Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab


Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab is a world-renowned facility and adheres to the highest standards. Maintenance is no exception and iMaint Fleet handles all of their needs.

Products: iMaintFleet | Market: Fleet | Printable Version: Click here

Dan Walsh is the Section Supervisor of Grounds and Fleet operations for the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University in Howard County, MD. This facility is a 400-acre research campus situated midway between Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland. The campus is primarily a research facility, working in many diverse areas such as National Defense and Homeland Security, but also has a teaching component. These various functions combine to bring approximately 5000 employees and visitors to the campus every day.


“I came to work here 32 years ago because I wanted to work on a variety of vehicles and be challenged with new equipment,” explained Walsh. He definitely got his wish. Walsh now oversees more than 400 pieces of equipment including 60 carpool vehicles, 2 class 8 tractors, straight trucks, construction equipment, turf maintenance equipment, pickup trucks and vans. “We primarily maintain a GM fleet, but we also work on Ford, International and others. Our department has four Master Technicians and one helper. In one day, they could work on anything from the air conditioning on a bus to fixing the clutch on a weed-eater. I rely on iMaint Fleet to help me maintain detailed repair records and to keep preventive maintenance schedules up to date,” continued Walsh.


The Goal: Improve Maintenance Management


APL_view“We have been with DPSI for decades. In 1997, we moved from DOS to Windows. Then, in 2011 I scheduled DPSI Professional Services time to help manage the transition from FleetMaint to iMaint Fleet.” Knowing that iMaint Fleet offered the features that he needed for his facility – including warranty tracking, detailed asset and purchase history records, scheduling PM procedures by miles and/or time and a comment field for procedures to detail all work – Walsh created a detailed transition plan and got his IT department to support his choice of iMaint Fleet. “Moving to iMaint Fleet is the best money I’ve ever spent. We are still learning new things it can do every day we work with it,” said Walsh.


A typical week includes handling 50 or so unplanned maintenance activities and completing 60+ work orders on various pieces of equipment. This could not be accomplished without a comprehensive plan and iMaint Fleet provides that with the combination of scheduling and recording accurate data. Walsh maintains that each unit in inventory should have a detailed record from the date of purchase until the date the unit is no longer active. Unit records include when light bulbs, wipers and oil were last changed, type of tires and mechanical work done. All of this information is vital to include in the unit maintenance records so that PM (preventive maintenance) procedures can be scheduled by miles or time and the unit can be maintained correctly.


The Challenge: Integrating iMaint Fleet Fully


Ensuring accurate data is only half of the process. Using iMaint Fleet for scheduling makes sure that management is notified of all necessary work and when it needs to be accomplished. “The scheduling feature is excellent,” continued Walsh. “We use the comment field in Procedures to detail all work, we are able to review the previous comments about work on the unit before we get started. Once the equipment is in the shop, we will review the history and see if other routine maintenance will be scheduled soon. If so, we will go ahead and handle that procedure so the equipment doesn’t have to be taken out of service again.”


The Added Benefit: Flexibility for the Real World


APL_truckWalsh adjusts the scheduling for seasonal requirements. In the summer, PMs are light to work around staff vacations, in the fall all assets involved in leaf removal are in high demand, in the winter snow removal is a constant concern, and winter and spring are the seasons he finds most of his PM work is scheduled. In addition to these “regular” maintenance activities, Walsh is also responsible for monthly PM inspections and fuel record keeping for the stand-by generator fleet. This Fleet consists of 25 stationary and mobile generators that keep the campus active during scheduled and unscheduled commercial power outages. This is a huge responsibility since the Johns Hopkins APL campus includes a secured facility that does work for Homeland Security and National Defense. Walsh’s section is responsible for maintaining and monitoring the stand-by generators for life safety regulations and data centers operations. These generators are now assets in iMaint Fleet. Each time the generators are used, their fuel usage is entered in the system in order to compile a complete history and usage record.


“I hope to use iMaint Fleet to plan for fuel used during these outages so we will have enough on hand for a planned event and not too much stored so the fuel will not go bad before it’s used,” explained Walsh. Using the generators also allows the facility to participate in a power program to run the generators during peak power demands and JHU/APL can earn power rebates. iMaint Fleet scheduling allows this to all happen with the least amount of disruption to the campus as a whole.

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