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How do you use maintenance and repair information?


trading-643722_1920.jpgInformation is everywhere in today's world. Insurance companies have a device you can plug into your car to gather information. That information then tells them about your driving habits. They gather the information about you to make a rate determination on what they should charge you for your premium. Facebook, Twitter, WebMD, the internet in general gives you so much social information, breaking news, etc. all this information is readily accessible and even alerts you when it happens

Why is maintenance and repair any different? The answer is that it shouldn't be!

We get so much information in maintenance and repair, such as:

  • Maintenance History
  • Repair History
  • Vibration Data & Reports
  • Alignment Data & Reports
  • Thermography Data & Reports
  • Ultrasound Data & Reports
  • Misc. Testing Results
  • Vendor Testing Results
  • And Much More….

All of this information is vital to keeping your operation up and running. This information allows you to learn from not just the past or the present, but BOTH, together. Understand history in combination with current situations to make the best decision.


Where is this information? Is it accessible? Do you use it?

This is where the Information Cycle comes into play. Collect the Data, save the data, know where the data is, give other access to it, and know when the data changes.

information cycle.png

Is this not what every other information systems does? What the insurance "snapshot" tool does? What Facebook does? Speaking of Facebook, Why do we "typically" know more about what someone on Facebook had for breakfast versus what is going on with equipment in our facilities?

Answer: Facebook is designed to allow all the information entered to be readily accessible. It's that simple: it follows the information cycle!



What about maintenance and reliability?

  • Where is readily accessible information?
  • Do you have access to view the complete history on your equipment?
  • Does everyone that needs the information have access to it?
  • Does reliability have access to maintenance records?
  • Do you know the current status of all equipment in your plant?
  • Do partners/vendors have access?


How do we get there?

You start by implementing an information cycle that fits your specific organization: A custom system! It must be designed for your specific plant and needs. No system “out of the box” will work for everyone. I’ve implemented many programs and each one is different. Some similar components or similar programs but each one is different because of unique circumstances.

  • Determine what information is/should be gathered
  • Determine at what point the information is gathered
  • Determine who gathers the information
  • Determine who needs access to this information
  • Determine how those that need access have the ability to get the information.


What MRO events should be included?

New Equipment Purchases

  • This is where the information cycle starts!
  • Bid, Spec, Quotes, Drawings, Performance Data, Installation Data, Alignment Data, etc.
  • Most of us get all of this information when we purchase equipment - if you don't get it most the time all you need to do is ask!

Predictive/Preventive Maintenance

  • This is what happens while the equipment is in operation or at least “in-application”
  • Vibration, Thermography, Misc. Testing, Lubrication, Bearing Temps
  • This determines when you need to maintain or repair the equipment.
  • "Prevent(ive) the failure by being able to Predict(ive) it.
  • Information when the equipment was new is needed!

Equipment Repair

  • This is when information changes!
  • Information from when the equipment was new or through predictive/preventive is useful in making correct repairs.
  • Any changes or repairs have to be documented for future reference.
  • Track issues, avoided failures, & actual failures.

Spare Equipment

  • Know status/history of spare equipment
  • Know location of spare equipment
  • Document maintenance of stored equipment


A Maintenance & Reliability Information Cycle Example:

A new piece of equipment is purchased. All of the information from that purchase is given to all those involved in the purchase from engineering to purchasing. That information is all stored in a software program that is accessible by vendors (accessible by both repair and PdM) and plant personnel alike (information cycle for New Equipment is performed).

It is determined that PdM needs to be done on the equipment so the PdM vendor (or internal team) sets up their PdM software and because of readily accessible information, they have the information they need (as an example: bearing information for vibration vendor and acceptable manufacturers limits) from the initial equipment purchase. They know what was specified for the new equipment and what the MFG says is acceptable.

PdM is taking data on that piece of equipment and everything is good for the next 5 years. They analyze information and store data in the same software that the purchase information was in. Lets be clear, not the root data that is analyzed but the result of the data, the “report”.

Now they have an instance where they identify the unit is in need of repair. On the next scheduled outage, the unit is pulled and sent to a repair vendor. Who has access to the purchase information, PdM trend and information, they know the lifecycle of the piece of equipment. They know this because they have Readily Accessible Information.



Whats the end result of the example?

The PdM group, maintenance group, and repair vendor work together to solve the actual issue instead of focusing on the result of the failure (that never actually occurred). Instead of focusing on how long it will take to get it back or how cheap the repair price is, you are focusing in on solving the root cause of the failure. Information allows you to do so.


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Justin Hatfield

HECO - All Systems Go



About the author:

 Justin Hatfield  is Vice President of Operations at HECO. He is responsible for Electric Motor & Drive Sales, Electric Motor & Generator Repairs, Spare Solutions, and Predictive Services. Justin was instrumental in developing HECO MAPPS (Motor and Powertrain Performance Systems) which focuses on “why” you have a motor problem instead of simply “What” product or service should be recommended. HECO is an EASA Accredited Service Center.


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