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OEE: Using Maintenance to Achieve Higher Product Quality

Conveyor Belt

We’ve finally arrived at the third leg of the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) journey: product/output quality. At this point, if we’ve been calculating the first two components of OEE correctly, we should have accurate measures of equipment availability and the performance of that equipment when it’s operating, which is typically expressed in terms of total output.

By themselves, the first two measures of OEE provide important insight into the impact of your maintenance operations on the overall performance of the company. But they are incomplete without an understanding of product/output quality, which plays a major role in customer satisfaction, revenues, etc.

In OEE, quality is calculated as:

 = Good Pieces / Total Pieces

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OEE: The Role of Maintenance in Equipment Performance

In our first installment on Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), we looked at how you calculate the availability metric (Availability = Operating Time / Planned Production Time) using data from your CMMS system.

In this installment, we’ll take a look at the next component of OEE: Performance, which is calculated as:

Performance = (Operating Time/ Total Pieces)/ Ideal Cycle Time

Ideal Cycle Time, sometimes referred to as Nameplate Capacity, Theoretical Cycle Time, or Design Cycle Time, is basically just a measure of what a given piece of equipment should be capable of producing under ideal circumstances within a given timeframe.

In manufacturing settings, this is usually measured by throughput—how many parts/pieces a machine produces. In other industries, such as construction, this can be somewhat more difficult to measure, but virtually any measure of output/productivity is workable.

In ManagerPlus, throughput (or cycle counts, in our example) can be easily set up as a log value, which can then be set to trigger a work order automatically if output falls outside of the acceptable range.

First, open ManagerPlus and click on the “Logs” module (1). Within the Logs module, click on the gear icon (2) in the upper left hand corner of the tab, select “Log Types” and click “Edit Lookup” (3) in the Log Settings window.

Log Type Creation_1 Continue reading

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Safety First: Reducing the Risk of Falls and Injuries in the Workplace

cherry picker for guest blog_DM Civil Contractors

This week’s guest blog comes from Jayde Ferguson of DM Civil Contractors.

The construction and mining industry is easily one of the most dangerous when it comes to falls and injuries in the workplace. Each year, thousands are injured on the job and reducing this occurrence of potential risks is a consistently high priority of safety and health professionals all over the country.

Just in Australia alone, recent health and safety statistics reveal a total of 117,815 number of serious claims reported. Muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down objects was the top risk, with falls on the same level and falls from a height following closely behind. According to the US Department of Labour, slips trips and falls make up the majority of the general industry accident too, which accounts for about 25% of all reported injury claims in the year.

Thus, it’s safe to say measures need to be taken to ensure the safety of all workers. Whether it’s a momentary lapse of distraction or not taking the right healthy and safety precautions – we check out the importance of putting safety first to help reduce falls and injuries in the workplace.

1. The Importance of Regular Machine Maintenance

To keep work equipment safe and reliable, it’s imperative regular machine maintenance is done. Schedules should be in place to prompt relevant staff to ensure equipment is tested and checked to avoid potential accidents and dangerous situations. According to the European statistics on accidents at work, it’s estimated that around 15-20% of accidents are related to maintenance operations, with around 10% of these leading to fatal incidents. Continue reading

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Know Your Reports: The Basics

The first phase in any successful rollout of ManagerPlus is to run all work orders, logs, PM schedules, inspections, and other primary maintenance tasks through the system.

Once the transition is complete and everyone is using the system to track, schedule and document their work, it’s usually not long before our clients start diving into our Reports Module to gain detailed insight into their data.

Depending on the edition, ManagerPlus offers anywhere from 23 to 84 ready-made reports that provide a wealth of insight into data on assets, work orders, inventory, logs, and much more. Each offer different filtering and configuration options to help you zero-in on the information you need (not to mention the full customization available through the add-on ReportingPlus Module).

With all of these options, it can be difficult to know where to start, so we’ve decided to launch a new blog series: Know Your Reports. This first installment is designed to get you familiar with the basics, so let’s get started.

+ Printing the List View.  Yes, I know I just got done talking up the benefits of our reporting options, but sometimes everything you need to see is right there in front of you in the module list view; all you need to do is print it.

Sorting your data in the list view is easy: you can rearrange columns by dragging and dropping the headers, and add additional columns by clicking the asterisk button (1). You can also right click and select “Show List Grouping” (2) which will create a blank area where column headers can be arranged for a variety of data views. If you want to see totals for any of your column headers, you can right click on the column header and select the footer type to show the count, average, min, max, or sum for the full list or individual groups within the list (3).

In the below example we are working in the Work Orders Module, and have dragged the “Status” header into the List Grouping area, followed by “Work Type.” Now we can see a count of all of the completed work orders for the work type “PREVENTIVE” because we have also added a footer that shows the count. In this case, I have also narrowed down what appears in the list by using search criteria (4), filtering the view based on the “Status” and “Work Type” (check out our in-depth guide to custom search criteria here).

Work order list view 1

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OEE: One Metric That Can Spell Success or Failure for Your Company


In business terms, there may be no maintenance-related metric more important than Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

By accounting for availability, performance, and quality, OEE provides one of the quickest ways to assess the role of maintenance in the overall health of your company. Yet many companies either neglect to track it, or calculate it using incomplete/inaccurate data gathered using outdated paper records and spreadsheets.

World-class companies, by contrast, use CMMS solutions to track detailed information on their equipment and watch their OEE numbers carefully to target areas for improvement. These companies maintain upwards of 90% equipment availability, performance rates of 95% or more, and overall quality of 99% for an OEE greater than or equal to 85%.

So how do they achieve this level of excellence? First, let’s quickly review how OEE and each of its components are calculated:

Availability = Run Time/Total Time (accounts for Down Time losses)

Performance = Total Count/Target Counter (accounts for Speed losses)

Quality = Good Count/Total Count (accounts for Quality losses)

OEE = Availability x Performance x Quality

In order to put these calculations to proper use, world-class companies will define several specific timespans (work shifts, for instance) and calculate these OEE measures for each in order to compare them. In this week’s blog, we’ll focus on availability to see how you can drill into this metric and improve it.

+ Availability

Availability is the foundation of all OEE calculations because it is a straightforward measure of downtime. When it comes to improving OEE, availability is therefore the best place to start.

There are two key factors involved in availability: machine breakdowns and machine adjustments/setups. Continue reading

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How Much Preventive Maintenance Should You Be Doing?


When companies come to ManagerPlus looking for our maintenance software solutions and expertise, it’s not because they aren’t familiar with preventive maintenance. The vast majority are already performing routine oil changes, replacing HVAC filters, lubricating heavy machinery, performing safety inspections, etc.

In most cases, what they need is for us to assist them in performing these services more efficiently–and we’re extremely effective at helping them accomplish this. So much so, in fact, that they’re often faced with a new dilemma: they now have spare resources and capacity that could be used to perform more advanced forms of preventive maintenance, but they’re not sure if doing so would yield additional benefits.

In other words, we’re able to help them make it so easy to do the preventive maintenance they’ve always been doing, they now have to ask whether they should do more, and whether there is such a thing as too much.

So…is there?

The answer is: it depends, but generally speaking, there’s no such thing as too much preventive maintenance if you’re doing it properly.

According to “Maintenance and Reliability Best Practices” by Ramesh Gulati, companies that run “Best Practice Benchmark” operations schedule between 10-40% of their maintenance work. World class organizations, on the other hand, schedule upwards of 85% of their overall maintenance workload.

The thinking here is that, by proactively scheduling as much of their maintenance work as possible, these companies are able to maximize equipment up-time, utilization rates, and resale value. This makes sense–most authoritative sources suggest that preventive maintenance can be up to 20 times more cost effective than run to failure maintenance.

With ManagerPlus, it’s easy to determine how much of your work is scheduled versus unscheduled. The quickest way to find this information is to run the “Work Order Summary” report in the Reports Module (in our Enterprise Desktop product). This will show a quick count of the number of work orders associated with scheduled work as well as the number that were associated with unscheduled work. Dividing the number of unscheduled WOs by the total overall (unscheduled plus scheduled) and multiplying the result by 100 will give you the percentage of unscheduled work orders.

In the below example (a partial view of the final page of the Work Order Summary report), we can see the count of Scheduled WOs listed as 32, and the count of Unscheduled WOs listed as 12. If we take the 32 scheduled WOs and divide it by the Total WOs–44 in this case–and then multiply the result by 100, we come up with 72.7%.

Work Order Summary Continue reading

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Are You Spending Too Much on Maintenance Labor? Find Out with One Simple Equation

ABCs of Advanced Maintenance: Schedule Compliance Ratio

In our last installment, we looked at the first key metric you should calculate when evaluating your maintenance operations: Maintenance Cost as a Percent of RAV (Replacement Asset Value). In broad terms, this metric indicates whether you’re spending too much on maintenance.

So let’s suppose you’ve used your maintenance management software to perform this calculation for your company, and discovered that you are, in fact, spending too much on maintenance (or you’re in the benchmark best practice range, but want to become world class). Now what?

It’s time to drill down into different facets of your maintenance operations to zero-in on problem areas. And once again, the data you’re tracking in your maintenance management software will prove invaluable.

Since labor typically tops the list of expenses for any company, it makes sense to look there first if you find that your maintenance costs are too high. The key question is, are you getting the maximum amount for every dollar you’re spending on labor?

Answering this question is straightforward–all you need to do is calculate your Schedule Compliance Ratio using data from your maintenance management software. First you’ll need to find the total number of labor hours that have been allocated on all of your work orders over a given period. In ManagerPlus, all you need to do is go to the Reports Module and select the “Work Order Labor Count” report under the Work Orders section.

Work Order Labor Count_resized 2

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Maintenance Benchmarking with CMMS: How Does Your Company Compare?



ABCs of Advanced Maintenance: Maintenance Cost and Replacement Asset Value

For many companies, efforts to streamline maintenance operations tend to follow a “fire, ready, aim” progression. Management wants to see improvements, but everyone has a different idea about how this should be accomplished, and pretty soon there are a dozen different initiatives underway with no unified, measurable objective.

To make matters worse, these companies often use multiple systems to track and manage maintenance operations at different levels (maintenance techs use paper systems while managers rely on spreadsheets, etc.). This makes it next to impossible to both accurately determine what initiatives need to be prioritized, and to roll them out effectively.

Thus, the first and best step any company can take is to implement a CMMS system to centralize maintenance operations. Companies are often surprised at what they find when they start tracking their operations properly, and if there’s one thing that can cut through the noise of different ideas and opinions, it’s good, solid data.

Consistently tracking data on all maintenance costs, for instance, will make it much easier to benchmark your operations and determine where you rank among your peers. With this data, you can calculate your company’s Maintenance Cost as a Percentage of Replacement Asset Value (RAV), which is a perfect benchmark metric to start with.

In ManagerPlus Enterprise, you can run an Asset Total Cost of Ownership report for an instant look at how much material and labor you’re putting into maintenance for any asset, or for all of them together. The “Work Orders” column shows a total of all labor, inventory and other costs that have gone into the maintenance of any/all of your assets.

Asset Total Cost of Ownership

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3 Ways Facility Management Software Helps Keep Clients Happy

facilities for 3.3.2015 blog

Occupancy is always at the top of every facility owner’s list of priorities—keeping current clients happy while attracting new business is the key to profitability.

The key to client happiness is, in turn, a function of facility condition and overall costs. This is where facility managers and maintenance personnel come into the picture.

They are immediately responsible for addressing maintenance needs, ensuring that facilities are helping clients meet their objectives. For your typical facility, this might be where their responsibility ends: satisfying basic needs in order to retain clients that are already there.

Elite facilities, on the other hand, bring a proactive outlook to the cost equation, looking for ways to lower overall operating expenses so they can pass some of these savings to their clients. Here are three ways you can accomplish this in your facility.

+ Minimize turnaround time on maintenance requests. Before any proactive, cost-cutting measures can get underway, you’ll need to have a solid system for scheduling and managing facility services.

They only way to carve out additional time for proactive maintenance and facility upgrades is to minimize the resources typically devoted to maintenance emergencies. Clients have cut average turnaround time on maintenance requests from 4 or more days to 24 hours or less with facility management software. Continue reading

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Fleet Management Software: The First Step Toward Sustainability

Fleet sustainability

The debate over fleet sustainability is increasingly focused on the question of ‘how’ rather than ‘if,’ according to experts and technicians who presented at the 2015 Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) held last week in Nashville, TN.

Demand from customers and shipping companies continues to build momentum for new government regulations and initiatives designed to minimize the environmental impact of fleet operations of all types and sizes. Fleet companies that take a proactive approach to sustainability will thus avoid the extra costs associated with falling behind on new regulations and standards.

But that’s where fleet sustainability becomes tricky: where do you start? Alternative fuel vehicles are growing in popularity, but there remains uncertainty over which type will emerge as the new standard, and fleet companies (especially smaller ones) may not be in a position to make such a big investment.

The government itself doesn’t recommend taking such drastic steps too soon: guidelines developed for the government fleet operations suggest developing a strategy first and then collecting thorough data that can be used to create workable strategies.

In other words, the first step fleet companies need to make is to move away from paper systems and spreadsheets, and implement full-featured, centralized fleet management software with mobile functionality.

No other type of solution offers the reliability of data tracking and depth of operational insight necessary to develop effective sustainability initiatives. Here are some of the key areas where fleet management software can assist with sustainability initiatives.

+ Maintenance first. The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) rates preventive maintenance as one of the primary cost-effective ways to reduce fuel usage. Basic powertrain maintenance, including air filter replacement, lubricant changes, and tire rotation can cut fuel usage by as much as 19 percent.

The important thing is to ensure that these services are performed in a consistent, timely manner. In terms of sustainability, falling behind is the major concern: each day that these services fall behind is another day that you could be using up to 19 percent more fuel.

Fleet management software makes it easy to tie these PM tasks to log readings such as mileage and hours of operation, helping ensure that these services are performed before they start to impact fuel usage. Alerts can be sent out when these log values approach pre-defined thresholds, making it easy to stay ahead on these schedules, and reduce your fleet’s environmental impact.

+ Minimize idle time. According to Ford Motor Company, one hour of idle time is equivalent to traveling an additional 33 miles. Cumulatively, idle time can dramatically throw off PM schedules and contribute substantially to greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading

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