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Lantal Textiles, manufacturer of exclusive jacquard fabrics for more than 250 airlines, uses DPSI’s PMC to increase the efficiency of the maintenance department and reduce equipment breakdowns.Products: PMC | Market: Manufacturing | Printable Version: Click here
Lantal Textiles, based in Langenthal, Switzerland, has been producing quality textiles since 1886. Today, the company manufactures exclusive jacquard fabrics for the transportation, contract, and residential markets. Its wide range of products includes upholstery, drapery, velvets, carpet, leather, blankets, headrests, and low heat-release wall tapestries. More than 250 airlines and all of the major aircraft manufacturers are among Lantal’s aviation customers; road and rail clients include bus manufacturers, tour operators, and public transportation authorities.
In 1979, the company launched operations in the United States, opening a plant near Winston-Salem, North Carolina. That facility, which occupies 80,000 square feet, received ISO 9001 certification in 1997.
PMC: A Solution Close to Home
When plant engineer Ed Williams decided that Lantal needed a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), he found his solution at DPSI. “Out of all of the packages I looked at, PMC was the best,” he says. “It had the features I was looking for, the salespeople were very helpful, and its corporate and sales offices were only 25 miles away in case I had any questions.”
PMC Makes Scheduling and Documenting Work Orders Simpler
Williams has 1,300 active assets on preventive maintenance, from air compressors to dying kettles. “Almost all major manufacturing equipment is covered under some sort of preventive maintenance,” he explains. In addition to manufacturing equipment, certain work areas are listed as assets so the company can track costs associated with changing light bulbs, painting, and other routine maintenance.
“With textiles we have a lot of lint, so we have to check the motors constantly to make sure they’re clean,” says Williams. “Lubrication is also an issue, and some of the equipment has to be re-calibrated regularly.”
PMC generates all the necessary work orders, he says, making scheduling and documentation simple for his staff and subcontractors. Williams has three full-time maintenance employees, and the weaving department has an additional half-dozen, all of whom use PMC.
Key managers are trained to use PMC so they can enter unscheduled work requests. “We have a manual form for unscheduled work orders,” according to Williams. “At first, people considered it unnecessary to enter data about unscheduled maintenance into PMC. Now, however, they understand that it enables us to obtain a full history for each piece of equipment.”
Williams appreciates the flexibility of the work order and scheduling modules. “At any point I can look at the schedule in more detail and easily modify the frequency of the preventive maintenance,” he says.
Ease of Customization is Another Benefit
That same flexibility extends to the program itself: Williams, who has computer-programming experience, has customized some of the modules. “I see customization as another benefit of PMC,” he says. “For example, I added a command button that with one keystroke brings up a list of equipment that is currently active. I also did that in the parts module. This allows me to quickly look at assets and equipment without using a filter.”
PMC Helps Pinpoint Cost-Effective Vendors
Williams uses PMC’s parts/inventory and purchasing modules to generate a purchase order that goes directly from PMC to the vendor. “PMC is also good for tracking cost comparisons,” Williams adds. “It helps me pinpoint the most cost-effective vendor.”
Equipment Breakdowns Prevented
Williams uses the reporting function to print out expenditures, backlogged preventive maintenance, emergency work orders, and maintenance performed on particular machines.
“Reports show us what the problem is with a piece of equipment so we can fix it,” he says. “For example, we determined how often we needed to change a water filter. We learned that after eight months of use, it’s going to clog up. Now rather than wait for the problem to crop up, we can change it on a regular schedule.”
“We did the same thing with the calibrations,” he continues. “We found out that they would drift after a year of use, so we began to check them on a more frequent basis — after six months of use. That saves us an immense amount of money. It can cost thousands of dollars a minute every time you shut down a production line.”
PMC Produces ISO Certification Reports
When the facility decided to become ISO 9001-certified, Williams found he was a step ahead because PMC’s reporting module was already producing the ISO-required reports. “It sure made my job easier, because I didn’t have to create procedural forms,” says Williams. “PMC has a lot of that documentation as part of its functionality.”
User Conferences Provide New Ideas
Williams enjoys going to DPSI user conferences where he chats with other PMC users and finds out how they use the software. “The conferences are very beneficial because I get the chance to talk to people in different industries who are basically trying to do the same thing I am. I get to see how others accomplished the same task or handled certain situations. It gives me ideas I can use.”
PMC Lets Lantal Make Better Use of Resources
An additional PMC benefit is the ability to function more efficiently, Williams says: “I have a small staff and we are being asked to do more with less. That’s just an industry trend these days. PMC lets me make better use of the resources that I have.”