mPower™ Blog Series

10 Key Considerations when Choosing your Mobile Plant Maintenance Solution

Overview

With mobility seeping every spectrum of our life like never before, it is little doubt that organizations are spending huge amount of dollars developing a variety of apps to make our lives easier and simpler. Be it accessing email on an Android or using an iPhone to facilitate a video conference from a remote location, everything has become a reality with a click of a button. If Forrester Research’s predictions are anything to be believed, around 60 million tablets and 175 million smartphones will be in use by global workforce by 2015. This is a clear indicator about how mobile has a major role to play in our professional work lives, considering that the major contributor to this new found interest would definitely be the industrial sector, particularly in asset intensive or manufacturing industries.

As already mentioned, mobility in the manufacturing environment has a key role to play with a plethora of activities including daily plant maintenance activities that work with enterprise asset management systems. This way organizations can save time and enhance efficiency by helping them to work anywhere, anytime without the need to constantly be attached to their desktops. This blog throws some light on the benefits of using mobile devices in routine plant maintenance activities.

How can mobile enhance plant maintenance?

Though many industries have recognized the importance of empowering their workforce with mobile devices, however, it is imperative that organizations clearly define the mobile strategy and identify why it can benefit their organization. This is particularly true in case of plant maintenance.

Can integrating mobile with day to plant maintenance activities really yield benefits? The answer is yes, and how is it possible? Take for  instance, a worker who has a tablet to help him gather field information instantaneously – not at the end of the day. This will enhance the pace at which the work orders are updated and completed.

So, what are the functional and commercial aspects that we need to look at when planning to purchase a solution for plant maintenance?

Plant Maintenance - 1

  1. Access to real-time data

Instantaneous access to information including real-time notifications and confirmations pertaining to various transactions such as breakdowns is one of the factors to consider while looking for a mobile solution for routine plant maintenance. By offering real-time updates, technicians can save hours of work, while working on desktop, providing an accurate status of progress tracking of a work order.

2. Access to routes and inspections

Maintenance supervisors and quality inspectors should be able to use the mobile app on their tablets and smartphones to create, view and update maintenance routes and measurements points in real-time. Apart from that, the solution should help them respond and approve notifications on the fly, when they are out of the plant floor. This way, they can enhance the wrench time and provide an accurate picture of the completion status.

3. Simple and user-friendly interface

This should be the primary goal of a good mobile application, considering that a mobile screen is much smaller, compared to a desktop screen. This means, companies need to identify what key aspects of their daily maintenance process are to be displayed on the interface. It is always better to display lesser information with quicker access and updates, rather than having too many buttons or text, creating lot of clutter and confusion.

4. Ability to upload pictures

Instead of typing endless text to provide the description of the equipment, a good mobile application for plant maintenance should have the ability to attach pictures associated with equipment breakdowns, thereby creating a better visibility on equipment reliability.

5. Barcode scanning

This feature helps to identify the history of a piece of equipment under consideration as also helps to search for parts. One step ahead is the geo-tagging feature that lets you identify the exact location of the equipment, which is quite useful during tracking and auditing of assets. A good mobile solution should be able to provide this barcode scanning feature with the help of camera available on a smart phone or a tablet, saving lot of search time and avoiding information inaccuracies.

6. Search options

A good mobile solution should provide a user-friendly search options for the availability and location of spare parts. This way, it maximizes user’s efficiency, while improving the repair timelines.

7. Document viewing

A right solution should provide access to key documents such as work order instructions, technical documents and safety instructions in variety of formats including PDF. This way field technicians and plant personnel can make informed decisions about work orders and assignments, while considerably cutting down costs on printing.

8. Quick deployment

A good mobile solution should be able to quickly adapt to an organization’s infrastructure, enabling quick deployment and minimizing implementation timelines.

9. Data Security

Most of the organizations are concerned about the security of their data, particularly when they are dealing with costly equipment and assets. A right solution should be able to address these issues and provide an extra layer of data security, without posing hindrances to the existing functionality, while executing day to day maintenance tasks.

10. Cost aspects

Last, but not the least is the cost aspect that typically crops up in our mind – how much does a good mobile work order solution cost and will my organization be able to afford it? Hence, a good solution vendor cannot ignore this aspect, irrespective of the number of features that the solution can offer, as most of the companies are in the mid-level segment, looking for a solution that is affordable including costs related to installation, maintenance and future upgrades.

Innovapptive’s mobile order solution – mWorkOrder

mWorkOrder solution - 1

Innovapptive had evaluated and understood the various pain points and challenges encountered by typical asset intensive industries and developed a cutting edge mobile work order management solution – mWorkOrder. mWorkOrder leverages the SAP’s Plant Maintenance module at the back-end to deliver a consistent, reliable and a productive asset maintenance experience across a wide range of industries.   It empowers maintenance technicians and quality inspectors to work safely and productively relating to installing new equipment or maintaining, inspecting and repairing existing assets. Apart from that, the mWorkOrder app also mitigates the risk of injury by helping workers complete safety checks and follow safe work practices.

Value Drivers

  • Receive and update work orders.
  • Get directions with GIS and GPS.
  • View installed-base listings and access equipment, details, dependencies and maintenance history.
  • View interactive part schematics (with the SAP Visual Enterprise Viewer).
  • Follow guided workflows, steps and instructions.
  • Install and geotag equipment.
  • Perform maintenance, inspections and repairs.
  • Track and automatically report status, progress and location.
  • Capture readings, measurements and photos.
  • Record problems, actions, time, parts and materials.
  • Create work orders and notifications on the spot.

  Business Benefits

  • Extend and improve asset life and reliability.
  • Improve plant, fleet and equipment performance.
  • Improve workforce safety and productivity.
  • Minimize accidents, failures and outages.
  • Reduce unplanned downtime and maintenance backlog.
  • Improve first-time resolution rates.
  • Enhance the efficiency of warehouse, plant, field and accounts payable personnel.
  • Ensure assets run at peak performance with shorter response times and timely maintenance.
  • Complete safety checks and adhere to safe practices.

Request a Demo

If you would like a demo of Innovapptive’s portfolio of Native or Web based mobile solutions, please click on the link. Alternatively, if you would like to discuss with an Innovapptive solution expert, you can reach out to us by emailing us at sales@innovapptive.com or you can reach a sales representative at (713) 275-1804.

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