Few things are as frustrating as having to redo something you thought was finished. Who wants to perform the same job twice? Unfortunately, maintenance reworks are a common occurrence at too many industrial process plants and manufacturing sites. This obviously doesn’t make plant managers, QA leads, maintenance managers, planners and schedulers very happy. Nor should it. So, they’re looking for a solution that can reduce reworks, boost wrench time and cut equipment downtime. Digital Work Instructions offers an answer.
Reworks Hurt Maintenance Efficiency, Threaten Production
A rework is any piece of equipment that fails within 60 days or less after completion of a repair work order. Several factors can cause a rework:
- Poor operating procedures
- Improper maintenance procedures
- Subpar materials and parts
- Inadequate maintenance planning
- Lack of proper training or skills
Let's explore that last bullet point further. Reworks tend to increase when a maintenance team has a large number of new hires or a less experienced workforce (perhaps due to a rash or retirements or a layoff). This is because new or recent hires naturally lack the experience and know-how built up over a long career. They don’t possess the tribal knowledge of those who have worked at the plant for years.
That means, of course, they’re prone to making more mistakes, which lead to more reworks. The more reworks a plant has to contend with, the less efficient its overall maintenance is. It also increases the greater the chance for unplanned downtime and production disruptions that can threaten revenues.
Poor Wrench Time Also Impacts Maintenance Efficiency
Typical maintenance techs only use from 25% to 35% of their working days on actual productive tasks – aka wrench time. The rest they spend on a variety of other things besides repairs. This can be such things as waiting on parts or instructions, coordination delays or travel time. And those figures are for the average tech; the percentage is likely higher for a less-experienced front-line worker or new hire. That’s because they’re having to consult paper manuals, go back to the warehouse because they brought the wrong part or tool, or they’re calling for help. This slows their pace of work and their efficiency. And it also could contribute to a growing list of backlogs as work orders start piling up in the queue.
How Digital Work Instructions Can Help
A Digital Work Instructions solution electronically connects a veteran plant employee with a less-experienced front-line colleague at the equipment repair site. The veteran employee could be sitting in a nearby office or be across the plant at another unit, at another facility in the same state or country, or even across the world.
The two are connected via a desktop app, tablet or mobile device, in the case of the veteran employee, and for the rookie, a mobile device, tablet or wearable such as
smart glasses or a smartwatch. Using these mobile video conferencing tools, a veteran employee can actually see what the less-experienced tech is looking at in real time, as if the two were standing together in front of the equipment needing repair.
The seasoned tech can issue verbal instructions to less-experienced co-workers. They can also send PDFs, SOPs, inspection sheets and checklists that will help a newbie better understand how to correctly perform the necessary repairs. The rookie can also ask questions and get real-time feedback from the veteran, increasing the new hire’s knowledge base and skill set.
Digital Work Instructions help new hires and less-experienced maintenance techs make better use of their time. Instead of having to look through paper manuals in search of an answer, they can immediately electronically consult with a seasoned plant veteran in real time through a video conference using smart glasses. They can also be sure they have the right materials in place before they start the work order, cutting down on unnecessary and wasteful travel or idle time. This gives them more time at the repair site and increases their overall wrench time and efficiency.
Digital Work Instructions also cut down on time-consuming and costly reworks. Since the veteran techs can see what their colleagues are looking at in real time, they can help the new-hire or less-experienced worker get the job done right the first time, dramatically dropping the chance of a rework down the road. This also helps avoid unplanned downtime and preserves revenue flows.
Learn More about Using Digital Work Instructions to Cut Reworks and Boost Wrench Time
Innovapptive offers a Digital Work Instructions solution as part of its Connected Worker platform. This easy-to-use system can enable your plant or facility to successfully overcome the problem of reworks and low wrench time. Instead, you can use the solution to increase maintenance efficiency, reduce downtime and keep revenues flowing.
To learn more, schedule a free demo today by calling 844-464-6668 or by clicking here