficacy of a facility. This system looks at labor, equipment, workflow, and processes management and optimization of each of those components. Several factors or metrics (i.e., key performance indicators [KPIs] impact – adversely or beneficially – a facility’s OEE. OEE is best viewed as a tool to identify how best to improve processes, or conversely, increased changeovers will most likely lower OEE. (Source: eMaint CMMS Solutions)
The top KPIs can be broken into two groups: top-level metrics (2) and underlying metrics (4). The former metrics (OEE and total effective equipment performance [TEEP]) measure the gaps between actual performance and ideal performance, focusing on overall utilization of facilities, time, and materials (e.g., OEE over time – hours/day, days/year, etc.). OEE is useful for drilling down into more precise analysis (e.g., shift or part number). The latter four metrics illuminate where those gaps exist and why. Those metrics include:
- Loading: The portion of the TEEP metric that represents the percentage of total calendar time available that is actually scheduled for operation. This metric provides a pure measurement of schedule effectiveness.
- Availability: The portion of the OEE metric that represents the percentage of scheduled time that the operation is available to operate (uptime). This metric provides a pure measurement of a facility’s uptime, excluding the mitigating the effects of performance, quality, and scheduled downtime events.
- Performance: The portion of the OEE metric that represents the speed at which the work center runs as a percentage of its designed speed. This metric provides a true measurement of speed, excluding the mitigating effects of availability and quality.
- Quality: the portion of the OEE metric that represents the good units produced as a percentage of the total units started also referred to as First Pass Yield, excluding the mitigating effects of availability and performance.
By Tracy Watson
Leveraging Integrated Document Management
Contract, asset maintenance, and productivity, are a few of the areas that an enterprise asset management system (EAM) can greatly improve. When taken apart, unplanned maintenance, overtime, and production downtime, due to equipment failure (most commonly), constitutes the largest contributor to maintenance costs. Reducing equipment failure is directly linked to having a proactive maintenance program in place that supports routine preventive maintenance (PM). Facilities that manage assets through data silos (e.g., paper-based systems or spreadsheets) suffer most from a lack of data centrality and continuity.
To move from a “one off” system, where assets are managed reactively, requires implementing an EAM with strong integrative capabilities (not every EAM provides this). The key is choosing the best EAM (and vendor) for your particular enterprise, and to do that, several criteria should be taken into consideration. In the previous installment we discussed the ways that EAM can help in managing asset integrity and permitting. In this installment, we’ll discuss the ways that EAM can help leverage integrated document management.
To optimize the productivity of your maintenance team, historical and current asset data needs to be managed in a central location, or repository, which shows actions taken from the first time each asset was used, to the last time it was repaired. By having a “true picture” of each asset’s lifecycle, repairs can be made preemptively, rather than reactively. Studies show that preventive maintenance (PM) greatly reduces the number of equipment failures and extends asset lifecycles, thereby reducing total asset capital investment. EAM software that has integrated document management (e.g., relevant contracts, warranties, manufacturer recommendations, CAD drawings, maintenance schedules, testing reports, etc.), is indispensible to proper PM and, through that, greater ROI. Furthermore, crucial to optimal EAM utilization is the integration of asset documentation to the actual asset object in the EAM (e.g., embedding document management with hooks into 3-D CAD drawings).
The following is an example of optimal EAM utilization for an oil and gas facility:
Once O&G drilling equipment or other assets were commissioned, managers could take the CAD serialized assets from the builder and pull them directly into their own EAM, thereby making those assets available to everyone on the line, who would then contribute to a uniform record of usage. While some EAM packages allow for data import, they may lack the ability to link or hook into CAD and/or 3-D CAD systems, making it impossible to capture asset detail in a centralized way.
EAM is a solid method of getting away from costly and potential hazardous data silos, by providing a repository for all asset information over the asset lifecycle, but to do this the EAM chosen must allow for full CAD integration, otherwise asset transparency is hampered and decision-making becomes ad-hoc. In addition to asset management and compliance, integrated document management improves ROI by chipping away at time spent finding, managing and updating documents relating to a facility’s assets.
By Tracy Watson
Enterprise asset management (EAM) systems are generating substantial cost-savings and increased revenue, but not for everyone or equally. So, the question becomes, Why are some facilities enjoying substantially reduced downtime, increased productivity, shorter outages, and reduced inventory costs, while others see little if any noticeable improvement in ROI post-EAM implementation? Several factors contribute to the success or lack of success of using EAM to improve ROI. How well the software is installed, the level of user-support given by the EAM vendor, as well as the suitability of the training methodology to a particular site, all greatly influence the ability of an EAM to generate measurable and substantial ROI. The key is choosing the best EAM (and vendor) for your particular enterprise, and to do that, several criteria should be taken into consideration. In the previous installment we discussed the ways that EAM can help in managing maintenance contracts. In this installment, we’ll discuss the ways that EAM can help in managing asset integrity permitting.
Asset Integrity Management and Permitting
How complete is the picture your asset management system provides? Does it show not only the as-designed drawing, but also the as-built drawing? Just as changes inevitably occur between conception and execution of an asset’s use, there will also be changes throughout the life of the asset that need to be reflected in the schematics used for its maintenance management. In other words, by utilizing EAM managers can see the actual state of an asset (as well as the actions that have led to that state), by creating a repository of drawings for each asset, from as-designed, to as-built, to as-maintained (e.g., refits, lifecycle extensions, and repairs). This total picture is crucial to extending the life-cycle of each asset, and consequently, increasing the returns gained from EAM implementation.
The “Design, Operate, Maintain” approach just described is essentially a single asset management system (or EAM) that optimally supports each asset over the entire lifecycle. To realize this level of continuity and excellence, integrated permit and incident tracking should be incorporated into the EAM. By doing so, maintenance technicians can more easily expedite work orders and permits. Through optimal EAM utilization, no matter who is maintaining an asset, the same data set is used as the basis of that maintenance, and as a result greater continuity of service and adherence to manufacturer guidelines is achieved, and asset lifecycles are extended.
The greatest enemy of a business is downtime. Downtime means an area of production or production itself has halted, so a company must take the time to fix the problem at the expense of profit and productivity. Downtime can come in a variety of forms, here are some of the most common ways companies can experience downtime.
Equipment failure accounts for a majority of downtime reported by companies because there are so many potential points of failure. For example, business can be halted due to problems with production equipment, delivery trucks, the building the production equipment is in, and so on. If on aspect of the process fails, productivity is halted. Systems like CMMS provide preventative measures that can help prevent equipment failure through preventative maintenance procedures.
Anytime a worker is injured on the job, it is serious regardless of the nature of the injury. Not only do you have to make sure the employee’s medical issues are treated, but you have address the oversight that caused the accident in the first place. Although there is little we can do about accidents due to human error, accidents due to safety oversights must be corrected immediately to avoid happening again. Unfortunately, fixing these problems takes time away from the goals of the company.
Lack of Accountability
One of the most maddening causes of downtime is an employee failing to do their task. No manager wants to hear the excuse “well, I didn’t know I was supposed to do that”. Problems like these often arise due to faulty management styles. As someone who manages the maintenance in a business, it is crucial to delegate tasks clearly. It helps to have weekly or even daily staff meetings to ensure that everyone understands their tasks.
By Tracy Watson
LEED certification is often assumed (incorrectly) to only apply to new buildings. But in fact, there are LEED certifications that can be achieved through implementing facility-wide systems of sustained increased energy efficiency and innovation. The guidelines of the LEED Rating System 2nd Public Comment Draft July 2011, EXISTING BUILDINGS: OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE identify (at least) five major areas of innovative energy use that are anchored by maintenance practices and in this latest installment, we will discuss two of them.
Sustainable Sites (SS): Green Site Management Policy Establishment
This standard seeks to encourage “environmentally sensitive site management practices” that support cleanliness and safety of the exterior of a site while enabling its’ operations to be high performing. Suggested maintenance actions include, but are not limited to:
- Adhering to the manufacturer’s recommendations (and current EPA standards for class I-IV non road spark ignition engines) for maintaining maintenance equipment
- Creating and implementing a site management plan that reduces harmful chemical use, water waste, air pollution, energy waste, solid waste, and/or chemical runoff
To successfully meet this standard the policy must include detail on its programmatic and physical scope, the responsible parties, duration of applicability, sustainability objectives and goals, specify the metrics by which performance will be measured, as well as the procedures and strategies to implement it, and must include a quality assurance process which evaluates and verifies that the policy has been implemented successfully.
Energy and Atmosphere (EA): Advanced Energy Metering
The goal of this standard is to encourage facilities to accurately capture building- and system-level energy consumption data, which will allow managers to better support energy efficiency and recognize opportunities for further energy-saving investments. Suggested maintenance actions include, but are not limited to:
- Installing advanced energy meters that capture energy usage for every source, as well as any major consumers (20% or >) of the site’s total annual consumption (minus plug load use according to actual end use or based on the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) data)
To satisfy this requirement, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) requires that the project includes alarm activation if energy consumption and peak rises above a predetermined level. This level is to be determined by analyzing the facility’s historic performance and weather and operating conditions. Furthermore, measurements should be taken in specific increments, on a monthly basis, and reports of the site’s demand peaks and total consumption should be generated and compared, month to month and year over year. (Source: http://www.usgbc.org/Docs/Archive/General/Docs9795.pdf)
Maintenance teams that actively engage in preventive and predictive maintenance are likely already familiar with computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) and enterprise asset management software (EAM), both of which have these high-detail reporting capabilities (example: http://www.emaint.com). Maintenance managers can leverage these technologies to create a plant culture that supports LEED-centered initiatives, which can only be successfully implemented with full the “buy-in” of the shop floor.
Part two of a series on maintenance practices and LEED certification. Click here for Part One