How to develop preventive maintenance within a plant using a CMMS? How to use API to improve the productivity of maintenance teams?
Jonathan De Carvalho is a technical referent at ArcelorMittal, within the Tailored Blanks branch, which manufactures parts for the automotive sector. He has been a Mobility Work CMMS user since 2015 and we met with him to collect his feedback on these topics.
Could you describe your work and your company?
As the technical referent, I am responsible for setting up maintenance plans, planning and implementing them. I also supervise all the site’s anomalies which, while not stopping our lines, threaten productivity.
We manufacture non-stamped parts for the automotive sector such as steering tunnels, side rails and reinforcements. Our objective is to produce solid parts with little material to preserve the mechanical properties of the safety components of contemporary vehicles while considering the weight of materials in order to think about the ecological aspect of vehicles. We must constantly adapt to the normative and technological evolutions.
What are the maintenance issues specific to your sector and your company?
As previously explained, the automotive market is in constant evolution, changes are made daily on our installations.
The difficulties lie in the fact that we must constantly take into consideration the evolution of our machinery, update our procedures and maintenance plans, review the management of spare parts and quickly assess the criticality of new equipment.
How do maintenance plans fit into your strategy?
Maintenance plans are particularly important to us. We implement them as we go along. For example, during a failure analysis, we realize that a defective part, a gear for example, is never checked, even though it is a wearing part. We then integrate, through a certain number of tasks, a periodic control in the framework of a maintenance procedure.
This is something that we are increasingly doing and that grows according to the failures we encounter, the number of instances, and the defects that are reported to us.
In general, is preventive maintenance important in your field of activity?
It’s been about 4 years since we really implemented a preventive maintenance strategy on our equipment. Initially, we referred to the technical documentation of our machine manufacturers, who recommend a certain number of controls according to a certain frequency, and we added our experience.
We did very little preventive maintenance before adopting Mobility Work; today, we maintain our lines frequently. For example, some lines are stopped every 6 weeks for revision following a checklist that we store in Mobility Work.
As far as productivity is concerned, it is sometimes complicated to measure, but we can see that we have fewer breakdowns on the controlled components. However, it happens that other breakdowns appear, hence the interest in developing maintenance plans.
How does Mobility Work help you in this area?
Mobility Work allows us to evaluate the frequency with which these controls must be carried out, in particular by using and analyzing the checklists.
The analysis tools help us a lot, especially in evaluating the proportion of preventive and curative work that we do. Today we are at about 70% curative and 30% preventive, our objective is to reach 50% preventive.
How did you manage maintenance before adopting Mobility Work?
The old way, with a booklet in which the interventions carried out by each of our technicians were recorded. But it was impossible to obtain precise figures such as the frequency of a breakdown or to deduce which equipment was mainly involved. We didn’t lose too much information, but it was very complicated to consult the history, for example to find a past breakdown and the interventions carried out.
What led you to adopt Mobility Work?
Our management wanted a solution that was quick to implement and did not require a large investment. Mobility Work was chosen according to these two criteria: a solution affordable by a fixed cost and ready to use.
How long did it take to set up Mobility Work? How did it go?
We did not particularly dedicate human resources to the deployment of the CMMS. Initially, the technicians created the equipment as a breakdown occurred. That’s why it took about a year to integrate all of our machinery with Mobility Work, but we started using it right away.
What are the features of the application you use the most? What are the main benefits of Mobility Work in your opinion?
The main advantage of the Mobility Work CMMS is undoubtedly the analysis tools. They make it possible to measure quickly the part of curative, preventive and to establish a maintenance plan consequently. We use a lot the features of maintenance plans in which we integrate checklists.
The other major advantage is the possibility to connect the MES to the CMMS thanks to the public API of Mobility Work, that is very useful for us. We use it a lot and it saves us a lot of time.
Could you explain how you use the API to create tasks in your CMMS?
We use it in order to create tasks in an automated way according to defects directly returned by our supervisors. Our MES is connected to Mobility Work through an intermediary platform which recovers the data from the MES and sends them to Mobility Work in the form of JSON frames. This allows us to send the information directly from our production lines to Mobility Work without manual input, without human intervention. Our technicians receive directly the information that it is necessary to intervene.
For example, if a hydraulic unit has a questionable oil level, a task to visually check the unit is generated directly in the application. This task is then automatically assigned to the technician who is most competent to handle a problem on a hydraulic unit.
In your opinion, what are the advantages of API for maintenance?
It is a very interesting tool for us, which saves us a lot of time. Today we estimate that a technician who only has to fill in the activity carried out, saves between 20 to 30 minutes of manual input per day. Since we set this up in March 2021, 845 anomalies have been reported to Mobility Work, and 689 have been treated.
Everything is automated at this level, which allows a real follow-up: the production managers can follow the history of the defects and their resolution. This functionality also allows to avoid errors regarding the equipment selected when creating a task. It also allows to quickly dissociate the type of intervention (curative or preventive) and to assign the intervening parties according to their skills or field of operation.
Today, it works very well.
How did you decide to implement this API system?
We set this up following a communication from you on the subject, which I already knew a little about. I then contacted your team, and it was set up quite quickly. Today, the Mobility Work API represents a major asset for our company.
Do you have any particular plans regarding the use of Mobility Work?
Of course we do! We know your teams are working on rolling maintenance plans. We look forward to these changes to optimize our cost management.
Still with the objective of saving time, we would love to be able to retrieve the number of the task that has been created through the API. We would also like to be able to add an activity to the task that has been created, which would allow for example to add an activity to a task (interesting for recurring and never archived tasks).