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Enterprise Asset Management

Realizing EAM Value through Mobile

Hands-on maintenance and repair work doesn’t happen in the maintenance office. Most of the time, that work occurs in the plant or field – down the hall, past the production doors, across the industrial site and sometimes, miles away. 

And when it comes to the chances of a successful "first-time fix" (FTF), that all depends on if you have the right information in your hands at the job site for the required tools, parts, skills and documentation - so that when you leave, the work is done correctly.  With HxGN EAM mobile capabilities, you can count on having the information you need, when you need it, to improve your chances of a successful FTF.

Got to be the "Right Stuff"

We’ve all heard or seen the phrase “location, location, location” when realtors tout their successes in selling properties. You have also likely heard the phrase "right place at the right time” when people talk about their reason for success or luck. But if you think about it, it’s the combination of those two things that's really the key. Now, take these phrases and apply them to asset management and maintenance.  Having everything you need when and where it's needed is critical to successful asset maintenance and repair.

Operating and maintaining an industrial facility has a similar theme: right place, right time, right tools, right training, etc. Many things must be “right” to effectively, efficiently and safely service and maintain equipment. This applies to making rounds, performing calibrations and adjustments, and carrying out actual repair work (planned or unplanned) on equipment. All these things need to be right to have a successful maintenance work order completed. Take anything away and something - efficiency, effectiveness, safety - will slip.

However, with HxGN’s EAM Mobile suite of applications, we can help you service and repair assets the right way at the right time with the right information. Let’s take a look at how this works with a day-in-the-life example. 

A Day in the Life

Steve, a chemical plant maintenance technician, is assigned a work order to check on a piece of rotating equipment. Operations is reporting that a piece of equipment is not running at peak speeds and occasional vibration alarms are alerting. Steve heads out of the maintenance office and travels to the work location with all the necessary tools to get started. Approximately 10 minutes later, Steve arrives at the job site.

On site, he immediately inspects the equipment but wonders why it needs attention. The first thought that comes to mind is knowing what the most critical health KPIs are for this machine, such as:

1.    What (production) speed is it running at?
2.    What are the motor/drive systems pulling in terms of amperage?
3.    Is the current vibration measurement on the gearbox in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines?
4.    What other symptoms did Operations experience that caused them to open a work order?
5.    Is this the first time Operations has seen this issue or is this a recurring problem?

Unfortunately, Steve doesn’t have the information to his questions in front of him, so he travels to the control room to speak with Operations. After that discussion to collect some data, he realized he needs to head to the control room, which takes another 10 minutes.

When Steve finally diagnoses the issues and determines the corrective actions, he turns around and heads back to the maintenance shop to get the necessary items for the job, including maintenance and operations manuals for the equipment. He then travels to the tool crib and plant stores to get some additional tools, parts and supplies.

At this point, Steve's time-on-tools (wrench time) is a big zero. 

Improving Field Work Efficiency

Wrench time or time-on-tools is defined as the time spent actually working on equipment. It rarely includes time spent on travel, work order review, tools and parts gathering/preparation or documentation collection. To maximize wrench time, maintenance technicians need ALL of the “right” stuff. While some of the work order review and preparation is done in the maintenance shop ahead of the wrench time, much of it happens on the job site and during the travels of the technician. Therefore, eliminating or reducing wasteful activities, such as travel, is key.

Check out this case study about a Hexagon customer who improved their maintenance efficiency with HxGN EAM

But hey, if you can’t fix the problem from the maintenance shop requiring a trip to the field, why not bring your asset management system with you? With HxGN’s EAM Mobile application suite, you can. With a mobile device such as a phone or tablet, you can have near real-time access to procedures, manuals, inventory, maintenance history and live process information. And you know that having access to live, updated information in the field is crucial to being efficient and effective in maintenance work. Here are just some ways you can gain efficiency through mobility.

Demonstration of Value

The value of extending HxGN EAM through mobile comes from increased efficiency and effectiveness of maintenance functions – particularly the activities ahead of and surrounding wrench time. The following are two examples of how HxGN EAM Mobile can make your maintenance activities more efficient.

1.    Reduction in Travel Time – The ability to "bring EAM with you" means you won't waste time returning to the control room to view equipment health and process data or to the maintenance shop to read operating and maintenance manuals. You will know precisely the tools and spare parts you need for the work order. With mobile capabilities, you can even requisition the parts required to do the job, which once again, leads to having more wrench time to execute the job efficiently.

2.    Improved FTF – When you have all the information at your fingertips (live data, repair history, documents, process data, etc.), you have the best opportunity to make the correct repairs, eliminating the need to return later with different tools or parts. Every return trip to the job site erodes productivity, impacts profitability and delays the ability of a processing unit to get back online and run at scheduled production rates.

Mobile Considerations

Not every industrial facility allows for the use of mobile devices. Confidentiality and connectivity are two factors that a company should consider when considering mobile solutions. 

Company Owned vs. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Company-issued devices are one of the best ways to ensure that mobility is configured securely and correctly to get the work done. In this environment, technicians check out a mobile device at the beginning of a shift just like checking out a radio for the day. Mobile devices are returned at the end of the shift change and recharged for later use. By limiting access to devices outside facilities and working hours, confidential information gathered on the device during a workday remains securely within the company’s network.

Connectivity is also a consideration for a connected worker. Whether the site consists of enclosed production facilities or is distributed across a more significant footprint (chemical plant, refinery, mine), wireless connectivity is essential. HxGN's EAM Mobile applications provide offline and online capabilities, allowing you to realize the flexible benefits of mobile with mixed wireless coverage. Mobile solutions do not require continuous coverage to be beneficial, but having Wi-Fi cellular coverage brings the greatest value.

For over 20 years, mobility has been at the heart of HxGN EAM, driving innovation and delivering exceptional field solutions. With more than a decade of native mobile application development, our HxGN EAM Mobile applications, including EAM Mobile and EAM Digital Work, have evolved to provide seamless online and offline capabilities straight out of the box. We understand the importance of flexibility, which is why our applications boast highly configurable interfaces tailor-made to suit the unique needs of specific teams or departments. Our suite of mobile tools enables quick and efficient submission of requests from internal and external parties, facilitating streamlined communication and collaboration.

To learn more, visit HxGN EAM today. 

About the Author

Brian Tilley is an Executive Industry Consultant in process and discrete manufacturing with Hexagon’s Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division. With nearly three decades of manufacturing and industrial technology experience, his career spans everything from engineering, information technology, consulting and operations across multiple industrial verticals. His strengths and specialties include automation/controls, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), analytics, remote monitoring and digital transformation. Brian has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kansas, an MBA from Wichita State University and a postgraduate certificate in Data Science from Columbia Engineering.

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