BioKyowa Experiences Increased Work Order Completion and Decreased Equipment Downtime

Since mid-August 2021, BioKyowa's maintenance team has added nearly 7000 assets and more than 5100 parts to its MaintainX org, not to mention creating more than 2700 Work Orders.

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BioKyowa was established in 1982 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and was the first commercial Lysine production plant in the United States. BioKyowa is a subsidiary of Kyowa Hakko Bio, which is, in turn, a subsidiary of Kirin Holdings.

Over the past 30 years, the company has evolved from a feed-grade facility producing a single product to a multi-plant facility producing high-quality amino acids using advanced biotechnology. BioKyowa combines fermentation and chemical process unit operations—filtration, evaporation, crystallization, isolation, drying, milling, and packaging—to produce amino acids used in nutritional food supplements, cosmetics, and precursors for pharmaceuticals.

The fermentation process begins in a sterile laboratory and is carried out in large tanks called fermenters, or bioreactors. The entire process is known as cultivation. The final products are packaged into super sacks or fiber drums for shipment worldwide. BioKyowa manufactures all its products following strict cGMP standards and is ISO9001:2008 registered and HACCP accredited. The standards and accreditations require frequent inspections and audits.



BioKyowa was looking for a solution to keep track of all its inspections, staying up to date and scheduling them on a rotating basis, so they happen at the same time every year. Joshua noted that “We have critical calibrations, and those critical calibrations have to do with audits. The ERP solution did not have a good way of scheduling the calibrations and PM Work Orders.” The other challenge was all the paper: “We needed a paperless option. So, we have moved everything from paper to MaintainX. It’s all on our tablets now.”

The company was moving toward a new ERP software, but it didn’t offer a good backend site for the maintenance department. BioKyowa needed a system more geared towards maintenance with the ability to schedule and track repairs in order to implement a better PM program to track specific equipment.

Likewise, the audits required a lot of signature sign-offs for the day-to-day processes.



Any resistance at BioKyowa to moving maintenance planning and inspections to MaintainX quickly dissipated when people experienced how easy it was to use the CMMS. Joshua explains that MaintainX’s “biggest advantages, as opposed to other online systems, is the incredibly user-friendly and easy-to-navigate user interface.

“One of our safety supervisors said she didn't even have to look at any instructions. The very first time she loaded MaintainX onto her tablet, she was able to use it without any problems.” — Joshua Doyle, BioKyowa Maintenance Planner

As a result, BioKyowa is looking to expand MaintainX beyond its maintenance team to other departments. Joshua explains that “Because all the fermentation processes are audited—both internally and externally—everything needs to be followed correctly.”

As Joshua describes it, everyone needs to be trained on the implementation process because BioKyowa gets audited by the USDA. “We have food-grade production, and when the USDA comes in, they audit all of our processes.” MaintainX is now part of that process, and “thanks to MaintainX’s customer support, it’s been hugely beneficial in this process, especially now. At our last meeting, we started talking about integrating MaintainX into our production cycle as well.”


To put numbers to BioKyowa’s MaintainX use: since mid-August 2021, its Maintenance team has added nearly 7000 assets and more than 5100 parts to its MaintainX org, not to mention creating more than 2700 Work Orders.

“We're talking about maintenance techs who've done maintenance for 20 or 30 years,” Joshua says. “We just asked them to change how they do it, and in a couple of months, they picked up MaintainX really well. I think this speaks highly to how easy MaintainX is to use.”

Joshua explains that as Work Order creation has gone up, so has Work Order completion. On a month-to-month basis, Work Orders are up 20 to 30%. Work Order completion is following the same trend. “They're getting more work to do, but they're able to complete more because, when they log in, they can see what Work Orders they have, what hasn't been finished, and what needs to be finished. It's all right there on the handheld.”

For example, before MaintainX, the maintenance techs needed the required signatures for every paper audit and inspection. Joshua described how “it all had to be in person. The techs would have to find someone available to sign a specific permit. That sometimes could take up to an hour of waiting.” Now, a technician simply notifies Joshua or one of the other administrators online and, “we accomplish the same thing that took 30 minutes in a matter of seconds. That’s not a KPI, but it is very quantifiable.”

Joshua notes that the ease of creating work requests and Work Orders means that the maintenance team’s Work Orders are visible in ways they were not on paper. Now, administrators can see the work from inception to completion and the progress all along the way. “The visibility is really good. We can dive into the high priority repairs and move around repairs that aren't as high priority.”

Joshua uses MaintainX’s Reporting module to key in on BioKyowa’s “Created VS. Completed” Work Order KPI. He says that “Since we've launched, our overall downtime from equipment failure has decreased.”

Spotlight on the Customer

Joshua Doyle, BioKyowa's maintenance planner, was hired after the software and technical engineers had already studied quite a few different Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and had finally found MaintainX. They really liked the user interface and what MaintainX offered.

With a background in inventory management, Joshua was brought in not just to oversee the transfer of information into MaintainX but also its implementation and technician training.

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