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Bringing clarity to maintenance management

12 November 2018

Big Bear has deployed a new CMMS to help it improve productivity and to provide its engineers and maintenance teams with greater clarity to help identify and address operational issues in a timely way.

Big Bear is a UK confectionery manufacturer, with brands such as Fox’s Glacier Mints, XXX Mints, Paynes Poppets and Just Brazils, as well as a variety of own-label products.

The company identified that the engineering and maintenance function was running outdated legacy IT systems and using manual spreadsheets for its maintenance management, resulting in reduced efficiency and increasing unreliability.  

This situation led to the company making the decision to implement a modern computerised maintenance management system (CMMS). The engineering team leader went through a rigorous selection process to find the right provider. Above and beyond the usual benefits of a CMMS – to maximise equipment uptime, keep assets in peak operating condition, and improve productivity – the company eventually specified Idhammar MMS as it was able to offer a variety of additional features that would be useful for Big Bear.

Real time reporting
The company liked the Idhammar REPORTS feature which delivers real-time reporting on maintenance performance, allowing the engineering team to  identify trends and operational issues as they arise.

The option of the Mobile MMS module was another deciding factor. Idhammar Mobile MMS synchronises work orders wirelessly with the central CMMS, so there was no need for Big Bear to purchase additional hardware. The application is compatible with any authentic and reputable smartphone or tablet device.

This mobile capability allows maintenance engineers to complete work orders, record completed jobs, allocate time, and create new work orders in the field, in real time.

Often the prospect of introducing a new IT solution can be daunting for established manufacturers looking to improve their operational performance. This was not the experience at Big Bear. “The installation was absolutely seamless,” said the engineering team leader, “and the implementation project manager made sure to work at the pace our project lead was comfortable with. Because of that, it was a stress-free experience.”

Most important metric
Big Bear deployed a straightforward use of the Idhammar technology, with the mobile MMS linked to Job Monitor. The usability of the system was key for Big Bear, and so a performance metric was put in place to measure the time savings and operational improvements brought to the maintenance team.  “I needed the system to be simple and easy to use, to make sure it would be used” explained the engineering team leader. “I set a target for a work order to be raised on the Idhammar Job Monitor in under 30 seconds. This was more than achieved – usually it appears within around seven seconds.”

Making sure to extract maximum value and transparency from the system, Big Bear also adopted Idhammar Alerts. Key assets are defined as alert-enabled, and any deviation in expected condition automatically triggers emails or text messages to managers and other key stakeholders.

The REPORTS module delivers consistent and accurate reports that can be scheduled to run and be delivered automatically.  Most useful to the engineering team leader are reports on completion performance, PPMs, hours worked and work order count.

These reports are important for effective management as they bring clarity about the strengths and weaknesses of the engineering team. REPORTS enables Big Bear to make informed decisions, rather than relying on guesswork and gut feelings.  An excellent example is the ability to examine work orders not completed or completed late to identify a need for more staff or resources.
Vision for the future
Going forward the Big Bear engineers and maintenance teams hope to utilise the more advanced features of the system, such as automated generation of work orders based on Wifi-enabled condition monitoring, And on board status displays and advanced workload planning.

In the medium term the team leader has a vision of a fully integrated CMMS and OEE system, and then in the long-run, aims to become a World Class Manufacturing organisation.  “I would like Big Bear to harness Industry 4.0 technologies to gather maintenance and manufacturing performance data.  Data analysis will become the driving force behind operations improvements in the food manufacturing industry, and I want Big Bear to be part of it.”   

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