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Predictive Maintenance

Paper mill transforms facility maintenance management with digitalization

June 7, 2022

The planner of a paper mill was looking to digitize its lubrication routes and make its maintenance strategy more efficient.  Previously, the mill had implemented a maintenance solution via complex cards, encompassing lubrication and vibration tasks. They then printed out the generated cards to perform their routes on paper. Effective communication and quality of execution of the tasks was therefore an important issue.

For this project, the customer required the centralization of all information relevant to reliability and the total digitization of maintenance routes. They also had a few constraints and obstacles to the project, such as limited wireless network coverage in their plant, a rapid deployment of the solution, and anticipated resistance to change within their team.

Laurentide Controls was asked to implement its asset health management tool, Spartakus. This software collects asset health data in one place and presents it in a dashboard format to facilitate decision making on the repairs to be completed.

The transition to this innovative solution was done in four steps:

  • At the very beginning, a reproduction of the asset hierarchy was produced from the documentation provided by the client. 3,760 components distributed among 1,500 pieces of equipment were identified.

  • Then, completing the missing information with a technical study, a team of lubrication experts was able to define a maintenance strategy based on the failure modes of each component. The plant's lubrication policy was revised, bringing all parties into agreement on the reasoning used. The client was able to link its strategic objectives, i.e. production requirements, to reliability initiatives.

  • Following this step, the next phase was the creation of structured maintenance routes. These included the implementation of preventive and predictive routes. A schedule was designed, and the routes were updated weekly to reflect the client's actual needs.

  • Finally, the last step was to compile the asset health results into a dashboard to facilitate decision making on the adjustment of the maintenance program. This dashboard shows in a quick and intuitive way the history of the equipment health data, the performance indicators as well as the measures related to the costs and benefits of the plant maintenance. Every worker in the plant could use the tool and communicate with the different departments in a simple and efficient way.

It was then possible for plant employees to see how each piece of equipment was performing, where problems were occurring, and what actions needed to be taken to prevent them from recurring.

The integration of Spartakus with the plant's tools, including the CMMS, was done gradually. In total, 15 employees used the application to complete their routes offline on tablets. Since implementation in September 2021, the software has been used 1,500 times, or about 16 daily logins. Hundreds of alerts have been raised during maintenance rounds and then followed up with corrective actions to eventually be fixed. These alerts, which are managed until the equipment is restored to 100% health, represent very interesting cost savings for any plant seeking to ensure a competitive overall performance rate year after year.

"Working with Laurentide Controls has always gone well. They are a good partner who is always ready to support us and bring new solutions thanks to a competent team." - Senior Plant Planner

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