Maintaining visitor satisfaction

11 November 2013

The Futuroscope theme park near Poitiers, France, has welcomed some 42 million visitors since it opened in 1987. Few, however, will have any concept of the vast maintenance operation that keeps the attractions up and running. Val Kealey went behind the scenes to find out how a CMMS (Computerised Maintenance Management System) is playing its part

The Futuroscope theme park combines multimedia, cinematography, audio-visual techniques and innovative robotics. Attractions include Dance with the Robots where the stars of the show are 10 23ft high Kuka robot arms from the car industry which synchronise their movements to music. The responsibility for keeping these and all the other attractions operational falls to service provider Dikeos who must ensure that 99% of the attractions are available and who must respond within 15 minutes to any issues that occur – or face penalties.

A previous CMMS was used for preventive and corrective maintenance, purchasing, stocks, orders, expenditure monitoring, maintenance history, activity reporting and asset management. However a lot of the data exchanged was still on paper and feedback could take up to five days or longer. Technicians, although entering data in the CMMS, were obtaining little information in return. There were also compatibility issues with the software.

In 2012, Dikeos decided to look into replacing the CMMS and approached five suppliers. A CARL Source CMMS from CARL Software was chosen for its ease of use and modularity.

A working group was set up with seven specialists from various CMMS user-categories to install and deploy the system across the site, with specialists attending CARL training sessions.

Dikeos wanted to simplify access to information, to be able to give the client real-time information on maintenance status, to better manage operational staff in the field, to develop maintenance task lists and to be able to incorporate safety data sheets into work orders. There was also a requirement for a tool that would help with decisions regarding investments, costs, and so on, and on equipment replacement.

The CARL Source CMMS now forms the portal between Dikeos and the park's many departments, helping the company to manage 16,400 pieces of equipment and providing traceability and performance analysis measures to improve preventive maintenance. The CMMS is also helping to optimise regulatory maintenance, stock and purchase management, and maintenance budget monitoring. It also assists with the planning of internal and sub-contracted teams and with the organisation of extensive, seasonal maintenance of the attractions.

Dikeos also decided to implement CARL Touch, CARL Software's touch mobile application. Approved by Dikeos maintenance technicians, CARL Touch is designed to improve the responsiveness of technical teams. Features include a user-friendly interface, voice entry of reports, access to maintenance history and technical documentation, and the ability to monitor progress on work orders in real time.

There has been a constant evolution of the attractions at Futuroscope since the park was created. Likewise, the CMMS will evolve over time. In 2014, for example, there will be the deployment of new modules and the implementation of a supervision and activity tracking structure based on the CARL Source Work order planning sub-module. There will also be integration of the site's BMS within the CMMS.

Dikeos knows that visitor expectations are high with regard to availability of attractions and, with the help of the CARL Source CMMS, it is doing its best to ensure that they will not be disappointed.