“It is no exaggeration to talk about a revolution. The risk of making mistakes has been radically reduced, it has nothing to do with what we were used to”
A successful tool management is a major issue for every plant. Just like more traditional equipment, they need to be maintained taking into account their various specific features, as they guarantee the performance of a plant’s production and have a strong impact on its results. The whole structure therefore depends on it. If correctly maintained, the tools are a good indicator for the company as it can make sure that its clients are satisfied.
To tell us more about the subject, we have met Antoine Chaplin, engineering technician at the FMGC, a Farinia Group’s plant. He started working for the Quality Safety Environment Methods (QSEM) department back in 2013 and is today in charge of Mobility Work, the CMMS that the company chose to implement. He wants to prove that such maintenance management software are as useful and essential for traditional maintenance departments as they are for QSE services, who manage a large set of models. FMGC’s QSEM department manages 420 foundry patterns and more than 1,200 core boxes and foundry moulding boxes.
Why conventional CMMS are flawed
In most cases, when a company wants to manage its equipment maintenance, it usually turns to a conventional CMMS software and therefore trusts the largest industrial maintenance software companies. This was the case for the FMGC, which faced a significant need for implementing a more professional and successful tool management system. As a matter of fact, workshops deal with a lot of manufacturing and fixing internally, so they needed a CMMS to provide an accurate service. Antoine Chaplin remembers: “When I arrived here, our maintenance was only managed through paperwork. We basically had to fill in forms and to put them in different baskets: to do, done… The team manager then had to check the papers in order to follow up the work”.
Yet many companies have long been used to this pretty archaic system, which leads to a lack of communication and a loss of time and information (for instance, if a paper falls out of the tray it gets lost)... Managers were forced to constantly come and go to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that emergencies were sufficiently taken into account. As one can imagine, coordination is far from being optimal, and it can lead to huge financial loss for the entire company.
Still, implementing a conventional CMMS doesn’t guarantee that all your problems will be solved, as Mr Chaplin explains: “The software we chose soon became way to difficult to put in place. Screens weren’t user-friendly, it wasn’t intuitive and we eventually lost a lot of time… Whether it was all the incomprehensible fields to fill in or the long training months, the software was really different from the technological tools we were used to use on a daily basis”. Every industrial maintenance technician or manager can surely relate to this situation, but there’s a solution to it.
Choosing an innovative solution
To make a production line more fluid and enhance a plant’s profitability, companies have to implement next-gen CMMS. This kind of solutions, just like Mobility Work, provide innovative features that are useful to the entire company: maintenance, stock, production, purchasing… Technicians have the possibility to directly intervene and to react quickly when needed. It just takes them a few clicks to schedule work orders, to tag various tools and to easily follow the maintenance interventions progress. In a word, they have a real visibility on their day and on the structure’s activity. Beyond the technical aspect, the entire communication process is enhanced. Employees are using an intuitive tool and quickly become accustomed to it, just like Mr Chaplin explains: “The technicians that first were doubtful now complain when they cannot use the application for an hour because of an update!”.
Thanks to such tools, users are not afraid of technology and complicated interfaces aren’t a hurdle anymore. A lot of technicians are often reluctant when it comes to 4.0 technologies or connected tools, but again, this is a smooth transition. The benefits are many and one of Mobility Work’s main arguments is its community dimension. The application is indeed the first industrial maintenance social network so it connects all the sector’s stakeholders.
As a consequence, employees progressively communicate better and share information very easily, but departments also cooperate smoothly. The platform is based on interactions and all profiles have access to the newsfeed, which gathers all the important information of the technicians’ network. This feature is of course very useful for the plants, as it gives them the opportunity to communicate and to benefit from this whole network in order to exchange spare parts, tools, equipment...
Tool management and service providers
Within the framework of their tools’ management, companies often work with service providers. They might want to be prepared to achieve their production goals and therefore appoint subcontractors. Once again, industry 4.0 CMMS allow companies to cope with these priorities.
As an example, Mobility Work has developed an entire interface dedicated to subcontractors and Official Providers, highlighted by the application. These features show the need for the different industrial maintenance stakeholders to always be more connected. Thanks to the search bar, users can directly find the companies they want to work with: they have the possibility to take the rating and the comments left by other users into consideration. Antoine Chaplin quickly understood how useful this feature was because “a large part of [their] tools are managed by subcontractors, so that’s definitely an interesting option”.
Mobility Work invites all service providers to register on the platform: thanks to the application’s maintenance community, they indeed become more visible and reach a wide range of partners.
Rethink an entire organization to be more productive
Concretely, Mobility Work allows a lot of enhancements. Lack of organization, information loss and employees’ lack of motivation when they work with conventional CMMS now belong to the past. Antoine Chaplin explains: “Operators used to have absolutely no visibility: being able to use a calendar for instance significantly changed their lives. Now each one knows what he has to do during the day, he has access to a very intuitive calendar and can easily drag and drop tasks whenever needed”. It is exactly the same for maintenance plans, as they are optimized for on-field use. Mr Chaplin is very enthusiastic: “Within our service, a lot of reglementary tools need to be regularly inspected. Before Mobility Work, operators had to set reminders in Outlook in order to remember it. Today, they just need to take a quick look at maintenance plans to see the tasks”.
It is crucial for all technicians to become proper stakeholders in order for the maintenance to evolve progressively and to modernize its image. If we give them the possibility to work with a user-friendly, mobile and next-gen solution, there is a lot to win.
What about financial consequences?
“I couldn’t do without real time management. Wherever I am in the plant, I can directly access all the tasks: I for instance see the percentage of completion of a given activity, so I know if a tool is repaired, or only at 50 or 60% and that it will be available the day after”, tells Mr Chaplin. Thanks to it, the application’s analytical tool gathers data and generates tables and graphs to highlight the potential issues, prevent breakdowns and understand where they come from.
This activity real-time display allows users to follow the potential affected costs, according to the time spent on repairs, the number of pieces manufactured… The data analysis is an essential feature to see the activities’ history and therefore detect the potential issues that can lead to equipment damage and production delays. In brief, next-gen CMMS give companies the possibility to analyze all their spendings. As a consequence, technicians and managers working on field manage priorities and organize their work in an optimal way.
Why it is necessary to shake industrial maintenance up
Mobility Work often claims to revolutionize maintenance. The application’s users totally agree, just like Mr Chaplin: “It is no exaggeration to talk about a revolution. The best example according to me would be the equipment creation: it now only takes me a few seconds to do it with my smartphone while it took me way more time on our previous CMMS (there were a lot of fields, filters, shortcuts)... The risk of making mistakes or entering wrong information has been radically reduced, it has nothing to do with what we were used to”.
The maintenance sector is progressively changing thanks to industry 4.0 and innovative and connected technologies. Just like these changes, the perfect CMMS has to be flexible, mobile and user-friendly: one shouldn’t be afraid of evolution and enhancements. That is precisely what Mobility Work believes in, as it always is ready to take customers’ needs into consideration. Mr Chaplin agrees and explains that, the few times he needed online support, directly accessible in the application, he always got instantaneous answers. Over the past three years, he had the opportunity to witness the solution’s evolution and is happy to see that the software truly adapts to its 9,000 users.
The employees in charge of tool management must also be given the possibility to use a CMMS software that makes their everyday-life easier and that helps them eradicate breakdowns and production failures. To discover all Mobility Work’s features, don’t hesitate to watch our video presentation.
Thanks to Mr Chaplin for accepting to share his experience and enthusiasm for our 4.0 CMMS! Users’ feedbacks are at the heart of our approach and are helping us improve our product on a daily basis.