At Prime Technologies, Inc. we have clients across a wide variety of industries including (but not limited to): chemical manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, energy production (traditional and nuclear), petrochemical, pipeline logistics, and many others. We help our clients to adapt their calibration and maintenance workflows to get the most out of our software. One significant advantage ProCalV5 users find is the consolidation of asset calibration and maintenance information.
Why is the consolidation of asset data such a huge a benefit? There are some obvious reasons:
- Paperless Workflows
- Electronic Signatures
- Streamlined Record Keeping
- Eliminating Spreadsheets, File Cabinets, Clipboards and Manila Folders
There are also a few less obvious advantages:
- Audit Preparedness & Response Time
- Easy Reporting Across Multiple Departments, Plants, Sites & Countries
- Customized Reporting Options for Trend Analysis & Quality Management
All the above benefits translate into saving time and money. But what kind(s) of data are we talking about? For assets, it could be specs, management and quality data (i.e., critical vs. non-critical); calibration and maintenance schedules; or viewing assets by location, asset category, model, manufacturer, etc.
For calibrations, some of the most valuable data has to do with: scheduled vs. on-demand calibration events, responsible technician, annual vs. quarterly vs. monthly frequency, pass/fail status and/or actual calibration result values (i.e., numeric readings in pressure, temperature, resistance, etc.). Maintenance history records can encompass preventive maintenance or ad hoc maintenance events (i.e., failures, breakdown, unscheduled service, etc.) or monitoring activities by plant, maintenance route, or department.
It’s clear from the above that we can gather lots of information to get it all under one roof. In fact, that takes little effort once the software -and well-defined processes – are put in place. So, what are the advantages?
In the area of I&E management, the assignment of tasks and the tracking of accountability becomes a much easier thing to do. The scheduling of calibrations and preventive maintenance is a natural by-product of having asset information on a mature data management platform. The CMMS provides a single “system of record” for specifications, processes and workflows and a better handle on more nuanced things like reverse traceability (in the event of an issue with a calibration standard), electronic signatures and date/time stamps and/or audit trail history to keep track of changes made.
Audit response is also a major benefit. Responding to audits – whether from an internal or external source – can be time consuming, stressful and expensive. With your data consolidated:
- All of your asset and calibration/maintenance results information is in one place.
- The ease of gathering audit response data is greatly enhanced.
- The accuracy of the data reported during an audit is more reliable.
- You can have specialized reports for audit response.
Finally, everything can fit on a USB key, saving time, money and trees.
Reporting and Metrics is another major benefit. “If it can be measured, it can be improved”, the saying goes. Some general advantages of having data stored on a standard SQL platform (like SQL Server or Oracle) are:
- The ability to back up and make copies of critical data sets
- The ability to query records covering the full history of instrument calibration and/or maintenance histories (many years or even decades)
- The creation of customized reports
- The ability to deploy software to access the data worldwide
There are many specialized reports in ProCal. Most CMMS systems have similar reports, but a few examples are events due (all), calibration point trending, bar code labels and A3 Interval Analysis.
There are also advanced query tools that can be employed against your consolidated data. They can allow users/administrators or quality managers to create focused queries. In ProCal, these queries can be shared and deploy by anyone with access to the database. They can also be exported to share with users outside the ProCalV5 user community.
Another option is eView. It is a purely web-based interface, with no need to install additional software. eView allows reports to be scheduled for e-mail to a list of recipients. It allows users to run ad-hoc reports, and effectively extends the ProCal users base, exclusively for report viewing. It also provides an easy, widely available interface for users to enter maintenance requests.
Clearly there are both operational and cost/benefit advantages to consolidating asset data. The first step is to get your data onto a robust, query-able platform. Once there, many things will follow to streamline, improve and make your asset management practice more consistent and reliable.