Case Study

Bottler modernizes with cloud-based CMMS

Mobile tablets and HMIs allow maintenance technicians to track work for specific pieces of machinery and view machine resource docs.
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Contributing Editor, Automation World
Pepsi Bottling Ventures uses a cloud-based computerized maintenance management system to streamline processes and inventory management as it begins to scale its maintenance programs for multiple facilities.

Real-time performance metrics, data acquisition and production analysis are at the heart of manufacturing—whether process or discrete manufacturing—as companies rein in new plant spending and focus on utilization. Real-time systems are becoming more accessible for many divisions within the factory, and maintenance applications are no exception.

For years now, computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) have been making inroads in industry as management moves away from inefficient paper-based approaches and toward electronic work orders. Now, cloud-based CMMS platforms are making it even easier for enterprises to scale a new maintenance process to many plants or warehouses.

To more effectively track work orders, provide maintenance technicians more resources on the plant floor and manage inventory more efficiently, Raleigh, N.C.-based Pepsi Bottling Ventures (PBV) installed MaintenanceEdge, a cloud-based CMMS platform from Dude Solutions, in stages over the past three years at multiple facilities, including bottling plants and warehouses.

“The ease of parts management and being able to find parts in a matter of seconds rather than a matter of 20-30 minutes in some instances has made my life a whole lot easier,” says Dale Stein, project engineering manager for PBV. The company’s bottling facility in Garner, N.C., now plans parts orders based on historical trends from the inventory management module.

With such changes to the maintenance workflow, PBV asked Dude Solutions for advice on how to upgrade its paper-based preventive maintenance (PM) approach and move toward real-time maintenance. “We took the output of their older PM program, with all the tasks and inventory list, and redeveloped their approach with the new CMMS platform,” says Dwayne Divers, vice president of client success at Dude Solutions. “We consolidated workflows to reduce the number of work orders. And, going forward, PBV can make modifications on a continuous basis.”

The cloud-based MaintenanceEdge software as a service (SaaS) provides an online work order management suite; it also has the ability to identify critical equipment via an asset hierarchy component. With this tool, PBV initiated asset hierarchy and implementation, preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance for the 350,000-sq-ft bottling facility.

“The CMMS makes it very easy to run work reports and retrieve the data when it comes to our audits,” Stein says. “The reporting really helps me trend out performance on the equipment.” The bottling facility can have as many as 76,000 work orders at any one time.

With the asset hierarchy and implementation piece of MaintenanceEdge, a large bottling facility can start the journey to equipment optimization. “The solution provides the ability to establish a parent/child relationship between equipment,” Divers says.

A company can start at the line level in a process plant, Divers explains. In the case of a bottling facility, this could be a filler, capper or labeler. From the parent level, the software maps out specific child components of a machine center, such as a valve on a filler or a conveyor segment.

“With PBV, we started at the line level and drilled down into the machine centers,” Divers says. “We didn’t get into every valve on a filler, but we did get into the major components of the filler, with a detailed view of these components for a maintenance technician or plant manager.” This process is the first step in accumulating equipment data and eventually being able to do failure analysis.

The application also provides the ability to view a specific piece of equipment and history of the failure and see the work that’s been done on that asset. It also moves into higher levels of the asset hierarchy—parent/child—so a manager can compare maintenance costs between two bottling lines.

With this digital transformation at PBV, maintenance technicians now have more resources at their fingertips, with the beverage producer providing them with tablets with a full version of the application. On a preventive maintenance or corrective work order, a maintenance technician can view a wiring diagram, parts list, work history or an exploded parts view of that piece of equipment via a tablet on the plant floor. Permission levels can be set up to let users have access to edit database records and fields.

By assigning specific work orders to maintenance technicians, PBV wanted to understand work order processes better via the platform’s utilization metric. “The tracking mechanism provided better information on a technician’s utilization and emphasized the need for data acquisition by the worker so that the plant gathers richer data on the equipment,” Divers explains. PBV also implemented a heat map that looks at the number of hours spent on the different types of work and equipment throughout the facility and provides a maintenance dashboard for management.

With the dashboards in place for PBV’s management, the business should be ready for more maintenance efficiency pops in the world of soft drink production.

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