Close The Reliability Gap
Greg Pietras | February 19, 2019
Seeing was believing at the Dana Driveline Toledo plant when it came to choosing a maintenance and reliability system.
When Dana Inc. (“Dana”) Maumee, OH (dana.com), brought its Dana Driveline Toledo plant online, the team saw a golden opportunity to stay ahead of equipment problems and failures. The operation already incorporated premier automation technologies and a computerized-maintenance-management-software (CMMS) system from eMaint, a Fluke division, Everett, WA (fluke.com and emaint.com). Although the eMaint CMMS was also used at 27 other Dana facilities, the team knew that if they wanted to keep the reliability gap in check at the Toledo plant, it was necessary to add a maintenance-and-reliability system.
Dana Toledo Driveline is just one of many divisions in Dana’s network of nearly 100 engineering, manufacturing, and distribution facilities, in 34 countries, on six continents. The company’s driveline systems can be found in all types of wheeled vehicles, including Jeeps, commercial cars, and large mining trucks. Its Toledo Driveline plant manufactures and assembles axles for the vehicles.
A PILOT PROJECT
Sometimes, the correct solution just presents itself. That’s what happened when a member of the Dana team attended an eMaint workshop and learned about the Fluke Accelix Connected Reliability Framework (accelix.com).
Already aware of Dana’s strong relationship with the eMaint 24/7 customer-support team and the proven value of its software, Aldo Reyes, maintenance-engineer planner at the Toledo Driveline plant, had every reason to believe that this same strength would extend to related offerings. He returned to Dana with the information and proposed the launch of a pilot project to test Accelix and its ability to integrate the new plant’s CMMS with Fluke’s full suite of connected condition monitoring sensors and wireless handheld tools.
The Dana team reviewed the information Reyes brought back and began reaching out to Fluke to get the ball rolling. The new plant provided an ideal place to capture baselines for use in jump-starting a predictive journey.
By adding various components of the framework, the plant would gain the ability to continuously monitor equipment conditions and see real-time data to help management make immediate maintenance decisions using the baselines. As the system accumulated and stored data, analysts could then compare equipment problems with past performance and predict future behaviors.
“Our team worked very closely with Dana to look at their operations, understand at the gemba, a place where value is created, what goes on at a plant,” said Dave O’Reilly, president of Fluke Accelix. “We focused on the challenges they had in terms of data gathering and data integrity, and then we overlaid our solutions, our tools, and our sensors, to plug that gap and provide that extra lift in terms of productivity and outcome.”
The Dana and Accelix teams had enormous stakes in the pilot project. Specifically, if it proved to be successful, Dana wanted to roll out the system at its 60 other worldwide facilities within two to three years. But first, both teams needed to prove the concept.
“If Dana came to us and said, ‘We want to monitor everything,’ I think that would have really defeated the purpose,” said Fluke’s lead application specialist Frederic Baudart. “First of all, it would make the project way too big. To be successful, you really need to win small, first, then grow from there. Also, you really have to gain confidence from your own team, from yourself, and from your leadership.”
Before the teams could make decisions about where to collect data—and whether to collect it from sensors or handheld tools—they first had to assess and rank the plant’s most important equipment and create an asset criticality list.
As Alex Deselle, an Accelix application specialist, explained, it’s really about choosing the right measurement for the asset. “Making a choice between condition monitoring or route-based monitoring,” he observed, “depends on the asset criticality ranking and what’s best for the program.”
Deselle described taking a tour of the plant with the Dana team during which they identified an important piece of machinery that needed to run continuously to test noise-vibration harshness. If it failed, it could stop production. “Knowing that,” he said, “made it easy to rank the criticality of that particular system, that machine.”
Once the assets were ranked, the teams could then determine whether equipment needed 24/7 monitoring with sensors or if it would make more sense to schedule route-based monitoring using handheld tools, such as thermal imagers and vibration meters.
“Criticality is generally a really easy conversation because everyone’s goal is to get to a predictive state,” said customer-service manager Tara Crawford, eMaint. “Nobody wants to be running around in a reactive mode all the time. In our initial conversations we talk about critical assets—asset failures that could potentially put everyone on pause and create massive amounts of downtime.”
MOVING TOWARD PERFECT
Shortly after implementing the maintenance-and-reliability system, Dana personnel began some initial condition-based monitoring of power. While doing so, they found various balance differences in the new equipment.
“In the center production line, we have two main electrical panels,” said Reyes. “We put two power monitors in the panels and when we started monitoring the power, we identified that in one panel, one of the three phases was unbalanced. That’s something we didn’t know before. It wasn’t a big issue but is something we now knew to fix.”
THINK BIG, START SMALL
When many companies start using a maintenance-and-reliability system, they want to begin by putting sensors on everything. The starting point for any company doesn’t have to be big; you don’t have to boil the ocean.
“In Dana’s case, they started; they piloted; then they grew the pilot,” said O’Reilly. “Having a true partnership between Dana and Fluke created by our joint vision and desired outcomes, helped us overcome any problems together.
“What we did with Dana was help them start gathering data in context to a part of their environment, and then we allowed them to react. We learned what happens in their maintenance operations and then augmented those data sources, so that they could deliver a real result, rather than an imagined one. Regardless of where you are on the maintenance-maturity curve, we have a solution where we can meet you at that point and join you on the rest of your journey.” EP
To learn more about the predictive journey of the Dana Driveline Toledo plant, watch this video.
What apparently sold Dana on the Accelix system was the real-time data that could be seen anywhere, any time. With the ability to view the system in action by way of dashboards on a handheld tool screen and on the maintenance shop’s TV monitors, the plant’s maintenance team would be able to get ahead of equipment availability and potential failures, and ultimately increase throughput to the plant. In other words, the assets’ capacity to operate as designed could be assured.