Several steps will be required to start analyzing production problems that will eventually help to reduce downtime of the machinery or associated equipment.
Step 1: Selecting Critical Equipment
Practically, what we need to do is to focus on the critical equipment or its part and see what we can do to improve the situation? In fact, we discovered that 80/20 rule is also applied here. It means that 80% of the downtime were causing things to occur only 20% of the time. It also means that we narrow our preliminary search to one-fifth of the downtime problems for this equipment. Yet, plant engineering or accounting office should be able to provide statistical data on all equipment in terms of operating hours. It would be really helpful if they identify production cost and revenue, number of production crew and their average hourly rate, etc. In addition, an annual downtime is measuring in hours or in dollars will be also very useful. All these data will help us to make a right selection of any and all critical equipment.
You can see downtime loses by entering those numbers into a Downtime Calculator
Step 2: Collecting Technical Data
At this step we gather any and all available technical information regarding the equipment we had selected in Step 1. Technical information we need can be described as follows:
- Electrical Drawings
- Wiring Diagrams
- Control Panel Layouts
- Operator Stations Layouts
- PLC Configuration and Programming
- HMI Displays and Programming
- Network Communication
- Operation and Maintenance Manuals
- Crew size and equipment service by shift (1, 2 or 3)
We will recreate all missing document in order to have complete picture of the machinery or equipment in place.
Step 3: Contract Proposal on Production Downtime
This is the most important step in achieving an overall downtime reduction results. It will consists of the following:
- Calculation of production losses in dollars per second, per hour, per week, per month, and dollars per year.
- Upon conclusion of the project, we produce a list of all document, such as hardware and software we delivered.
- All changes to existing operator interface(s) with description.
- Changes to all existing application program(s) with descriptions.
- All changes to existing network configuration, hardware and software with descriptions.
- Training presentation(s) to the plant maintenance crew and machine operators.
- Duration of the project in man-hours, weeks, or months
- Cost of the project with calculated ROI in terms of weeks or months.
- Project schedule – week days, week ends, night shifts, etc.
- Final documents with test results and approvals.
Step 4: Entering into New Project(s)
Upon successful completion of all previous steps we will enter into a new project(s) with your company or a plant, whereby we produce the following:
- A full assessment of the equipment or automation system in place.
- New presentations that will include:
- list of proposed changes and modifications
- project cost and duration
- return on Investment (ROI)
Based on our previous experience an average return on investment, or a payback, is expected to be from 3 to 12 months.