PMC Accomplishes What No Manual System Could
Ken Palas, planner and scheduler of the maintenance department, is responsible for ensuring that everything runs smoothly during three tea-making shifts each day. He relies on PMC, a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) from DPSI. “I had used MicroMaint, an earlier version of DSPI’s CMMS, in a previous job. Since it worked so well I brought it with me to Celestial Seasonings,” says Palas.
Palas explains that company management charged him with the task of creating a maintenance parts and labor system, and with providing daily, weekly, and monthly reports on both equipment and employees. “They wanted to measure scheduled maintenance, unscheduled maintenance, breakdowns, and the monthly cost of inventory,” he says. “It’s just the kind of information PMC’s reporting module was designed to produce.”
Palas uses several PMC modules to keep equipment running smoothly and to ensure that management stays informed:
- Purchasing: Palas turns requisitions into the purchasing department, which is responsible for placing the order. PMC provides full vendor contact information, as well as ordering information for the specific items needed.
- Inventory: Palas and his staff of 12, who cover all three shifts, use the inventory module to track parts they use regularly — especially components that break down frequently, such as blades and knives. The mechanics sign out any parts they use, and Palas updates the system once every 24 hours. When the inventory of a particular part hits a set minimum number, Palas re-orders. “Our parts come from Italy, so we have to purchase them three to four months in advance. That requires a lot of planning,” he notes.
- Work Order: At the end of their shift, mechanics complete a daily log specifying which machines they’ve worked on and what adjustments were made. Within 24 hours, Palas enters the information into PMC and creates work orders. He identifies each incident as a breakdown, scheduled maintenance, or unscheduled maintenance. “Each day I input the previous 24 hours, all shifts,” Palas says. “Then I can create a work order labor summary report listing the work order and hours per employee. My manager can see what each employee worked on, or even which employees were on or off that day.”
- Preventive Maintenance: PMC helps Palas schedule preventive maintenance on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, six-month, and yearly basis. “Sometimes we use the manufacturers’ suggestions, and in other cases the mechanics’ input. If certain problems bother us throughout the week, we might modify the existing schedule to take care of it.”
Because Palas and his crew can’t perform preventive maintenance during the week (machines at Celestial Seasonings run 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday) the crew performs preventive maintenance on weekends. “With PMC we’ve collected enough data that I can now automatically predict what parts need to be replaced on a yearly basis,” adds Palas. “I buy those parts three or four months in advance, and then during our slowest production time frame we’ll take a line down to replace those parts.” “Preventive maintenance has cut our costs,” states Palas. “Not so much over the first year, but three to four years later you have a much more efficient operation. We have fewer breakdowns and our parts cost is reduced.”