Springtime and severe storms are just around the corner. Don’t forget to set your clocks this weekend. We hope everyone had the opportunity to read our blogs and check out our website. However, just in case you did not have the opportunity to see our blogs and voter links as they were published, we have summarized them for you here. Please enjoy them and be sure to check back for new articles during the week. You can find a complete listing on the Mintek Blog.

The theme this week was manufacturing and the best methods for obtaining manufacturing excellence as well as increasing mobility. U.S. manufacturers struggle on a global platform. From overall efficiency to work orders there is an opportunity for improvement. Although the technology to make improvements is available, manufacturing managers need to approach change more enthusiastically.

1. 4 Steps to Manufacturing Excellence

Author: Stuart Smith

This article covers the four basic elements that manufacturers should follow when creating a maintenance improvement plan. The 4 steps require management to think through their idea before implementation. This means the who, what, why, where, how and when have all been answered before implementing an EAM solution.

Key Point: Management buy-in, knowing your assets, incorporating technology and the evaluation of alternatives are critical to effective change management.

2. Crushing The Work Request Stress With An EAM

Author: Stuart Smith

Whenever work is coming in faster than it can be processed, stress has a tendency to build up. A lot of this stress is self-inflicted or can be alleviated with a little common sense and the use of a EAM/CMMS system.

The article offers a 5 question, 100 point quiz to identify how much help is needed.Key point: Before implementing a new maintenance management program, be sure to understand your organizations workflow and how the system will impact facility operations.

3. Creating EAM Mobility For Manufacturers

Author: Stuart Smith

The use of handheld devices for maintenance operations has numerous benefits other than increased efficiency and lower labor costs. For a manufacturing environment there is a faster response times to line issues resulting in increased uptime. In addition, because of faster response times, and more time available to do preventive maintenance there is an increase in an asset’s useful lifecycle.

Key Point: Integrating mobile technology should not be an option but a requirement. Best of Breed EAMs work well with mobile devices.

4. How Ready Are Schools For Severe Storms

Author: Stuart Smith

This was a piece written as the author watched severe storms blow in from the Gulf of Mexico. High winds, heavy rains caused thousands of dollars in damage. The severity of the storm caught many by surprise. The article has a short checklist of items to be checked by schools before and after storms occur.

Key Point: If you are performing preventive maintenance on a regularly scheduled basis then emergency preparation is much quicker.

Read Relevant Articles That We Found Last Week

But wait there is more. We have found several more articles that you might find to be interesting on. The 5 best this week are:

1. DOE Announces $40 Million To Develop The Next Generation Nuclear Plant

Author: Stephen Heiser

The article announces the awards to teams to work on the conceptual design and planning for Next Generation Nuclear Plants (NGNP). NGNP are to use the process heat generated by high temperature reactors for co-generation of electricity usable for other purposes. The project will be developed in two phases.

Key Point: The opportunity for development arises since approximately 16% of the Nation’s greenhouse gases emissions come from industrial process heat applications.

2. How are you doing?

Author: Paul Studebaker

The article discusses the importance of monitoring energy usage to decrease peak load energy costs. Paul makes a good point that new equipment and maintenance are the not the only options to decreasing energy costs. Energy costs are higher during peak times and therefore unnecessary energy use during these times should be rescheduled.

Key Point: Companies need to track water, air, gas and electric by facility and shift which will be especially important if pending legislation is passed for CO2 cap and trade.

3. Does Laser Scanning Measure Up?

Author: Rebekka Wake

Rebekka discusses the advances of hardware technology that have now caught up with the abilities of laser scanning and other optical scanning systems. Technology changes have allowed optical scanning to be highly portable and an integral component of manufacturing CMMS.

Key Point: Laser scanning and other optical tracker systems add to the ability to maintain efficiencies.

4. Property Management from A-Z: M

Authors: Kathleen Richards

Kathleen’s blog remain an interesting source of practical common sense and management for property management. This weeks article discusses having a plan for maintenance management including preventive maintenance as well as inspections.

Key Point: Early detection of issues can save a bundle of money and residents should be encouraged to report issues.

5. Energy management and the CMMS

Authors: David Berger, P. Eng.

A very interesting article posing the question if operations and maintenance managers are understanding the need to monitor energy usage by asset or asset grouping. Using a CMMS will enable facility managers to track energy costs specific to assets, applications or productions lines.

Key Point: Energy costs must be monitored with greater detail in order to lower carbon footprints.

What We Learned This Week

Energy efficiency or going green is not just a trend. The reality is rising energy costs are crushing global competitiveness, reducing operating margins and ultimately slowing the recovery of our economy. The U.S. is well behind other developed countries in implementing an effective strategy. Currently effective methods of controlling energy costs include optimizing equipment energy consumption through preventive maintenance, as well as other maintenance management tools and learning how to track energy usage to greater detail.