Data Quality Nightmares – Horror Stories from the Field as Told by a Maintenance Expert
Most asset-intensive businesses struggle to create and maintain high-quality asset and maintenance data in their CMMS or EAM systems. This problem is not unique. The biggest mistake you can make is just to forget about it and assume the problem will simply resolve itself.
Most businesses know they have a data-related problem, but rarely take the right steps to correct the underlying issues. The problem persists and the business is impacted in major ways. The most common impacts include drastically increased maintenance costs, parts overages, decreased maintenance productivity, exposure to EH&S risks, critical and unexpected downtime, and time lost searching for information.
We recently had the opportunity to meet with a Maintenance Management Systems expert with over 30 years experience in asset management working in industries such as Water, Power Generation, Oil and Gas, and Mining. He was able to share some of his experiences where poor quality maintenance data cost companies thousands, hundreds of thousands, and potentially millions of dollars. Here are some of the highlights.
1. Regulatory Nightmare
“An FPSO (Floating Production, Storage, & Offloading Vessel) off the coast of western Australia called me in to perform an audit on their pressure relief valves. 20% of them were not even in the system, and it would appear it was always like that. They had to spend a lot of money to hire consultants to plough through P & ID drawings, and call over to the vessel to validate the missing ones. It was quite an exercise. They weren’t ever maintained. They were lucky they weren’t shut down.”
2. Why Inventory Management is so Important
“This story is about an old navy ship called Rusty. It was out in the middle of the Indian Ocean and had a compressor breakdown, it was just a fan belt. They knew they had fan belts but couldn’t find them. Searched the entire ship. Their inventory system was very poor and they didn’t know where anything was stocked. So, they flew a fan belt (worth $200) in a helicopter all the way out in the Indian Ocean (which you can imagine how costly that would be), removed the old fan belt, and hung it on a hook next to the compressor. Hanging beside it was the brand-new belt that had been delivered months before. This happened more than once.”
3. Near Miss at an Oil and Gas Plant
“This story takes place at an oil and gas plant in Australia that had been in operation for 15 years. I was checking RCM status on a loading arm on the jetty. I discovered a roller bearing on the loading arm was ground to dust. It was still operating, but only through sheer force. In the system, the equipment existed, but had no maintenance plans at all. When other loading arm bearings were examined, they were almost as bad. They had to do some pretty serious work with the first loading arm to get it operational again. If they had lost the cargo, it would have costed upwards of $50 million.”
Lessons Learned the Hard Way
What are the key takeaways from these stories? How can you ensure that situations like these don’t happen to you? In a general sense, maintenance processes and data quality needs to improve so that maintenance professionals have the right information to properly maintain equipment and work effectively. More specifically, ensure that your spare parts information is well documented and current, that your asset hierarchy is complete and up to date, and that you have maintenance plans for all critical equipment. Sound like a tall order? NRX AssetHub can help in major ways. Follow the links below to find out more information.
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Have a nightmare from your experience as a maintenance professional? We’d love to hear it! Feel free to share your stories in the comments below.
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