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[ Insights from the SAP-Centric EAM 2013 Event – Huntington Beach March 2013 ( Part 10 of 12): This is part of a blog series brought to you by Norm Poynter and Paul Kurchina, designed to inspire and educate by sharing experiences with the SAP Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Community. For the past nine years, the Eventful Group’s SAP-Centric North American Event ( Supported by SAP and ASUG ) has brought together the EAM community to network, share ideas and experiences, and explore solutions for Enterprise Asset Management.]

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This post is based on the presentation ” Data Quality Taxonomy & Failure Coding Structure at Owens Corning  ”   by Brian Gilson, Lead Reliability Project Manager at Owens Corning Sales and Ralph Hanneman, Senior Consultant at Meridium at the Huntington Beach SAP-Centric EAM 2013 Community event in March.

In this age of industry and technology maintenance professionals need to use failure coding to identify the bad actors among their assets. The purpose behind this process is simple: Equipment breakage and failure diminishes plant capacity, and it’s up to maintenance to get the plant back up to capacity after a failure occurs.  

Tracking such failures through some type of statistical coding structure allows maintenance to trend what the failures are. The airline industry is the best at this. By going through rigorous failure analyses, the industry has improved reliability exponentially, to the point where today we don’t consider the risk of flying from a reliability perspective. Most companies are trying to achieve similar reliability results using SAP to capture the coding.  The problem: In my experience, no one can ever agree on what the coding structure should be for long enough to make it worthwhile.

The folks at Owens Corning did come to an agreement, which was the basis for the presentation by OC’s Brian Gilson and Meridium’s Ralph Hanneman. In a nutshell, Owens Corning needed to do something different. The company was running multiple versions of SAP, had no standard work management process, no asset classification data was being used, and a one-size-fits-all failure coding system was not working well. Things had to change. Working with Meridium, Owens Corning came up with a system based on a standard that many companies are now adapting to suit their needs, ISO-14224-2006.

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The results were impressive. People use the new structure and are committed to it, and coding mismatch errors (where damage codes do not match part codes) have been eliminated.

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Hanneman and Gilson quickly saw positive results from their labors. Summing this up: “Simple, robust and accurate failure reporting and asset classification in SAP can be a reality today. Just imagine … ease of use by a craftsperson, quality data stored for reliability analysis, and an easy methodology for querying the data.”

The solution not only enabled bad actor analysis, but also focused visibility on systemic failures with laser like precision. Oft times it is the small failures that take place across a population of dissimilar assets that are affecting the plants performance. Without a good design for failure coding these are very difficult to identify. Early results proved the value in the solution.

Kudos to Owens Corning and Meridium for not only implementing a new coding system, but measuring its efficiency. In my experience, what a lot of companies do is make a change, but then forget to take the next logical step. When they find patterns of failure in equipment or parts, do they go to the manufacturer and ask them to eradicate the problem? If it’s an internal matter, do they make the fix themselves?  Do they use their analysis to determine what training or techniques are needed, putting those in place to deliver results and improve equipment availability.

The lesson here is don’t just change the coding structure. Perform code reporting analysis and asset performance management, which will ultimately eradicate failures from facilities. And isn’t that the goal of maintenance and reliability departments ?

To learn more, read a related blog post about the implementation and view the PowerPoint of this presentation.

For more information, here’s a post with all of the links to the published blogs in this series.


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