The technical shutdown period is a key moment in the life of a plant, which is required to maintain a certain degree of profitability and must ensure that its machines are in good working condition to achieve the objectives set by management. Even though it is not mandatory and each plant is free to decide whether or not to carry out a technical shutdown, doing without it and opting for a simple preventive maintenance strategy all year round can sometimes lead to significant losses if the plant is not properly organized and does not have a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Software).
Providing teams with such software remains essential to organize your maintenance operations, ensure smooth communication and save valuable time during interventions. This is the case with Mobility Work, a next-gen mobile maintenance management software available in SaaS mode which also is a social network dedicated to industrial maintenance. This type of innovative solution guarantees the success of your technical shutdown and saves precious time during this demanding period which offers no respite for the teams.
A technical shutdown is defined as a total shutdown of a plant’s production for a period determined by the plant (usually one month) during the summer. The maintenance teams take turns going on vacation, so the company seizes this opportunity to call in many service providers and other external professionals. This is an opportunity to check on the condition of each machine, to replace the necessary spare parts and to carry out any structural work. Preparing for a technical shutdown is therefore a very long process that requires months of anticipation and perfect organization. So how can you ensure that it goes smoothly and how will your CMMS software provide you with concrete solutions?
1. Order the necessary spare parts
The first step is ordering the spare parts that will be necessary for the maintenance of the equipment: from the organization of intervention meetings about the various equipment to the price requests and the delivery times which are extremely long, preparation for the technical shutdown usually begins as early as January.
Field teams must be able to easily report their need for spare parts to ensure that they will be available when the time comes. In addition, during the technical shutdown, office staff are often absent: it will not be possible to place orders via the company’s ERP. The manager will of course be able to call the supplier directly, receive a quote and forward it, but this is a significant waste of time at such a critical time.
What solution does a CMMS provide?
Thanks to Mobility Work, maintenance teams can report missing spare parts to the Purchasing department. More specifically, the maintenance manager could, for example, create a detailed order task on the relevant equipment and assign the people in charge to it so that they are informed of this need. The Purchasing department may leave the task open and close it only when the requested spare part has been received. Everyone assigned to the task will then receive a notification and will therefore be automatically informed.
2. Plan tasks and activities in your CMMS
To plan the various tasks that need to be performed, maintenance managers can access a scheduler in Mobility Work. This tool allows you to see the agendas of several technicians at the same time in a single place: you have a complete and clear overview of the operations to be performed and can drag and drop tasks very easily, which will notify the assigned users. This tool is very useful during the technical shutdown because teams rotate and certain activities sometimes need to be postponed. In parallel, all users have their own calendar in the CMMS and are therefore able to keep track of all the tasks performed, in progress or scheduled.
Administrators have access to a scheduler, which allows them to see several technicians’ calendars in one single place and to better organize their days!
The creation of tasks as such is done, at a minimum, on two levels. On the industrial maintenance side, the teams first consult each other to decide what repairs need to be carried out before creating the corresponding tasks in their CMMS, on the equipment sheets listed in the tool. Mobility Work users can create labels specific to this period for greater clarity in their operations and thusly tag tasks according to them, selecting the period in which they should be performed.
On the other hand, the maintenance department can contact the new works department, which will create its own tasks according to the needs: investments, machine replacements, building repairs… In short, Mobility Work allows the whole plant to come alive and coordinate its needs during this pivotal period.
3. Coordinate your service providers
Again, it is crucial to be well organized to ensure that the intervention of many providers is as smooth as possible. “When I was a maintenance manager at the FMGC (a foundry owned by Farinia Group specializing in the manufacture of counterweights), we had 250 people on site every summer. We had to plan everything down to the last detail to avoid unpleasant surprises, even if there were inevitably unforeseen events”, Anthony Blanchard recalls.
One of the major requirements during a technical shutdown is to keep a written record of the hours worked by your different service providers. They can fill them in themselves within the tool, but the maintenance manager can also take care of it directly: you can follow the work of the various professionals and find, as for all other tasks, the complete information directly in the application’s newsfeed.
In parallel, once you have filled out the numerous safety sheets (which contain a variety of information such as the place of intervention, working hours, potential number of intervention days…) with your service providers, you can upload them into the tasks created in your CMMS to protect yourself in the event of an accident.
The advantage of Mobility Work
Once all the tasks have been created internally, you can involve the service providers and provide a complete description of the operations to be performed. Mobility Work’s mobile CMMS offers several user profiles: with a free service provider account, the different field workers can use the tool directly to see what tasks they have been assigned to and when they’re are scheduled.
4. Perform your regulatory controls
In addition to the specific tasks you will have planned and scheduled with your teams, very specific and mandatory operations must be carried out each year, and a solution such as Mobility Work helps you to better apprehend them.
CMMS software allows you to schedule your condition monitoring operations better, thanks to maintenance plans for instance. In addition, you can add the regulatory documents to the tasks that correspond with the inspections you must carry out each year to guarantee the safety of the teams: infrared thermography, control of the lifting elements (dynamic or static load tests on your bridges for example), etc.
Passing your audits
At this time of year, you will also have to involve certified bodies to carry out these regulatory control operations, which will then allow you to obtain certifications. Once again, your software will be of great help in meeting certain points, especially when it comes to environmental issues. Indeed, more and more companies today want to adopt a more responsible approach and optimize their entire production chain, from design to the finished product.
For example, under ISO 14000 standards, a CMMS is an essential resource: you can get organized, type in all the necessary information when you prepare the various containers that will be used to sort waste from maintenance operations, indicate the quantities of waste generated, quantify this waste and estimate its impact on the company’s budget, etc.
5. Check that your production lines work properly
When the technical shutdown period comes to an end, your CMMS allows you to verify that all the planned tasks have been completed: Mobility Work being a community-based tool, data exchange is much easier. When you restart all your machines and check that the production lines are operational, you can access the machine’s service history in the solution and make a note of any dysfunctions.
Mobility Work being a mobile solution, it allows you to move around the factory and access all the data you need within a few seconds: for example, scan the QR codes installed on your machines to see what operations have been performed on it. “The major advantage of Mobility Work is that it allows us to save huge amounts of time”, says Anthony Blanchard. “This is valid all year round, but it is particularly true during the technical shutdown, a period that does not give us a second’s respite.”
6. Time for the assessment
By the end of the technical shutdown, the time has come to review all the operations that were carried out. The large quantity of data can be analyzed thanks to your CMMS. Mobility Work comes with an analytical tool, which is accessible to all users and shows your maintenance data in various graph forms according to the filters applied (period, users, etc.). That’s where you will find the number of hours spent on your equipment, the ones that required the most interventions, the labels most used on your interventions, etc.
Mobility Work CMMS is provided with an analytic tool to help you analyze all your maintenance data and adapt your strategy
Why will your CMMS be useful?
In Mobility Work, you can for instance create a “planned budget” counter, which will help you to monitor the evolution of expenses according to the operations performed. This analytical tool will therefore be useful in the context of the financial assessment carried out at the end of the technical shutdown: the provisional budget will have been drawn up at the beginning of the period, and budgeting all replacements, creating quantified tasks and adding counters to these tasks will make it possible to better monitor expenditure. These counters can be tracked in the analytical tool.
In parallel, the Purchasing department will once more be able to rely on the CMMS to invoice service providers. At the end of the technical shutdown, teams take over all the tasks performed: if they have been archived, they can invoice the various external workers who came on-site during the summer.