Analyzing SAP’s FKOM and the Idea of “Intelligent Enterprise”

Analyzing SAP’s FKOM and the Idea of “Intelligent Enterprise”

Returning from SAP Field Kick-off Meeting (FKOM) Barcelona I would like to share some insights:

  • Between January 15 and 17, SAP kicked off 2019 at their regional EMEA/MEE FKOM event. Similar events were performed in other regions.
  • While there were no major strategy changes announced, a couple of things got re-emphasized:
    • Growth area for SAP will be Cloud, while On-Premise is being expected as stable.
    • SAP sees major opportunities for their new CRM which is C/4HANA.
    • Also, SAP is further promoting the transition from ERP to S/4HANA.
  • SAP introduced a new slogan “Experience Matters” which must be seen in conjunction with their acquisition of Qualtrics (see The idea is to bring together business data from SAP with experience data from Qualtrics in the categories of Customer, Employee, Brand, and Product. This refers to the business’ ability adapting to change in the market, for example measured by the AQ (Adaptability Quotient).
  • All this enhances the paradigm of the “Intelligent Enterprise“, using data for driving outcomes in end-to-end mega-processes. This must necessary lead to an even better integration of the SAP products in the areas of Customer Experience (C/4HANA), Manufacturing & Supply Chain (IBP, ME, MII, PPM, AIN, ASPM,…), Digital Core (S/4HANA), People Engagement (SuccessFactors), and Network & Spend Management (Ariba, Concur). For more details on the solutions you may have a look into the SAP Solution Explorer ( or the published SAP Roadmaps ( Shaping your own journey into the new portfolio might start with the Transformation Navigator (, a tool you can use to map out your existing landscape and see SAP’s recommendations for go-to solutions.
  • Following the idea of an “Intelligent Enterprise”, SAP has revamped their EAM offering under the headline of “Intelligent Asset Management“. This comprises of two major parts:
    • S/4HANA Asset Management for the parts of EAM in the Digital Core. This mainly comes back to what most people know under the term PM (Plant Maintenance), but with a new Fiori and WebDynpro harmonized user experience, completely new analytics, and quite some enhancements and continuous improvement. Additionally, components for planning and scheduling (e.g. MRS), work clearance management (WCM), or environment, health, and safety (EHS) reside here.
    • SAP Cloud Platform based applications that complement the Digital Core for flexibly realizing on innovation challenges. Asset Intelligence Network (AIN) for exchanging asset master and condition data between manufacturer, service provider, and operator. Asset Strategy and Performance Management (ASPM) for determining or improving on maintenance strategies using a variety of methodologies (like Asset Criticality Analysis, RCM, FMEA, Root-Cause Analysis). Predictive Maintenance and Service (PdMS) for monitoring asset health data and initiate maintenance events when needed. Predictive Engineering Insights (PEI) for modeling physical structures and simulate stresses and strains.
    • Asset Central acts as the layer for common functionality of the EAM cloud applications as well as the information broker between S/4HANA and Cloud Platform. In this regard, it can also be seen as SAP’s new asset cloud registry for both master data and real-world information.
  • In essence, Intelligent Asset Management follows the idea on an Intelligent Enterprise by establishing data-driven asset management processes that are based on the Digital Twin, a virtual representation of the physical asset with all relevant up-to-date information, accessible in the cloud.
  • In its main pieces, the concept also works in combination with SAP ERP, hence there is no reason to postpone innovation, just because an S/4HANA transition is yet to come. Intelligent Asset Management allows for building the big picture, then consuming the pieces step-by-step.

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Analyzing SAP’s FKOM and the Idea of “Intelligent Enterprise”2019-02-04T21:43:06+00:00

SAP Leonardo for Discrete Manufacturing Looks to Bring New Options for Purchasing Major Assets

SAP Leonardo for Discrete Manufacturing Looks to Bring New Options for Purchasing Major Assets

Industries such as Utilities, Oil and Gas, and Rail rely on supply chains from discrete manufacturers to build or supply the parts to maintain key assets. Traditionally, those assets are highly capital-intensive, with large investments required in equipment in order to run a business. At Sapphire Now, SAP launched SAP Leonardo for Discrete Manufacturing, which seeks to have the same impact on the discrete manufacturing business as the cloud has had on enterprise software.

The “as-a-service” designation was largely popularized by “Software-as-a-Service” or SaaS—where software is purchased via subscription rather than a license. In SaaS, the infrastructure is offered via the public cloud, so the company doesn’t need to make the initial investment in physical assets such as servers. This has revolutionized the way enterprise software is purchased, particularly in line-of-business units.

SAP is hoping SAP Leonardo for Discrete Manufacturing can have the same impact on the buying and selling of industrial equipment that the cloud has had on software.

How SAP Leonardo for Discrete Manufacturing Works

The data collected from the Internet of Things (IoT), particularly sensor-based data on industrial equipment, has the potential for huge impact on not only the way companies maintain their assets, but operate their businesses in general.

SAP Leonardo for Discrete Manufacturing is an industry innovation kit that seeks to guide manufacturers toward a pay-for-outcome model—meaning a shift from selling major assets to providing them as-a-service.

One customer example SAP has often pointed to in this sector of a company in the air compressor industry. By using sensor data, that SAP customer changed its business model from selling air compressors to selling air-as-a-service. That means its customers only paid for the air they used, rather than buying and maintaining air compressors. The air compressor company had the best insight into keeping the compressors in working order, so it took that burden off the customer.

With this new SAP Leonardo innovation kit, SAP plans to help customers help calculate risk and identify strong potential customers through machine learning, asset intelligence, and predictive maintenance capabilities. The solution will use IoT data and other contextual business information to help determine project costs and revenue to ensure fair pricing and quotes.

Finding What’s Best for Manufacturers and Industries

At Vesta Partners, we specialize in the Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) space, so we have many of the same customers as discrete manufacturers in industries such as Rail, utilities, and oil and gas.

For our customers, if SAP Leonardo for Discrete Manufacturing does what it intends, then the purchase and maintenance of major assets may be greatly impacted—going from large capital investments to pay-per-use on industrial equipment.

However, what is important to remember here is that this SAP Leonardo solution is only designed to identify those discrete manufacturing customers that are the right fit for an as-a-service offering. It may be the case that a Rail or Utilities or Oil and Gas customer finds it more cost effective to continue purchasing, rather than subscribing to, equipment.

Other times, it may prove beneficial to pay for equipment as-a-service. If that’s the case, then that’s a good thing for all parties. The important thing to keep in mind for customers of discrete manufacturers is that these changes are coming, and technology like SAP Leonardo for Discrete Manufacturing is helping to usher in that new era.

Contact Vesta Partners to find out how SAP Leonardo fits into your EAM strategy.

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SAP Leonardo for Discrete Manufacturing Looks to Bring New Options for Purchasing Major Assets2018-07-10T19:03:03+00:00

VIDEO: New Vesta Europe President Achim Krüger on EAM’s Changing Landscape

VIDEO: New Vesta Europe President Achim Krüger on EAM’s Changing Landscape

Hear from new Vesta Europe President Achim Krüger on the changing technology in Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and SAP solutions.

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VIDEO: New Vesta Europe President Achim Krüger on EAM’s Changing Landscape2018-06-28T18:13:48+00:00

Dr. Achim Krüger: Why I Am Joining Vesta Partners

Dr. Achim Krüger: Why I Am Joining Vesta Partners

I’ve spent 16 years at SAP, the last seven of which I was responsible for its global enterprise asset management (EAM) business. Throughout that time, I’ve most enjoyed helping customers get value out of their SAP investments. Now, to be in even more direct contact with customers and serve them even better, I am excited to join Vesta Partners as President of Vesta Europe.

achim krüger Europe EAM SAP

Dr. Achim Krüger, new Vesta Europe president.

First off, you may be asking, why Vesta specifically? Well, from my point of view Vesta is not your typical IT consulting firm—these people live and breathe EAM, and from leadership on down Vesta is stocked full of people with years of experience in asset management. This is not some big consulting firm that specializes in all and nothing at the same time—they are keyed in on EAM in a holistic way.

This experience and expertise is important as SAP EAM customers face a technology crossroads. With the rise of SAP S/4HANA, IoT and IT/OT convergence, GIS integration and SAP HANA Spatial, SAP Leonardo, and many other new topics, software roadmaps are getting more and more complex and dynamic. That’s why I want to take my experience from the SAP side and leverage that to help customers directly.

As President of Vesta Europe, I will certainly seek to grow our business in Europe—we currently have strong practices in Benelux and the UK. However, I will not be limited to European customers when it comes to imparting the knowledge I’ve gained over the past years in the EAM space—so my role will be global in that sense. I will be working with customers to capitalize on existing and emerging technology wherever I can.

It’s an important time for EAM, and I am thrilled to be in a role that will put me face-to-face with more customers as they embark on journeys to not only transform their technological landscapes, but their businesses as well.

This post was written by Achim Krüger, President of Vesta Europe.

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Dr. Achim Krüger: Why I Am Joining Vesta Partners2018-06-04T17:12:38+00:00

Better SAP EAM Through SAP Fiori and SAP S/4HANA

Better SAP EAM Through SAP Fiori and SAP S/4HANA

What’s the business case for SAP S/4HANA? That varies by company of course, but those with a vested interest in SAP Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), there are some clear benefits in making the leap from a legacy system to SAP’s latest ERP innovation.

From the user experience, to analytics and the ability to extend with SAP Cloud Platform, there are key differences in S/4HANA from its predecessors. There are challenges in moving to SAP S/4HANA, though. That’s why Martin Stenzig, Rizing CTO, took to the podium in front of a packed room at SAP-Centric EAM in Austin, Texas to discuss those key topics that SAP customers should keep in mind when considering the leap to S/4HANA.

Combining Mobility and Usability

EAM isn’t commonly something that happens on one laptop or in a single location. For many industries, maintenance is done by field employees, making the challenge of entering and accessing data a challenge—and one that requires mobile capabilities.

However, simply providing mobile capabilities to field maintenance workers does not guarantee adoption. Employees have to be encouraged to use mobile applications, and the best way to do that is by providing a simple user experience that makes work easier.

“The discussion is changing. It’s not anymore about mobility and usability—it is a combination of both,” says Stenzig.

For SAP customers, Stenzig points to the SAP Fiori user experience in SAP S/4HANA as way to take traditional SAP transactions that were tougher to access in SAP GUI and put them in a more user-friendly interface. Fiori is browser-based, which means it is can be accessed on many different operating systems, allowing a field employee conducting on a mobile phone or tablet to see the same screen as their colleague back in the office who may be scheduling the maintenance.

SAP itself point to the Fiori user experience as a key differentiator in asset management on S/4HANA versus asset management on legacy SAP ERP systems. However, Stenzig does warn that a key question to ask when considering Fiori Launchpad—it does require connectivity–as an access point for employees in the field is whether or not they will have access to WiFi or mobile internet.

Read more on how asset management differs in SAP S/4HANA.

SAP Cloud Platform Vision

An important piece of SAP’s plan for how customers deploy S/4HANA is utilizing the SAP Cloud Platform as a way to augment systems that would be considered vanilla by past SAP ERP standards.

“How SAP envisions SAP Cloud Platform is to keep core S/4HANA fairly static and with a sidecar approach transfer tables you need into the cloud,” says Stenzig. “If you want to build add-ons to SAP systems, do it out there (in SAP Cloud Platform).”

Stenzig explains while this strategy makes logical sense, it’s not necessarily easy to accomplish. It’s important to have a stakeholder drive the development on SAP Cloud Platform, because if so the time to innovate is reduced dramatically.

“If you don’t do anything with [SAP Cloud Platform] right now, that’s fine, but you need to get versed on it,” he adds.

Attend one of Vesta’s complimentary SAP Asset Management workshops.

The Basis Challenge

Stenzig said the biggest lesson that SAP EAM customers considering a transition to S/4HANA should consider is the importance of training SAP Basis teams for the move. Their tasks change with S/4HANA, going from not just working with the core SAP ERP system, but to previously optional components such as Enterprise Search. Basis teams must also consider working with SAP Fiori, which means different browsers and different security certificates. There’s also the integration with SAP Cloud Platform—these are all things that Basis teams need to know.

“The challenge we see is that Basis organizations simply aren’t trained—that’s not their fault, it’s normal while going to S/4HANA to underestimate that part,” says Stenzig. “Either contract somebody, train individual people, or make it part of the contract that you already have. As a partner, [Vesta Partners] is making it a contingency to make sure your Basis people can do what is required.”

Taking EAM ‘Out of the Stone Age’

Why make all this effort to move to S/4HANA? Well first, Vesta Partners EAM Codex can make the process easier and faster, but aside from that moving to S/4HANA is part of laying the technological footprint that can enable companies to take advantage of new technologies. That means SAP Leonardo and that entails—Internet of Things, blockchain, Big Data, advanced analytics and more.

“You want to get to the point where you can talk about predictive maintenance or digital twins, but you’ll never get out of the Stone Age until you change the foundation,” concludes Stenzig.

Learm more about building your S/4HANA and SAP Leonardo foundation with EAM Codex.

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Better SAP EAM Through SAP Fiori and SAP S/4HANA2018-04-19T23:13:33+00:00

Asset Management Differences in SAP S/4HANA vs. SAP ECC

The Difference Between Asset Maintenance in SAP S/4HANA vs. SAP ECC

SAP S/4HANA® is SAP’s next-generation ERP, but here’s a little secret: Transactions in legacy SAP ERPs—such as SAP ECC—can be just the same in S/4HANA. Does that mean running asset management with S/4HANA is the same as running it in SAP ECC? Not quite, and the fact that S/4HANA is optimized to run on the SAP HANA database is a key differentiator.

“I hear comments that S/4HANA asset maintenance is the same as ECC, but SAP HANA is why certain things are only possible in S/4HANA,” says Karsten Hauschild, Solution Manager at SAP, who spoke at the SAP-Centric EAM conference this week in Austin, Texas.

The SAP Fiori Impact

Hauschild points to S/4HANA’s user experience, which is driven by SAP Fiori applications such as Request Maintenance and SAP GEO Framework. The former drives maintenance request notifications, while the latter taps into SAP ESRI to run SAP plant maintenance transactions via maps.

“The user experience from a workflow/work order perspective is vastly different from SAP GUI (SAP’s transaction code-driven user interface),” says Hauschild. “That’s from feedback we’ve gotten from current customers—that SAP GUI is ugly.”

There’s also a S/4HANA-specific maintenance scheduling application which is meant to replace SAP Multi Resource Scheduling (MRS) for scheduling individual technicians.

HANA-Driven Intelligence

The case for an improved user experience is about expanding the number of employees that can access the data in the SAP system, Hauschild adds. SAP GUI screens that aren’t part of Fiori apps have also been updated to look more like Fiori.

Beyond an interface that is prettier to look at, S/4HANA is also utilizing its in-memory database to drive embedded analytics and what SAP calls “Enterprise Search”—a keyword-based search function. The embedded analytics provide visualizations directly on S/4HANA transaction screens, while also providing automatically calculated KPIS.

Enterprise Search allows users to find transactions and information within the SAP system regarding a term—rather than looking up by transaction codes or work order numbers.

The Same, But Different

As an example of the similarities between the two ERPs, Hauschild says all plant maintenance transactions that exist in ECC are in S/4HANA, and have been since its launch. Overall, an SAP customer moving to S/4HANA from ECC doesn’t have to change business processes, it’s just the way SAP supports those processes from a user experience and analytics point of view—with Fiori, embedded analytics and enterprise search—that is different, he explains.

Now, that doesn’t mean that it will be a guaranteed breeze for customers to move old transactions onto S/4HANA—that process can still be arduous. Fortunately, that’s where Vesta’s EAM Codex solution comes into play, to speed up that transition to modernized SAP enterprise asset management.

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Asset Management Differences in SAP S/4HANA vs. SAP ECC2018-04-19T23:10:34+00:00

Perception IS Reality – a Terry Wireman blog

Perception  IS Reality – a Terry Wireman blog

In his book “The Real Truth about Success” Garrison Wynn says this:

“You must be willing to get real about how you are viewed by others, accept how they see you, and get past how you want them to see you.  Perhaps some people can effectively change the way others perceive them, but it is much easier, much more realistic and effective, to understand how you are viewed and find a way to make it work for you.  We have to understand what other people see when they see us.”

So, that leads to the question, …

…“What does our company’s executive management see when they see us?”  Do they see a technical wizard?  Do they see a great engineer with marginal interpersonal skills but with no real business management vision?  Do they see a great financial manager, a person who always has all their budget numbers right on target with no interpersonal skills?

Have we ever thought about career paths for reliability/ maintenance managers?

How much does our executive management’s perception of us steer us toward a certain career path?

How often are reliability/ maintenance managers perceived as technical wizards and their career path is to the top level of their department and it is at a “dead end”.

Not that there is anything wrong with that from a career perspective – many individuals can have a financially and personally rewarding career in that position.  However, how often do we see a plant manager evolve from the reliability/ maintenance leadership position?  While it does occasionally happen, it is unusual to see.  Is perception reality for senior executives making these decisions?

What if we have a hybrid individual that has a degree in engineering, but never developed the interpersonal skill necessary to be a leader.  Does this perhaps lead the individual to a career path in engineering, becoming a great design or project engineer?  There is nothing wrong with setting that as a career path.  But again, how often do we see strong technical people chosen for a leadership role in the organization, when they don’t have strong leadership skills?  Is perception reality for senior executives making these decisions?

Finally – why are we discussing this subject?  For two reasons.  The first is many of our current reliability/ maintenance/ asset management leaders are nearing (if they are not there already) retirement age.  Who will (a) fill their current roles? And (b) move into leadership roles that are being created in other parts of the organization (operations, engineering, division or corporate level)?

Secondly, what about the asset manager’s role?  As more and more companies move toward ISO-55000 or an asset focus business strategy, who will take that leadership position in their organization?  Should it be accounting? Operations? Supply Chain? Or Reliability/ Maintenance?

Your company’s perception could soon become YOUR reality.

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Perception IS Reality – a Terry Wireman blog2017-01-25T13:29:18+00:00

Somewhere in Time – Part 2 – A Terry Wireman blog

Somewhere in Time – Part 2

In our last blog, we discussed the reasons for failures of CMMS/ EAM systems to produce the results for which they were purchased.  In this blog, I would like to take a different focus –The impact a CMMS/ EAM system has on Asset Management.  How are the two interrelated?  Consider (from the previous blog) the common reasons CMMS/ EAM systems fail:

  1. Lack of management support (55002 – 5.1)
  2. Lack of business processes to support the system (55002- 5.3)
  3. Insufficient implementation resources (55002 – 7.1)
  4. Insufficient staff to properly utilize the system (55002-7.5)

To understand how these four reasons impact asset management, we first need to understand why the EAM system is important to asset management. (For the sake of this blog, we will focus on physical assets.)  In the ISO-55000 document, section 2.4.1 mentions the need for analytical approaches across the life cycle of the asset.  The life cycle of an asset begins with the conception of the need for the asset through to the disposal of the asset.

The conception of the need for the asset implies that there is a business need and the purchase of the asset will add value to the organization.  It could be that there is a market demand for a product we are producing and our current asset base cannot meet the demand.  It could also be that the assets we current have are aging and are no longer capable of meeting the existing market demand.  A third reason may be that the business processes for the life cycle activities of the asset are inefficient and ineffective, resulting in excessive maintenance, repair and refurbishment expenditures.  (The ISO sections are mapped to this list)

For the sake of the brevity of this blog, let’s focus on the second item: the business processes for the life cycle activities of the asset are inefficient and ineffective, resulting in excessive maintenance, repair and refurbishment expenditures.  Various publications state that up to 95% of the life cycle costs of a physical asset are incurred in the operational and maintenance phase of a physical asset’s life cycle activities.  An organization’s failure to allow inefficient and ineffective operational and maintenance procedures to exist will have a negative impact on the value that the physical asset will provide the organization.   This indicates there is a significant financial impact that reliability/ maintenance policies and practices can have on the cost to manage an asset or asset portfolio.

Now continuing this line, what is likely to happen to the organization’s maintenance expenditures if there are poor business processes in place when a CMMS/EAM system is implemented?  Don’t these poor practices become “institutionalized” locking in higher than necessary maintenance and repair costs?  Consider the impact that a reactive reliability/ maintenance organization can have on maintenance and repair costs.

A reactive reliability/ maintenance organization will have a “hands-on” time of about 20%.  A proactive organization with good planning and scheduling processes may achieve 60%.  This basically triples the amount of reliability/ maintenance activities that they perform: ultimately lowering the reliability/ maintenance expenditures necessary for the asset to achieve the business goals it was purchased to achieve.

This is only one example of how CMMS/ EAM systems are needed to support Asset Management and how improper CMMS/ EAM system implementations can impact asset management. We could list many additional examples. However, if organizations don’t have CMMS/ EAM systems implemented correctly, delivering the data necessary to manage their assets, they will surely fail at asset management as they have at implementing and utilizing their CMMS/ EAM systems.  It is no wonder the failure to learn from past mistakes will continue to give managers a headache.

For additional information reference the IAM’s Subject Specific Guidelines (SSG) on asset information.  It can be found at:

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Somewhere in Time – Part 2 – A Terry Wireman blog2017-01-25T13:29:18+00:00

A Business Case for SAP GIS Integration

A Business Case for SAP GIS Integration

The following is an excerpt from the “A Business Case for SAP GIS Integration” White Paper by Martin Stenzig:


“For the longest time GIS and SAP EAM were continents all onto themselves. Each contained many little countries but nobody from one continent would talk to anybody from the other, except for the occasional letter from an aunt. This is analogous to the way enterprise applications work in many organizations. While they are often viewed in a similar way, as large software applications, at best they perform different parts of similar tasks. More commonly they do different things, employ different practices, workflows and methods, communicate in different languages and utilize varying modes of governance. While the different continents analogy makes initial sense, when you dig into the capabilities and uses they look more like different planets.

Companies often use GIS and SAP for different purposes even if they are part of the same workflow. At its most basic level, GIS is used to add location to business processes. The majority of business data has a location component and GIS imbeds the “spatial factor” into operations. Companies employ GIS systems to map their assets, and it is the platform for querying infrastructure attributes. It is used as the foundation to build applications for regulatory compliance, integrity management or field activities like asset or environmental inspections. Having a geographic view of these processes makes the solutions significantly more effective. It is imbedded in complicated analyses like risk assessment or financial management because it is the “magic” ingredient that exposes critical, previously unseen, relationships. GIS is in emergency management and control rooms because geography turns complicated data into powerful, vital and quickly understood information. Implementations have proven that GIS improves an organization and makes it easier to operate effectively.

SAP on the other hand manages a separate yet linked series of vital functions. Companies implement SAP for enterprise resource management. It is a powerful solution and when an implementation is complete it can revolutionize almost every major process in an organization. It provides the consistency and captures the details critical to any organization’s business processes. SAP has the functionality to create and maintain an Asset Register which is used as the foundation for enterprise asset management. It defines the process and facilitates the purchasing of materials and then supports critical equipment traceability to eliminate potential disasters. It is the tool that integrates work management with finance and supply chain so that valuable financial decisions can be made and systems can be in continuous operation…”




Click here to read the full content of the “A Business Case for SAP GIS Integration” White Paper by Martin Stenzig.

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A Business Case for SAP GIS Integration2017-07-20T15:31:11+00:00

Zero Breakdowns Step 2 – Maintaining Operating Standards

Zero Breakdowns Step 2 – Maintaining Operating Standards

In the first step to Zero Breakdowns, we discussed Maintaining Basic Conditions.  In this blog, we will discuss maintaining operating standards.  Maintaining operating standards requires determining the design capacity for a particular piece of equipment.  Once this is determined, the goal is to achieve this design capacity, not to exceed it, also not to fail to reach it.  Unfortunately, many companies today believe that exceeding design capacity is good.  However, as design capacity is exceeded, service life and reliability of the equipment is reduced.  While the speed or the instant output of the equipment may look good, the resulting downtime impacts negatively the overall capacity.

Many companies struggle to understand or find design capacity for their equipment.  However, there are many methods available.  The first would be to consult the manufacturer.  The manufacturer should be able to provide design capacity documentation for the equipment.  Another option would be to find a similar use customer who knows the design capacity of the equipment.  A third option would be to consult the history records of the equipment to see what it had been able to achieve in the past and the resulting reliability of the equipment.  Using these methods, a company should be able to determine the correct design capacity of the equipment.

Standardizing operating methods

In many organizations, maintenance employees can look at the production scheduling board and determine by the operator schedule what equipment will break down.  Quite simply, this is because different operators will operate the equipment using various procedures.  Operator variability has a definite impact equipment reliability.  The solution to this problem is proper training of the operators and the development of standardized operating procedures.  If the operators are trained and the procedures are followed, then it will not be difficult to have standardized operating methods.  This will eliminate introducing operational variability into the equipment/ process.

Operating conditions

When equipment is installed and operated, it must be operated in the environmental conditions that the equipment was designed to function.  There should not be excessive temperature, either too hot or too cold, excessive vibration, or shock loads.  The equipment should be operated as it was designed to be operated.  Any variance outside the operating parameters specified by the vendor will contribute to unreliable equipment.

This also includes the storage condition for major spares or components for this equipment.  Major spares should be stored in suitable conditions to prolong the life of the spare part.  If sub-assemblies and spares are not stored correctly, when they are installed on the equipment they will provide less than satisfactory service, both from a reliability and a life-cycle perspective.

For example, motors, gear cases, and pumps in storage already have two of the three ingredients necessary to destroy them in storage.  A bearing, not rotating, mounted under a load.  The missing ingredient?  Vibration.  This sets up a condition called false brinelling.  This condition is documented in almost every bearing handbook that was ever written.  However, it is still quite simple to find major spares stored incorrectly in almost any company’s stores locations.  The damaged spare, once put into service, provide a very short service life, which contributes to unnecessary downtime and maintenance costs.

Construction standards

When equipment is installed, the construction standards must be as specified by the manufacturer of the equipment.  This means during the installation, there should be a proper foundation so that there is no undue stress placed on the component that is installed.  Assemblies requiring attachment to supporting structures such as a piping, should also be installed with no strain from the supporting or attached structures.  Piping strain can quickly contribute to misalignment of couplings and excessive wear on the related equipment components, such as bearings and couplings.

A brief consideration of the foundation for equipment during an installation can help highlight the problem.  The foundation is designed to support the static forces of weight and stress.  It must also dampen the dynamic forces of vibration and any shock loads.

When a foundation cracks, it allows contaminants to penetrate the foundation and degrade the concrete.  This requires a repair to be made to the foundation.  This is usually some form of grout replacement.  Yet is attention given to the storage of the grout?  Grout stored outside during the summer will have a hot cure.  This leaves the grout cure in a thermally expanded state.  When the grout cools, there are stresses that are locked in the grout.  Eventually these stresses will be relieved and excessive cracking will result.

For a foundation to provide satisfactory service, the following points need to be considered:

  1. Proper Chemistry
  2. Proper water and cement ratios
  3. Quality of the aggregate
  4. Contain a low amount of entrained air
  5. Placement must be proper for load
  6. Proper temperature ranges for curing
  7. Proper humidity maintained during curing
  8. Proper time for curing – 7 uninterrupted days for most foundations

Now, if this level of detail is required just for the foundation, what about the level of detail for the rest of the installation steps?  Do most companies pay attention to the detail, or is it just hook it up and get it running?  It is little wonder that the equipment in many plants fails to perform to design specifications.

Electrical supplies and other utilities also need to be carefully examined when the equipment is installed.  These areas tend to be a problem when equipment is moved temporarily or is moved frequently, as in some manufacturing operations.  Any time equipment is moved and is expected to be utilized in operations, it must be installed correctly to obtain design capacity and the design reliability.

Elimination of contamination

As part of maintaining operating standards, equipment should be kept clean.  However, this in itself is not sufficient.  Once equipment is cleaned then the sources of contamination, moisture, process wastes, etc. must be eliminated.  Unless this is accomplished, the equipment will not be kept properly clean and ultimately the contamination will impact the reliability of the equipment.

ZBS – Step 2 Conclusion

While many of the points mentioned in step 2 seem to be basic, most companies fail to properly execute them.  This leads to unnecessary downtime, lost production, and high maintenance costs.  Consider what percent of all of your equipment/ process downtime is related to improper execution in these areas.  What if these conditions were properly controlled in your plant/ facility?  What percent of your breakdowns would be eliminated?  Add Step one and Step 2 together and over 50% are typically eliminated.

Now what about step 3?  That will be addressed in our next blog.

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Zero Breakdowns Step 2 – Maintaining Operating Standards2017-01-25T13:29:28+00:00
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