How Electro Cycle Increased Planned Maintenance 30% with MaintainX
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Electro Cycle, located in Madisonville, KY, serves as a key partner to the aluminum food and beverage can industry. Metal Exchange includes four businesses and more than 700 employees involved in various stages of recycling and trading of non-ferrous metals.
Making the change from a legacy CMMS to a modern CMMS Electro Cycle processes 6,000 pounds of aluminum every 42 minutes. And, at the end of the day, the manufacturing plant processes an amazing 200,000 pounds of metal—that is, when things go right. As any plant manager attests, unexpected equipment downtime can significantly impact production targets.
“We set out to have average days. Whether it happens or not is a different story,” Morse says. “Prioritizing preventive maintenance for critical pieces of equipment is vital to our production goals. Until recently, that hasn’t always been easy.” When Morse took over as Electro Cycle’s maintenance manager, he was surprised to discover the plant using an old, custom-built CMMS. Why? Because no one besides the organization’s director of manufacturing knew how to use it. As a result, the plant possessed virtually zero documentation of asset service histories, Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) data, equipment task hours, and other efficiency-related metrics.
The previous custom-built CMMS was so cumbersome that Electro Cycle’s three previous maintenance managers had tried (and failed) to convince the director to replace it! Understandably, leadership was hesitant to abandon software the company had already invested thousands of dollars to build.
However, having experimented with cloud-based CMMS for personal projects, Morse believed the department could do better. The maintenance manager knew upper management wouldn’t just take his word for it though. He would need to prove his hypothesis with real data—so he signed up for MaintainX.
“ Everyone was able to pick up the technology instantly ."
Solution: Operations and Maintenance Management Software
After evaluating modern CMMS options, Morse chose MaintainX because of its attractive appearance, mobile integration, and intuitive dashboard. Unlike the other software providers that claim to be “user-friendly, Morse was surprised to learn that Maintain really IS user-friendly.
“I’ve got technicians ranging from 22 years old to 63 years old. Some had never used a CMMS, while others had grown up on it. The customer and IT support from MaintainX has been tremendous.”
Morse immediately began using the app to create, assign, and monitor work orders. He also instructed his team to input as much asset, inventory, and maintenance information as possible during their 30-day MaintainX Premium trial.
“We used our first 60 days to generate as much data as we could. I presented our results with printouts and showed my boss the software. He was blown away.” Over the next year, Electro Cycle increased overall preventive maintenance by 30 percent, transitioning from a 40:60 percent to a 70:30 percent preventive to reactive maintenance ratio. Morse says the increase in equipment reliability has translated to a higher yield of production throughout the year.
“Even when we fail to prevent a breakdown, we use MaintainX to determine why the failure might have occurred,” Morse says. “I also now use MaintainX’s Advanced Reporting when asking for capital to purchase new equipment. I compare the number of work orders to time spent on an asset against production numbers [taken from production software] and say, ‘This asset cost $X in downtime this year—we should replace it.’”
Electro Cycle has used MaintainX to:
Streamline Parts Management: Electro Cycle’s previous CMMS didn’t link parts to their corresponding assets and locations. Users had to manually scroll through a long list to locate particular parts’ descriptions. With MaintainX, technicians can quickly locate parts information within work orders. Since realizing the value of tracking the plant’s 3,000+ parts, Electro Cycle has even developed a new position for parts data entry.
Simplify Vendor/Warranty Communication: Morse uses MaintainX to organize the contact information of 40 vendors of plumbing, compressed gas, and more. The software also has saved him time when preparing warranty claims. Instead of gathering information from a variety of sources, Morse simply emails manufacturers a work order. The PDF includes uploaded photos, time history, cost history, and worker notes. He says they honor the warranty claims without a word because the documentation is comprehensive.
"All important notices go through MaintainX chat. Anytime we have a major announcement from corporate, I copy and paste it directly into the MaintainX team chat."
Result: Leading Internal Digital Transformation
Despite being the smallest of Metal Exchange’s sister companies, Electro Cycle now leads the pack. The facility averages 400 work orders per month and has created more than 5,300 preventive maintenance work orders since adopting MaintainX.
Metal Exchange leadership was so impressed with the plant’s improved metrics, it gave Morse the green light to pursue a new venture: Electro Cycle will pilot the parent company’s first predictive maintenance program in 2021.
Josh can now manage:
Complete Asset Database: All of Electro Cycle’s 130 major plant assets are now accounted for within MaintainX. Each asset is cataloged with information, including locations, serial numbers, and work order history.
Enhanced Communication: MaintainX’s messaging functionality has enabled management to work remotely throughout COVID-19 and helps keep the organization aligned.
Digitally Documented SOPs: Electro Cycle now uses digitized checklists to help team members achieve standardized results and stay safe. Some of the organization’s procedures include Daily Shift Checklists, Conveyor Belts PMs, and Toyota 500-Hour PMs.
My advice to anybody starting out with the program is to pick one or two people to be responsible for the data entry to correlate which areas you're assigning assets. Also, get all of your techs familiar with the terminology you will be using.
How Electro Cycle Increased Planned Maintenance 30% with MaintainX
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Preventive maintenance has never been easier. Schedule recurring Work Orders so that your team can address potential issues before they lead to downtime on your assets or equipment.
Collaborate across Your Organization
One centralized communication platform. No more switching between emails, phone calls, and text messages to discuss work to be done. MaintainX offers best-in-class messaging on Work Orders and across teams.
Robust reporting allows you to keep track of all your preventive maintenance tasks. Provides insights on key KPIs like MTBF so you can predict preventive maintenance tasks to reduce downtime.