Rich Products cuts maintenance planning time in half

Dynaway EAM helps leading food supplier dramatically improve maintenance efficiency. Learn how the Dynaway EAM solution facilitates the reduction of downtime as well as a substantial increase in efficiency of administrative maintenance tasks at the Rich Products plants in Asia.

Rich Products cuts maintenance planning time in half

Information control — the key to efficiency

Which machines require service today? Do we have available employees with adequate skills scheduled for the maintenance and service jobs? Does anyone know where the electronic controllers are stored?

These are not the questions you would expect to hear in a maintenance department of one of the world’s absolute leaders in food service and supply for store bakery and retail marketplaces.

With maintenance and inventory being tracked in physical log books and spreadsheets, Rich Products’ maintenance organization in Asia knew they needed more structured information and work processes.

When Rich Products implemented Dynaway’s EAM system at their plant in China in 2014, it provided inventory and service operations with the structure and consistency they were missing.

Potential downtime prevented

The new system enables Rich Products to perform a spare parts count on a monthly basis and to link spare parts consumption to work orders. This enables them to reduce inventory, forecast which spare parts are needed and link purchase orders to preventive maintenance jobs.

What’s more, because the reasons for a machine breakdown are also recorded in the system, maintenance engineers can implement processes that may prevent future downtime altogether.

James Huang, Regional IS Director – Asia Pacific at Rich Products, says that the level of data that the new system provides has enabled them to introduce processes that drive efficiency and eliminate potential downtime before it occurs.

It is difficult to estimate how much downtime has been reduced because they hadn’t recorded comparative baseline numbers before implementation of the new system and it is still early days. However, Huang estimates that they have reduced around 20 hours of downtime per month to between 12 and 15 on average, and even as low as just seven hours of downtime in the best case scenario so far.

“Not only have we lowered downtime, but we’ve done so with the same amount of people, which is amazing.”

- James Huang

Planning time cut in half

Before the new system was implemented, maintenance engineers would perform a routine conditional check by inspecting operations manually, recording potential issues, discussing what to check, and recording the work done on paper.

Now, with all data in the integrated Dynaway EAM solution, Rich Products’ engineers simply print a prioritized checklist. This systematic implementation of best practices has cut the time it takes to perform a routine conditional check in half.

Forecasting that translates into real savings

The new solution also makes it easier for Rich Products to allocate and plan employee work hours. They no longer have to type work hours manually, which were, at best, an educated guess in the past. Instead, they now use work order scheduling to see whether the required employees, tools, and spare parts are available. The result is a complete overview of maintenance hours and required work hours.

“It gives us an overview of whether we have the right people, enough people – or perhaps in some cases, too many people. In the end, better planning translates into efficiency and money saved.”

- James Huang

Time used locating items reduced from hours to just minutes

Before the Dynaway EAM solution was implemented, spare part purchase, consumption, and storage were recorded manually in physical vendor logs and spreadsheets. Not only were they not linked to the relevant work order, but the location of spare parts on stock was not recorded.

Some items were in fact too large to be stored in the warehouse and were placed outside. In the worst case scenario, the inability to locate a spare part could stop operations on a production line for two to three hours, costing thousands of dollars. Now, because items are set up in a structured hierarchy in the EAM solution, they are easy to locate on site.

“With the hierarchical structure, it just takes a few minutes to navigate down the levels to the correct item and determine its physical location.”

- Gary He, Assistant Manager ERP

Always connected – from the back office to the plant floor

After standardizing and documenting best practices in the system in China, it was time to look for ways to build on this success at other plants in Asia.

“We realized that the closer the solution brings the maintenance engineers to their actual operations, the greater the improvements. So we implemented a mobile solution at the plant in Korea, and the result is better business performance.”

- Rachel Tao, ERP Project Consultant

The HTML 5-based mobile client provides the maintenance department with fast and easy access to the complex information stored in the maintenance module – right on the production floor. For example, in addition to the option of scanning a bar code on the spare part, they can now also type information on their iPad Mini.

In addition, the system requires engineers to register the number of work hours used, which spare parts were consumed, and other relevant details. These registrations are mandatory and cannot be neglected, as sometimes occurred in the past. Engineers even receive an alert reminding them that data is required.

Information can be extracted from the system on the go. For example, engineers can now see how many times the machine has been fixed in the past, and which problems occurred right there on their iPad Minis.

Accountability, accuracy, and efficiency

The Dynaway EAM and mobile solutions have provided maintenance engineers with easy access to structured information, and an improved overview of maintenance that has helped them improve work processes, dramatically reduce time spent on administrative tasks, prevent downtime, and minimize inventory. Now, Rich Foods plans to build on the success.

“We plan to capitalize on the benefits in all our Asian factories. The Dynaway solution has helped us achieve the three goals that every maintenance and engineering department strives for: accountability, efficiency and accuracy. ”

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