A good system is the foundation
for strong operation
registered works in the Maint-system
ARROW customer since
machines in the Maint-system
In the modern world, proper maintenance management is a prerequisite for efficient operation. When subcontractors and other partners base their work on shared information, there is no need to argue over petty details. With two decades of experience, this is well known at the Valmet Rautpohja factory.
In the early 1990s, Valmet Technologies, then known as Valmet Rautpohja, was one of the first customers of ARROW Engineering Oy. The first work data was entered into ARROW Maint at the end of August 1993. During the year 1994 already 1034 work tasks went through the system, and the year after that the number had climbed to 1857 tasks. Positive development has continued: in 2012 the system handled 3084 tasks, and the cumulative amount since the start-up in 1993 has reached almost forty thousand tasks.
One important trend that has surfaced during the past decades has been buying maintenance services from outside of the company. This happened also at Valmet at the end of the 1990s. Outsourcing called for a stronger touch in operation management. When there are various companies and even rivals working in the same area, there must be an explicit record of everyone’s role and of ordered and completed tasks.
From notes to tablets
“Times have certainly changed. Nowadays the maintenance staff is completely involved in the system, and newly graduated mechanics who come to their first employment interviews will ask what maintenance control system we use,” explains Hämäläinen.
It is important that mechanics see work control systems as tools which make their own daily routines more efficient and easy. This means that they are more motivated to use the software. The entire work atmosphere has changed remarkably in two decades. Previously work orders and work hour notifications were written on notes, and professional tricks such as troubleshooting and repair methods were kept almost as a secret.
“The computer-based control system, which was commissioned at Rautpohja at an early stage, has provided us with a very rare advantage. Now the factory has reliable error data from two decades at its disposal. The system is easily accessible from a computer, it does not forget and it will never retire,” says Service Manager Heikki Koivula. He was one of the people who originally made the decision to commission ARROW Maint at Rautpohja.
Perhaps the next phase in maintenance development will be new appliances. During the upcoming years, the industry will most likely move on to the world of tablet computers and smart phones. Such devices can be used next to or even inside the machines, and pictures can be taken of relevant items or problems. Additionally, new platforms make it possible to receive condition monitoring data directly from the machinery. A mechanic can then download this data directly on his tablet and use it as a basis for measure evaluation.
The mechanic is the key
If mechanics feel that a maintenance system is an important tool for them, they will start using it. Entering tasks into the system is not of secondary importance, because the only way to get constant measuring values and gain maximum benefits from the system is to enter all possible data immediately into the system.
“Our current policy is that only work entered into ARROW Main exists. Work orders go through the system, and a task that has not been ordered cannot be started,” explains Hämäläinen.
Initial difficulties and resistance to change have shown that the operating system must be user-friendly. At first it was just a question of inexperience, but there is generally no point in making the system too complicated. Mechanics should be allowed to concentrate on their own area of expertise.
“We changed all work types so that they conform to PSK standards, and we updated all tasks, usernames, hardware and the like. We also named a main user who is responsible for updating the data,” says Jari Immonen.
The next stage was to build indicators and set goals for maintenance operations. These would then enable the company to monitor the realisation of aims and development of operation in a reliable manner. The indicators and goals included, for example, availability, down time top 10, number of unfinished tasks, response times and the ratio of preventive and corrective maintenance.
Users involved in maintenance
“We began working on the user maintenance instructions in 2009, and now they are used with 103 of our biggest machines. The idea of the system is that users read the most simple indicators, such as oil level indicators and pressure gauges, pay attention to the cleanliness of the machine and take notice of clearly visible areas that are susceptible to wearing. To get the machine users involved, the system was made as simple as possible – all you have to do is click on one field,” says ARROW Project Manager Eppu Kuusela. Kuusela was previously working as a maintenance development engineer at Metso, but joined ARROW Engineering in December 2012.
The system has also built-in meeting tools, with which unfinished tasks, different inspections and other data can be gathered and combined, and then discussed in meetings. New routines have also been established to ensure the fluency and speed of invoicing. All parties, including the maintenance side, have been happy with the modifications.
“In order to find the basic reasons for faults, we decided to implement ARA analysing in our fault reports. Our ordinary fault reports were too general, so we needed to develop a systematic classification tool for fault diagnostic purposes,” says Immonen.
Kuusela underlines that this kind of process reorganisation would not be possible without the support of the management. Even the littlest things, such as thanking the users for correct preventive maintenance, are important in order to increase motivation and get the new procedures implemented extensively.
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