ABB Service Ludvika moves to a proactive maintenance model

Gaining new insights into asset management with help from Sigma

Published on 12-Oct-2011

Validated on 12 Feb 2014

"Currently, we have 7,000 unique production equipment items in Maximo. Using the Maximo Start Centers, we can drill down into the maintenance data to discover which individual machines have the highest maintenance costs, and make better decisions about how to increase availability while reducing expenditure." - Dan Petersson, Site Manager, ABB Service Ludvika

Customer:
ABB Service Ludvika

Industry:
Industrial Products

Deployment country:
Sweden

Solution:
Information Integration, Optimizing IT, Smarter Planet

Smarter Planet:
Smarter Infrastructure

IBM Business Partner:
Sigma

Overview

ABB Group is an industry leader in the manufacture of power and automation technologies, and serves utility and industry customers in around 100 countries. The group employs about 130,000 people, of whom around 700 work for ABB Service, an arm of the company that provides maintenance services for both the products that ABB Group sells and the machinery used to make them.

Business need:
The company wanted to streamline its paper-based invoicing process and improve its proportion of preventative to corrective maintenance – which meant finding a new asset management solution.

Solution:
With the help of Sigma and another external provider, ABB SEV migrated from a BAAN solution to IBM Maximo Asset Management, and integrated it with ABB Group’s SAP financial system.

Benefits:
Leverages real-time heuristics to identify the combinations of factors which lead to mechanical failures, helping engineers take action with predictive maintenance before faults arise. Increases the preventative-to-corrective maintenance ratio by 27 percentage points, maintaining greater than 95 percent availability for critical production-line machinery. Eliminates paper-based processes with automated electronic invoicing – saving thousands of hours each year.

Case Study

ABB Group is an industry leader in the manufacture of power and automation technologies, and serves utility and industry customers in around 100 countries. The group employs about 130,000 people, of whom around 700 work for ABB Service, an arm of the company that provides maintenance services for both the products that ABB Group sells and the machinery used to make them.

ABB Service Ludvika (ABB SEV) provides asset management services for one of ABB’s manufacturing plants. It has exclusive responsibility for maintenance, logistics and environmental issues at the plant, and employs the approximately 100 electricians, automation technicians, and engineers responsible for carrying out the preventative and corrective maintenance that keeps the manufacturing machinery running smoothly.

The need for a new solution
Between 2005-2009, ABB SEV used the service module of its BAAN ERP software to handle asset management. “The solution worked for us up to a point, but only after heavy customisation,” says Dan Petersson, Site Manager at ABB Service Ludvika. “It was a good production system for the client’s manufacturing processes, but definitely not ideal for asset management and maintenance.
“The main problem was that we have a very complex workflow structure – every time a maintenance job is performed by one of our staff, it needs to be entered into the asset management system. These jobs number in the thousands, and our BAAN solution simply wasn’t set up to handle all the data we generate. As a result, getting an overview of the maintenance that had been performed on any given machine was very difficult. About 87 percent of the maintenance work we were doing was corrective and only 13 percent preventative. We didn’t want a situation where technicians are waiting around with their toolboxes until something breaks – we wanted to take a more proactive approach.”

The company also decided its old maintenance processes were too paper-heavy. “The ABB plant in Ludvika has a large number of complex machines, so we have to repair and inspect many different components every day,” continues Dan Petersson. “We were generating over 40 individual invoices per day, which then had to be printed out and posted to a different site, where they were scanned into our client’s financial system.

“This was very frustrating for both sides; it made billing a very human-intensive process that created a large amount of bulky paper records, which could be damaged or misplaced.”

The company wanted to go paper-light and improve its proportion of corrective to preventative maintenance. In order to achieve this, ABB SEV needed to implement a customised, powerful and cost-effective asset management solution that could streamline its workflow processes.

Building a partnership
“When the time came to upgrade the old system, ABB SEV approached us to investigate the alternatives,” says Göran Olausson, Key Account Manager for ABB Service at IBM Business Partner Sigma. “We surveyed the products available on the market, and decided that IBM Maximo Asset Management was the ideal solution to help ABB SEV reduce its paper invoicing and achieve better information integration.”

With the help of Sigma and another external service provider, ABB SEV migrated its asset data to Maximo. “Sigma’s Project Manager really pushed the work forwards, and I was very impressed by his team’s technical expertise,” comments Dan Petersson. “Many people underestimate the complexity of integration projects, but close collaboration with Sigma ensured everything went very smoothly.”

“The biggest problem that ABB SEV wanted us to address was the excessive amount of invoicing generated by its legacy system,” explains Göran Olausson. “With the help of another external provider, we developed an integration platform for the company’s SAP ERP systems. After a complex procedure, we linked both systems together electronically, meaning that the work order process now begins and ends in Maximo, with SAP automatically handling the invoicing aspects.”

Cutting out the paperwork
Now the company uses Maximo as its asset management program, straight through processing and automation have been massively increased, helping ABB SEV to go paper light. “Thanks to the IBM solution, our SAP and ERP systems are now electronically linked,” says Dan Petersson.

“With Maximo, we can now send collective invoices to our customer at the end of every month, which has helped us cut down on time-consuming administrative tasks. Likewise, because the two systems are connected, we no longer have to go through the laborious process of printing out individual invoices and scanning them into the SAP system manually; it’s all routed automatically to our SAP software, then on to the customer. We’ve gone from 15,000 manually-processed invoices per year to just a few for external customers – so as you can imagine, the cost savings are significant!”

Enhancing maintenance processes
Savings from reduced invoice printing have not been the only benefit, however. “The positive impact that the IBM Maximo solution has had on our maintenance processes is significant,” continues Dan Petersson. “Maximo required very little customisation, and we hardly had to change our process workflow at all. However, it has changed the way we work in a positive way. We’re now able to analyse the information we enter into Maximo to deliver valuable insights that are helping us to identify root causes, predict faults, and prioritise our maintenance workload more effectively.

“Currently, we have 7,000 unique production equipment items in Maximo. Using the Maximo Start Centers, we can drill down into the maintenance data to discover which individual machines have the highest maintenance costs, and make better decisions about how to increase availability while reducing expenditure. For example, if a particular machine is old and keeps suffering expensive faults, we might recommend that the ABB plant should replace some of its key components, or even purchase a new machine.

“The more information we collect, the more we’re able to start seeing patterns in the data. By seeing what the common causes of breakdowns are, we can make suggestions that can prevent common faults occurring. In fact, we have such a rich base of statistics now that we have a member of staff dedicated to QlikView report analysis. The insights we’re getting are so useful, we’re planning to make more engineering resources available to analyse the data.”

This integration of information has had a dramatic effect on the proportion of corrective to preventative maintenance – 40 percent is now preventative work based on predictions informed by Maximo, an increase of 27 percentage points.

“In all, I am extremely pleased with the IBM solution,” concludes Dan Petersson. “We now have a streamlined system that helps us maintain 95 percent technical availability across the site, and there are great prospects for further improvements to the cost-effectiveness of our asset management.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Maximo Asset Management

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011. IBM Svenska AB SE-164 92 STOCKHOLM Sweden Produced in Sweden. October 2011. All Rights Reserved. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and Maximo are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at http://www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks, or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.