Are Your Maintenance Documents Being Managed? Or Are They Managing You?
If you’re like most asset-intensive companies, managing maintenance documents is a substantial and gruesome task. Maybe you have a cabinet of binders chock full of important engineering and maintenance documents, or a stack of books fifteen feet high. Perhaps you have a drawer full of USBs, or a network drive full of PDFs. Or even better, you might have a corporate document management system (DMS) that stores all engineering and maintenance documentation in one large database that you search through each time you need to access maintenance instructions or find a list of critical spare parts. But which of these methods is most effective? The simple answer is none of the above.
That’s not to say that some of the above approaches are better than others, or that it isn’t smart to use a DMS. It’s just that none of these are complete solutions that allow maintenance professionals to efficiently find the right information, at the right time.
Putting Things into Perspective
Say you are a typical asset-intensive company, with several sites, and thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment to be maintained. To perform routine maintenance, you need to access many different documents in many different places.
Obviously, paper isn’t the answer. If you keep printed documents with every piece of equipment, they’re going to get lost, dirty, or worn out. Also, keeping them in a central location won’t help the workers needing to access it from remote locations.
Keeping all documents on a network drive still requires personnel to search through thousands of documents for the correct one. As a result, many asset-intensive companies are moving their maintenance and operations documentation into a DMS. Smarter? Yes. But effective? Not always.
Many companies find that, as they move their maintenance documentation into a DMS, they still can’t find the information they need in a timely manner. Why? Because, when a document is loaded into the DMS, the appropriate metadata isn’t loaded with it. Metadata is the data that describes the document, providing information such as the manufacturer, the model number, year of manufacture, the type of guide, and any other information that makes it easier to distinguish one document from thousands of others. Without accurate and complete metadata, time spent searching for specific information can be substantial.
Do the Math
Assume it takes a maintenance worker 20 minutes to locate the right piece of information in the right guide. And assume you have 100 maintenance personnel accessing maintenance documents each week. That’s 33 hours (or .8 of a maintenance worker) lost per week, searching for information!
What if all metadata for a document was automatically loaded into the DMS with the document? Anyone searching the DMS could quickly find the maintenance schedule for a model NM3198 Goulds pump, for example. Also, what if the documents for every piece of equipment were available to a maintenance technician directly from their EAM or CMMS work order? You could eliminate virtually all downtime spent looking for information. Seems logical, right? Well there are solutions available to help make this happen.
Asset-intensive companies use NRX AssetHub to provide a 360° view of maintenance and engineering information. NRX AssetHub automatically organizes and indexes maintenance documents into their corporate Document Management System, such as EMC Documentum, SAP DMS, BlueCielo, and others. When assets or their attributes change, our customers easily keep the organization and indexes up to date, saving maintenance workers time locating the latest engineering data and drawings. It then associates the documents with their appropriate assets in NRX AssetHub and in the CMMS or EAM system. Maintenance workers can then access the applicable documents directly from work orders in their EAM system.
As One Customer States
“NRX AssetHub allows us to not only effectively manage the information for current assets in our plant, but also manage the flows of information as those assets change and grow over time. This brings accurate information to the right person at the right time, to make the right decision.”
For More Information
Learn how NRX AssetHub helps our customers load and organize all maintenance and engineering documents into a Document Management System, and make the information available to maintenance personnel directly from a work order.
Learn about the various other ways that NRX AssetHub can help your company solve data quality issues and improve maintenance and operational efficiency.
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