Lube Charting

Engineering Services Company Eliminates 240 Hours per Engineer

Situation

An engineering services company serves a wide range of industries worldwide, including mining, steel manufacturing, pulp and paper mills, and more. Their services are as varied as the industries they service/support and consist of everything from equipment and component inspections to preventive maintenance (PM) and lubrication recommendations. To accomplish this, they send a team of engineers to their customer’s site or facility to inspect and capture data that is then compiled into reports and eventually a maintenance plan. Upon arriving at the customer’s site, engineers were often met with either no data at all or a mountain of unorganized customer data. Both scenarios involved data collection on hundreds of assets and performing inspections on up to 50 assets and components or more. This proved to be a time-consuming process, as it was completed primarily on paper in the field and then manually entered into a spreadsheet. This paper process had several key issues. Inspecting equipment outside or in harsh conditions meant the paper forms were rained on, perspired on, or smudged with grease. When those conditions combined with illegible handwriting and differing nomenclature used by team members, converting the paper forms to spreadsheets and reports would take up to 3 weeks for inspections and 3 months for maintenance and lubrication recommendations. The company wanted to streamline this process to make it easier for their engineers, improve turnaround time for their customers, eliminate duplicate data entry, and standardize their services across the world.

Action Items

The company digitized the entire inspection, charting, and reporting process with Redlist. In the words of one of the field technicians, the process is now “sleek and streamlined.” Field engineers use the Redlist app on a tablet to perform different equipment and component inspections, capture preventive maintenance recommendations, and make suggestions on proper lubrication. This is a new tool within the Redlist platform that was developed in partnership with the company. It allows technicians to quickly create assets and capture relevant asset details from anywhere, even offline. The technicians can create maintenance and lubrication templates that can be quickly applied to assets through drag-and-drop functionality. The company configured Redlist’s reports to fit their needs as well.  All of the dashboards auto-populate with the data captured by the engineers. Equipment inspection reports gather the findings and call attention to deficiencies that need to be addressed. Additionally, all PM and lubrication charting data auto-populate a report that is exported and provided to the customer.

Impact

The biggest impact of Redlist implementation for the asset and component inspection service is the significant time savings in both completing inspections and organizing the data after the fact. With Redlist, the engineers save 1 hour per inspection allowing them to complete 35 inspections in 9 hours, capture over 300 photos, perform wear analysis, and make on-the-spot recommendations. Digitizing data collection and automating reports save engineers 25 to 80 hours of data cleanup, organization, photo upload, double data entry, and post-service reports. They average 2 to 3 of these projects per year, so the total annual time savings is 50 to 240 hours. Also, the PM and lubrication charting projects saw an 86% reduction in total time to complete. They went from multi-day, multi-person, 3 months to complete projects to a single person completing the project in 2 to 3 weeks. According to field technicians, they “really enjoy work with the charting tool” and “working on the iPad is awesome compared to pen and paper.” This streamlined digital system makes performing their job safer, easier, and they can get more done with their time. Overall, the standardized process for inspections and data collection has created a consistent customer experience with faster delivery times and more accurate reports. Considering that projects can be completed faster, the company can complete more projects in a year and improve their bottom line.

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