GIS is one of the innovation leaders in 2018

Überlingen – For the 25th time, the TOP 100 competition selected the most innovative companies of German SMEs. One of these innovation leaders this year is the GIS – Gesellschaft für integrated system planning mbH. This was the result of the analysis of the scientific director of TOP 100, Prof. Dr. med. Nikolaus Franke. As a mentor of TOP 100, Ranga Yogeshwar honored the company from Erlangen together with Franke and compamedia on June 29, 2018 at the award ceremony in Ludwigsburg within the framework of the 5th German SME Summit. In the independent selection process, the company impressed with 50 employees, especially through an impressive turnaround.

The GIS – Gesellschaft für integrierte Systemplanung mbH has a troubled time behind itself. Until 2011, the medium-sized enterprise founded in Erlangen in 1984 was exclusively active in the field of nuclear energy. Operators from all over German-speaking countries counted on maintenance and repair software from GIS. After the German government decided on the energy turnaround, the top innovator had to look for new business fields – and passed this challenge with flying colors.

 

Meanwhile, the 50-member IT company supplies maintenance software to names like DHL, Daimler, Volkswagen and BASF. The foundations of this success are the add-ons developed by GIS for systems such as IBM-Maximo, Infor EAM and SAP EAM. These add-ons ensure effective data management and guarantee that every user can access exactly the data he needs at any time. “An employee in charge of maintenance does not want to carry out 25 individual searches. He wants to be informed at a glance about the condition of his machine. ” Ansgar Niehof convinced. “We ensure that users get all the information without having to search manually on several systems,” Niehof continues. With innovations like these, the medium-sized company has managed the turnaround in the past – and is now a member of the TOP 100 circle for the first time.

 

And here’s the “Best of Film” with the most beautiful moments of the 5th German SME Summit https://youtu.be/T2PfbiORdak.

 

TOP 100: The competition

Since 1993, compamedia has awarded the TOP 100 seal of approval for outstanding innovation and above-average innovation success to medium-sized companies. Since 2002, the scientific direction has been in the hands of Prof. Dr. med. Nikolaus Franke. Franke is founder and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Mentor of TOP 100 is the science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar. Project partners are the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and the BVMW. As media partners, manager magazin, impulse and W & V accompany the company comparison. More information at www.top100.de

Based on predictive risk analytics, supported by condition monitoring and sensor data capturing, large improvements can be made with respect to equipment availability. Improved equipment availability usually leads to a direct increase of production output and profitability of the company.

Key element and starting point of the process is an understanding of the underlying mechanisms which lead to equipment failure, the so-called Failure Modes. Examples are corrosion, ageing or wear of components. Existing data of assets are often a good basis for imp0lementing asset performance management.

Solution modules for implementing Industrie 4.0 topics

Implementing APM is done in three steps and then continuously pursued.

  1. Actual state analysis of the plant’s performance
  2. Evaluation and prioritization of detected risks and so-called “Windows of Opportunity”
  3. Implementation of integrated optimization measures to increase efficiency, effectivity and safety /security

Transferring reactive maintenance towards proactive maintenance and the resulting increase of availability of systems and components due to predictive maintenance is achieved by the combination of several methodologies such as:

  • Reliability analysis (RCM – Reliability centered maintenance)
  • RBI – Risk-based inspections
  • FMECA – Failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis

Roadmap for implementing Asset Performance Management

By using intelligent and smart algorithms APM solutions allow instant analysis of existing maintenance measures and intervals. The seamless integration of APM in GiS’s EAM solutions enables continuous optimization of maintenance, repair and overhaul. Achievement of cost reduction and the increase of availability and reliability lift your organisation to a higher level.

Together with our clients, GiS has learned over many years that sustainable „Asset Performance Excellence“ is not done by stringing together smaller projects but longlasting management task which has to be fulfilled by all levels of the organization. This way the management of production relevant assets can turn into a real competitive advantage.

How do you ensure that

  • operations are done in a safe and compliant way?
  • ROI and/or reduction of costs are achieved?
  • the risk of equipment failure is significantly decreased?
  • asset reliability, availability and utilization are increased?
  • decisions are based on real data?

Smart algorithms enable APM solutions a fast analysis of existing maintenance measures and -intervals. The integration of APM in the enterprise asset management solutions of GiS empower your company to continuously optimize maintenance. Achieved cost reduction and an increase of availability and safety lift your organization to a higher level.

CREATE AN IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

What goals shall be achieved?
What KPIs will be used to evaluate the achievement?
Who will be involved in the initial project?…

CATALOGING THE PLANT

Registration of systems, components, operating materials, inventory etc. Typically these data are already available but have to be consolidated in one central system.

FAILURE CAUSES AND EFFECTS

Systematic registration of possible failures of components and their impact on production. This is done by experts and industry best practices.

CRITICALITY ANLYSIS

Ranking of critical assets based on failure probability and expected impacts shown in a risk matrix which visualizes the critical assets.

OPTIMIZATIONS PLANNING AND EXECUTION

Planning and bundling of optimization measures and implementation in company’s maintanance strategies.

CONTINUOUS APM

The performance of a plant und its components/assets is continuously monitored by KPIs. Deviations of set point values can be mitigated with optimized and modified measures.

Industrie 4.0 requires maintenance 4.0

Author: Dipl.-Ing. Michael Lex, Associate, Senior Consultant and Project Manager, GiS – Gesellschaft für integrierte Systemplanung mbH

Industry 4.0, the so-called fourth industrial revolution, represents the digital networking of processes and value-added chains.

For companies on the road to industry 4.0, it is essential to think quickly about a suitable strategy for proactive maintenance. The necessary intelligent sensor and actuator technology is already available and is available with a wider range of new devices, machines, and systems. It is now necessary to collect, analyze and use the acquired data by means of networking via the Internet of Things and to use it for the necessary consequences with regard to maintenance, ie to derive the optimum value-added flow.
»Maintenance 4.0« analyzes and describes ways of opening up a further step towards the optimization of the maintenance measures and strategies by digitizing, monitoring and evaluating production facilities. In doing so, the maintenance activities will focus more on “avoidance of failures” and “ensuring the capability to function”.

It is recommended to start with smaller implementation projects at the beginning of »Maintenance 4.0«, so that internal experience can be gained and a corresponding change management can be built up. For their successful implementation, the employees play an important role: the state of an installation is no longer assessed on the basis of their perceptions but on the basis of the available data in conjunction with the corresponding evaluation and analysis tools.

In the case of wind turbines (wind turbines) for example, “maintenance 4.0” is necessary, among other things, because of the large-area distribution of the plants. WEA from General Electric (GE) is equipped with an average of 130 sensors, which deliver up to 900 signals per second, thus enabling the monitoring of 500 to 600 operating parameters. This information is prepared using approx. 150 analysis and decision-making algorithms and compared with the operating data of a total of approximately 26,500 wind turbines from GE Wind. This is followed by the necessary maintenance measures. The annual maintenance costs were thus reduced by about 10 percent, repairs and downtimes were avoided and consequently a higher yield could be achieved over the entire lifecycle of a WTG.

In contrast to conventional power plants, the power stations are older than 20 years and are therefore not so strongly penetrated by sensors, such as modern wind turbines. However, sufficient data is available for “maintenance 4.0” via the process computers and individual sensors.

Energy-related and associated personnel reduction, also in the field of maintenance, forces the power plants to implement optimization potentials in maintenance. In the sense of the “Maintenance 4.0”, the maintenance personnel were given full access to the data of the process computers in a gas power plant to determine the plant state and the maintenance measures of some critical aggregates and processes to be derived from it.

Thus, the first prerequisites could be created to initiate the transition from a preventive to a condition-oriented maintenance strategy for critical aggregates and processes, to optimize the use of personnel and, in part, to take account of the changed market situation.

If the results of the analyzes result in a need for action, a work order can be initiated automatically via an EAM software and the necessary maintenance measures can be initiated.

Maintenance of conventional Power plants in the course of time

Altered operations of conventional power plants, resulting from the politically enforced submission, away from the capacity market to the capacity reserve, require a new orientation of the power plant operation.

Massive cost reductions, including in the field of maintenance, are an inherent consequence of the new economic challenges associated with this. With the enormous reduction in the power plant, and thus also the maintenance personnel, a change in the maintenance strategies can be observed. If previously preventive maintenance measures (faults) were the focus of the maintenance activities, this now changes to a condition-oriented maintenance strategy (proactive maintenance – avoidance of failures).

The requirements for an EAM software resulting from the failure-oriented maintenance are already fulfilled by the current EAM software solutions by means of the service request (fault message) and the workorder (work order).

With respect to proactive maintenance, the premises for the power plant operators have changed elementarily: The condition of an installation / component has to be evaluated in a much more detailed way and the resulting measures derived.

This process is to be achieved under the term “industry 4.0” and derived therefrom “maintenance 4.0” among other things by increased use and exchange of process and machine data as well as their evaluation and analysis. In addition to the availability of the data in particular, an extended qualification of the employees is necessary in order to ensure a sound use and evaluation of the available data.

The requirements for an EAM software resulting from the measures for failure-oriented maintenance (malfunction) are already covered by the current EAM software solutions by means of the service request (fault message) and the workorder (work order).

For the first steps in the direction of “Maintenance 4.0”, the data of relevant plant areas, whose process and machine data are not yet recorded electronically, can also be determined and processed manually. In the further integration of machines / systems and apparatus into the system, the amount of data that is generated and analyzed is very fast to reach dimensions which are beyond a purely local processing. Here, the need arises to set up a production DB, which is fed via interfaces with the resulting data. Data, which are then processed and processed by analysis programs and on the basis of which the necessary maintenance measures can be derived and initiated by the EAM software.

In order to implement the philosophy “Maintenance 4.0” (proactive maintenance strategy), the connection of a production database to the EAM software is indispensable. This means that the degree of automation can be increased and thus the reduced headcount in the area can be met.

INTEGRATED ASSET- UND DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT USING MOBILE SOLUTIONS

THE USE OF MOBILE DEVICES IN MAINTENANCE IMPROVES THE DATA AND TEXT QUALITY AND SIMPLIFIES THE MAINTENANCE AND DOCUMENTATION PROCESSES.

If one mentions document management during the maintenance phase, this often means only the administration of technical documents such as drawings, technical specifications or test specifications. This usually also represents the extent that is managed in a document management system (DMS). Technical documents are mainly prepared before commissioning a plant or provided by the manufacturer. During the operating phase, these are processed in revisions via a quality-assured release process.

In addition, there are operational documents which are produced in large numbers during the planning and execution of maintenance work. These include, for example, work orders, inspection or test reports. These documents are often only available in paper form and are not archived in a document management system. After completion of the documentation of a maintenance work, the operational documents are also completed. There is no subsequent revision.

For example, a technician needs different documents to perform an inspection job. This includes the inspection order as well as the inspection protocol to be completed. In the case of more extensive inspections, an inspection instruction and, if necessary, technical drawings are added. In order to assess the results of the on-the-spot inspection and, if necessary, carry out additional measures, the results of the last inspection would be helpful.

In the example mentioned, both technical and operational documents are required to carry out maintenance work. To facilitate access to all documents, it would be helpful if all documents were accessible from one place. If operational documents are not digitized, the central access can not be realized.

“In contrast to technical documents, the number of operational documents is growing rapidly, resulting in a great deal of effort in digital archiving.” “The production of the operating documents is not subject to a quality-assured document management process, but is carried out parallel to the maintenance process, which means that operational documents can not be stored in a quality-assured DMS archive.” “Operational documents contain signatures and hand entries which can not be digitized automatically.”

All these are often reasons for not archiving operational documents digitally. However, there are several, already established solutions for the digitization of operational documents with which these arguments can be weakened. In particular, solutions that prevent or reduce media breakages are the key to the digital archiving of operational documents. One of these is the use of mobile solutions.

The use of suitable mobile devices can completely dispense with documents in paper form. On a mobile device, all necessary documents can be kept in digital form (also offline). If the screen size is sufficient, paper forms can be played back on mobile devices 1: 1. The input with a pen including handwriting recognition is now also standard. This makes it easier to switch to digital documents for technicians.

By the digital recording of the operative documents all collected data can be analyzed. Thus, inputs from the inspection log can be compared with the target specifications from the specification or the results of the last inspection (s). In the case of a deviation, the device points directly to the technician. In this way, for example, error inputs can be corrected on site and thus data, and document quality can be improved. If rework is necessary due to deviations, these can also be signaled on site and carried out by the technician. This saves additional paths and speeds up the maintenance process. Also, faults detected on the spot, including photographs or by other persons, can be recorded directly digitally.

With the completion of the maintenance work, all data are available in digital form so that the operative document can be digitally archived with minimal effort. Additional documentation steps, e.g. The manual recording of paper forms is omitted. Signatures such as e.g. Which are carried out on paper so far can also be carried out on a mobile device and archived in such a way that a signature on paper can be dispensed with.

Author: Andreas Rosemann, Head of Sales at GiS – Gesellschaft für integrierte Systemplanung mbH

ENTERPRISE ASSET MANAGEMENT SOLUTION – AN IMPORTANT BUILDING BLOCK OF INTELLIGENT MAINTENANCE

The selection of a suitable EAM system is not automatically derived from the existing ERP system.

Author: Michael Lex, associate and authorized signatory of GiS Gesellschaft für integrierte Systemplanung mbH

An ever-tougher competition for the best practices in all areas of the company, accelerated innovation cycles, fast and successful alignment to rapidly changing market requirements, permanent optimization of value-creating processes in company workflows – these are the scenarios that companies face today. As maintenance is a key factor in the value added and thus also in the increase in yields, the use of IT-supported systems becomes indispensable.

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) is an important component of “Intelligent Maintenance” (Industry 4.0). This term is used to summarize topics such as condition monitoring, process / real-time data acquisition, diagnostic systems, smart data, mobile data acquisition, EAM, etc. to form a holistic IT-based approach.

Depending on the type of industry and the orientation of the company, the individual topics have to be weighted differently.

How to select the right EAM system

The choice of the EAM system, its form, configuration and its introduction strategy influence its successful deployment.

Companies often choose an EAM system that is part of the ERP system in use. However, since this is not always the best choice, many companies, despite the use of, for example, an SAP ERP solution, choose an EAM system such as, for example, IBM Maximo. Necessary interfaces between EAM and ERP systems nowadays are no longer a problem, as they are standardized in the portfolio of powerful EAM systems and cover the commercial aspects of maintenance management.

Intelligente Instandhaltung Bereiche

Introduction and use of an EAM system

The introduction of an EAM system is not limited to the IT-supported implementation of a company-specific maintenance strategy, which includes significantly more functionalities, which must be set up in different ways and depth, depending on the company’s orientation and the associated maintenance. Interfaces to condition monitoring, mobile data collection etc. are also to be included here (maintenance 4.0).

In order to be able to adequately serve all facets of maintenance, the powerful EAM systems on the market contain a variety of functionalities. Key features of typical EAM systems include plant management, order management, material management, procurement management and contract management.

Intelligente Instandhaltung Implementierung

A PARADIGM SHIFT FROM AN EXTERNAL TOWARDS INTEGRATED PLANNING PROJECT PLANNING TOOL

Initial situation

In nuclear power plants it is common to carry out the technical planning of annual outage work orders in an EAM system and to schedule the outage tasks in a project planning tool. The reason for this is historical: Former EAM systems did not (or just to some extend) offer the necessary functionalities to realise the scheduling of the outage; graphical support for the planning was not provided at all. Consequently, scheduling the annual outage was done/performed in a separate planning tool.

Problem / Challenge

The main challenge in annual outage planning for a nuclear power plant is the amount of work orders which have to be planned. The majority of components for the operation of power plants are considered safety critical. Therefore, despite of several redundancies, it is prohibited to do any maintenance tasks at these components while they are in operations mode as this would cause a non-availability of a component. As a result, extensive maintenance tasks and plant modifications are only possible while a plant downtime. Consequently, a myriad of work orders as well as hundreds of clearances and normalisations have to be completed during the annual outage.

During the annual outage in order to handle the amount of work orders, the amount of people working in the plant is about three times higher than during normal operating phase. In a modern nuclear power plant each day of downtime causes a seven-digit loss in turnover. Therefore, it is mandatory to get all the work orders done in minimum time while ensuring a fast and transparent communication of plan modifications to all people affected. For the planning it is possible to draw on the experiences over the last years because several work orders are periodic or annually recurring. As a consequence, the real challenge is the continuous monitoring and near real-time update of the outage schedule when unforeseen events occur as well as the communication of modified planning.

Outage planning with an external planning tool

The classical approach of the outage planning starts with the high-level planning of the projects in the project planning tool. Some planned projects are transferred into the EAM system in order to be able to assign technical tasks of work orders and clearances to projects. It is possible to define the sequence of the work orders and clearances in the EAM system; however, it is likely to be done in a tabular arrangement without graphical support. This technical planning has to be completed until a certain reference day because the export of the planned work orders and clearances in the external project planning tool takes place. From that moment on redundant data storage begins.

The next step is the assignment of work orders and clearances to individual projects, if this is not already done in the EAM system. Then the scheduling of work orders and clearances with the support of the exported data takes place. When the scheduling is completed it has to be available for all persons involved. Usually, only a small circle of people have access to the project planning tool. To guarantee availability for all people large scale prints and digital sections are often provided. The backflow of the detailed planning in the EAM system is difficult because work orders and clearances are processed in the EAM system; hence, it is possible that work orders and clearances do not match anymore with the exported data. Therefore, the backflow in the EAM system it is often relinquished.

The documentation of the work process (work releases, job completions and delays) starts with the beginning of the annual outage in the EAM system. Thereby, it has to be looked up in the outage planning if a work order is released or not because the final order of the workflows is specified in the project planning tool. The backflow of the work progress into the project planning tool, same as the backflow of the detailed planning, is problematic. At this point a manual comparison is nothing extraordinary. Consequently, an update of the outage schedule in the project planning tool is only performed on a daily basis. The updated plan is in then provided as prints.

Approaches for optimisation

The above mentioned procedures for the annual outage planning with external project planning tools offers a variety of approaches for optimisation. Often stated requirements are:

  • The outage plan has to be constantly updated on the basis of current work stages and latest events. An actualisation on a daily basis is no longer state of the art and does not exploit the entire optimization potential for the outage planning.
  • The EAM system should contain the latest planning data from the outage planning in the work orders and clearances. These days it is not acceptable to look up planning data outside the EAM system.
  • The current planning status and the progress of work have to be transparent and available at any time for all people who take part in the outage.
  • The outage planners should be supported in editing the planning by graphical user interface. Particularly, there should be a graphical definition of the sequence of work orders and clearances. The annual outage planning has to be more efficient. .
  • The paperwork hast to be reduced.

There are two possible options to meet these requirements:

  • An ongoing, bi-directional exchange of plan- and work progress information via a robust interface between the EAM system and an external project planning tool

or

  • The integration of essential functionalities for the outage planning within the EAM system.

It can be expected that a robust interface between an EAM system and a project planning tool can be established with current interface technologies, however, it raises the question if there is a dire need for an external planning tool in the annual outage planning of a nuclear power plant so that a break in the system between technical planning and scheduling can be justified.

A survey about the de facto use of project planning tool functionalities for the outage planning found that mainly the following planning tasks are performed:

  • Definition of a hierarchical project structure in order to structure the annual outage
  • Specification of the sequences with graphical support of the projects, work orders and clearances taking process- and scheduling aspects into account
  • Calculation of an optimal outage plan on the basis of specified sequences and planned durations
  • Manual adjustment of the outage plans on external circumstances like e.g. the availability of authorities for approvals
  • Updating outage plans on the basis of work progresses and events which is often done by manual comparison to the EAM system
  • Comparison targeted dates vs. current dates, as far as the current dates are available in the project planning tool.

Cost and resource availability aspects play a markedly minor role in the optimal annual outage planning (except of required authorities which have to be scheduled, too). As a general rule, the cost for a reduction of the outage period are significantly below the costs of a prolonged downtime; and if there are not enough resources available for an optimal resource plan, they will be acquired additionally.

Even with a robust interface it is difficult to achieve the above mentioned requirements because there is a system inconsistency between the EAM system and the project planning tool. The described planning tasks can also be achieved with several enhancements in the EAM system whereby further improvements can be reached.

Integrated outage planning

In the integrated outage planning the project structure of the planned projects is already defined in the EAM system. The project planning is realised by using a GANTT chart, which is available in state of the art EAM systems.

Large parts of the annual outage are recurring. Therefore, the recurring parts can be deposited in a project structure template. Equally, templates are available for recurring work orders and clearances. These templates can be linked to the project templates so that work orders and clearance templates are automatically assigned to the adequate projects when activated.

The project structure is available for all technical planners. Therefore, they assign their unique work orders and clearances during the technical planning to already defined projects. As a result, all work orders and clearances are assigned to the respective projects at the beginning of the annual outage planning.

The first step of the outage planning is the specification of the process order in each project as well as the subsequent specification of the cross-project order (bottom-up approach). The process order should be arranged in a PERT chart. On the one hand, the planer receives a better overview of the tasks and dependencies due to the different way of presentation (see figure 1). On the other hand, a PERT view enables the planner to set connections between planned objects which do not have a fix timeframe yet. Normally, in a GANTT chart there is a time bar for each planned object required, before an object can be graphically put into a sequence to another planned object. Nevertheless, PERT charts are often not part of an EAM system and have to be integrated additionally. In the following PERT chart example clearances are portrayed in green, work orders in brown, normalisations in yellow and transitions to other projects in blue.

The completion of the process order planning is followed by the time scheduling. Based on the determined beginnings and endings of the main project, the planned process order as well as the planned duration of each work order and clearance, it is possible to calculate an optimal timetable with critical path and potential buffers. The calculated outage plan can be manually adjusted to external circumstances in the GANTT chart. Usually, outage planners do not plan projects while normal operations; hence, they are no experts in handling project planning tools. The integrated GANTT chart contains – in contrast to the project planning tool – only functionalities which are important for the outage planning (see figure 2). Therefore, outage planners become familiar with the user interface of the GANTT chart very quickly. Moreover, the control concept is akin to the EAM system due to the integrated solution. Given below, the example of the GANTT chart analogue to the above displayed PERT chart. It is obvious that the sequences can be visualized much better in the PERT chart.

With the support of the integrated planning it is possible to transparently control the responsibilities of the outage planners and the technical planners so that outage planners get rights granted to change certain data from a certain status or date which technical planners don’t. Additionally, work orders can (despite changed order keys) be postponed, combined or split so that changed order keys do not lead to synchronisation issues.

With the beginning of the annual outage the documentation in the EAM system of the work process (work releases, job completions, delays) starts. The valid outage plan is deposited in the EAM system. Therefore, the EAM system can check by a release of a work order, if the release is conform to the requirements, like for example the determination of all planned predecessors. This relieves the personnel at the control room.

The current work progress is available online in the PERT chart as well as in the GANTT chart at any time. The current status of planning is visible online for any authorized person during the planning and the outage, too. Daily printouts of the updated outage plan to inform the people involved in the outage about the current planning status are no longer required. It is always possible to inform individual contractors or departments about the current situation of their work orders. The export of the planning in formats of the project planning tools is also possible.

Due to the integration of planning and fulfilment the EAM system can trigger an escalation by the smallest divergence of the outage plan. If outage personnel are asked to report job completion immediately, planning can be realised and monitored in 15 minutes intervals. During shut-down and start-up the interval equals 5 minutes because job completions are directly reported at the control room. In order to enable the workers to report the completion of work order near real-time terminals have to be installed in the plant – even in controlled areas.

The EAM system immediately informs the outage planners of plan-deviations. Therefore, the outage planning can be short termed and efficiently adjusted to the current work progress. In a rescheduling during the annual outage (during the optimization of the timetable) available resources are scheduled because in short-termed changes it is unlikely to acquire additional resources.

 

Summary

Experience shows that in external project planning tools only relatively small parts of the functionalities are used because of the extraordinary boundary conditions of an annual nuclear power plant outage planning. Modern EAM systems made up ground on established project planning tools with respect to the functionalities and timing of work orders. As a standard they have a editable charts as well as a lot of functionalities which are required for scheduling the annual outage. The functional gap between the demanded planning functionalities and the functionalities provided by the EAM system has been significantly reduced.

Depending on the deployed EAM system it is possible to extend the EAM system with little effort (in comparison to the promising advantages) so that the timing of the outage can relinquish on an external project planning tool. By shifting towards an integrated planning tool, efficiency in planning an outage as well as the communication of the current planning status increases. Furthermore, the basis of information for work releases by the control room staff and therefor safety and security can be enhanced.

The integrated outage planning supports compliance with the planned outage period due to the ongoing supervision of deviations of the plan and the possibility of a fast and efficient rescheduling during the annual outage. In some cases, the integrated outage planning can even reduce the annual outage period.

Together with the nuclear power plant Gösgen (Switzerland), GiS mbH, Weinheim an der Bergstraße (Germany) developed an integrated annual outage planning with consistent planning in PERT and GANTT chart. Since 2007 the nuclear power plant Gösgen successfully applies this integrated solution and accomplished the first integrated planned annual outage in 2008. The outage planners of the nuclear power plant Gösgen cannot imagine performing an outage planning with an external planning tool anymore. An integrated graphical outage plan will be absolutely mandatory in planned/future EAM solutions.

Likewise, some other nuclear power plants accomplished the shift towards the integrated outage planning and do not want to relinquish on the achieved improvements. A lot of nuclear power plants still work with the classical method; however, an integrated approach could lead to significant advantages and would be technically possible.

Add-ons for a productive simplification in dealing with the EAM system IBM Maximo

In the Enterprise Asset Management System »IBM Maximo«, users now have a uniform view of all systems and objects linked to IBM Maximo, can execute complex search projects quickly and purposefully using a single search field, and visualize their assets on a customized basis, similar to a map. In addition, user actions such as the creation or opening of service requests (SR), work orders (WO), and planned maintenance measures (PM) can be carried out directly from the context menu of the navigation tree, the search result as well as directly from the map view.

This is made possible by the Insight Control Panel of GiSmbH, which currently consists of three seamlessly integrated Maximo add-ons.

Uncomplicated operation improves acceptance and efficiency

Every discipline, including maintenance, has its “own world”: It is important to uncover what requirements and expectations users have to their system, what goals they are pursuing in their use, and what usage context the system is used for.

Users don’t want to support tools but the tools must support the users.

Thus the creed at GiS is not to organize a system over its functionalities, but rather over the conceptual world of the respective users, in this case the maintenance engineer.
The Usability Package, which is seamlessly integrated into IBM Maximo, significantly expands the potential of the maintenance solution by simplifying the process of interacting, increasing efficiency and data accuracy. For example, the add-ons minimize manual entry, visualize information, and significantly reduce the time spent doing work.

An example: The user would like to inform himself about all currently running and completed actions regarding a specific oil pump.
In the classic IBM Maximo system, the user will make separate search queries in different modules: search query in the IBM Maximo “technical object/oil pump” search query in the mask, open/closed orders, search query in the open / Query in the mask, open/closed faults’ etc.

With the add-on ‘Insight X-Ray’, the user gets all this information about the oil pump via a single search field, ie a single search query and this in the form of a clear and clearly arranged result list.

In short, the Insight Control Panel package provides improved acceptance and significantly higher user efficiency.

Delayed decreases in delivered components due to incomplete or non-timely documentation are a nightmare for any manufacturing company. In maintenance, the documentation is also a process risk.

Suppose an employee relies on a railing, the railing gives way, the employee crashes and suffers a fatal accident. In the following investigations, the documentation for the manufacture, installation, and maintenance of this railing will indeed be checked. Did the welder have corresponding, valid certificates in production? Were the railings allowed for the installation at this point? Are regular maintenance logs required to check the stability of the railings? A decision-maker must ensure that a complete, quality-assured documentation is available for all relevant process steps. Otherwise, he already has one foot in the “prison”.This extreme but simple example shows the risks that result from the incomplete documentation. Nevertheless, the practice shows that the importance of documentation is still often underestimated.

Along the supply chain, there is a need for documentation in many process steps. This article focuses on documentation in manufacturing and maintenance.

Increased efficiency

Workflows, reminder, rescue and escalation functions are used to automatically control and monitor the execution of scheduled tasks. This ensures that a complete documentation is created and archived parallel to the production or maintenance process. The planned and implemented quality can be proven at any time. A second quality assurance level can be set up using a four-eye principle when allocating and checking the target documents.

The documentation process is significantly accelerated and more efficient by QMS since the manual effort is reduced. The end-to-end process and integrated monitoring help the company to provide the required documentation in the defined quality at the scheduled time (see illustration).

Investment security

QMS was developed on the basis of the maintenance solution IBM® Maximo®. The existing order/task functionalities have been extended by the additional requirements of the documentation process. For this, the configuration options of IBM Maximo were used so that QMS supports all release changes from Maximo.

These configuration options are also available to the customer so that the customer can adapt the QMS to his needs.

The Maximo was supplemented by the Insight Control Panel for IBM Maximo of GiS, IBM Business Partner. It was only through this add-on that it was possible to present a clear dashboard with a structured representation of the order/task hierarchies, including traffic lights for the documentation progress.