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Maintaining a steady flow

25 January 2013

Recently, the distillery and bottling plant of Halewood International in Liverpool embarked on a 'lean journey'.An Idhammar MMS is facilitating a number of TPM and continuous improvement initiatives including, 5s and loss

Recently, the distillery and bottling plant of Halewood International in Liverpool embarked on a 'lean journey'.An Idhammar MMS is facilitating a number of TPM and continuous improvement initiatives including, 5s and loss prevention workshops

Halewood is an independent drinks manufacturing and distributing company with a turnover in excess of £250 million. Producing millions of cases each year of 'big brand' beverages, such as Lambrini, Red Square Vodka, Lamb's Navy Rum, and Crabbie's Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer is heavy work that requires reliable plant.

In 2008 when Halewood was looking to replace its previous system, operations director Graeme Macfarlane (now continuous improvement director) recommended implementing a CMMS having seen the operational benefits delivered by systems in the past. As a result, the company put to tender for a planned maintenance system, considering ERP solution offerings as well as standalone CMMS before choosing to implement the Idhammar Maintenance Management System.

Understanding the importance of gaining management and user buy-in, setting realistic targets, prioritising the functionality required, and the requirement for effective training programmes, Graeme Macfarlane ensured the CMMS implementation proved a success: "We didn't rush into implementing the system. We took a step back, made sure we had buy-in from the engineering steering team, planned how the system could be used to assist our processes, and provided user training sessions - as a result the team is immediately recognising the benefits. It's working exactly as we planned it would."

Gaining visibility From the start of the project, gaining visibility of maintenance activity was a key objective. One of the engineering team's KPIs is the number of outstanding job cards for plant maintenance. This is measured by the number of worksheets issued, compared to the number completed correctly and returned on time.Macfarlane explains: "When we started measuring work flow we were inundated with outstanding job cards and some of the jobs were being missed. Since implementing the Idhammar MMS we've gained control, and having more than halved the number of outstanding jobs at any one time, we're well on our way to reaching our target of only 10. My role then as continuous improvement director is to make sure that the target doesn't become too soft - and reset it to zero." There are already plans afoot to extend the use of the system outside the Steering Team by installing PCs on the shopfloor.

This will negate the need for the paper based Work Order/ Worksheet System and reduce the Job review and analysis lead time. In time, the plan is to make this process even quicker using PDAs and barcode readers.

Taking Stock In the meantime, the steering team is in the process of loading current stores into the Idhammar MMS to gain sight of, quantify, and potentially redeploy the cash tied up in any redundant stock. Preliminary activity in this area suggests an initial estimate of 20% reduction in current inventory overheads. This process will also reduce time required at the stores counter and ensure there are no stock-outs at the site. As planned, the system is generating an accurate picture of the maintenance and engineering work undertaken at the Liverpool site as well as highlighting opportunities for improvement.

Audit and Compliance Demonstrating regulatory compliance is often a key driver for purchasing a CMMS, particularly in the heavily regulated industries like food and beverage manufacturing. Halewood International is a BRC accredited company and has found the 'central library' function of the system a useful knowledge-management tool that supports audit and compliance as well as best working practices and procedures. The Idhammar MMS provides a central data repository and document library - ensuring permits to work, training and health & safety certificates etc, are assigned to each asset along with a historical log of all plant maintenance. This collective information bank also promotes knowledge sharing.

The maintenance team at Halewood International holds the key to maximising asset performance, minimising downtime and controlling production costs, while the Idhammar MMS is providing the foundation to deliver this efficient, effective maintenance.Macfarlane concludes: "We chose a dedicated CMMS because it is specifically designed to support the maintenance team and provides the functionality and analysis capability we need to improve plant maintenance."