In 2010 Benchmate rolled out the option to integrate its CMMS with Janam XM65 rugged hand- held PDAs with bar code scanning capabilities. The feed division selected its Cleveland, NC, facility as a beta site, and Todd Anthony, maintenance supervisor, assisted Westergard in testing and validating the process.
Adding bar-coded maintenance tags to every piece of equipment shifted the logging from an outdated paper procedure to a nearly error-proof electronic one.
Each week, Park City’s maintenance supervisor Robbie Toms loads a work list for his staff onto their dedicated PDAs. Staff members carry the device to every job and scan the part they’re working on, which displays a history of all maintenance activities performed. The mechanic completes the job, and the PDA launches a sequence of data-capturing prompts, automatically recording the date, time and other vital information. At the end of each shift, the PDAs are docked and the day’s logs are seamlessly uploaded to the CMMS.
Using the hand-held devices increased recorded maintenance activity by 25% and planned activity to above 80%. The payoff is the assurance that all equipment is maintained per Southern States’ QA and HACCP requirements and is in service when needed to avoid inhibiting production.
Additionally, the integrated PDA-CMMS program can quickly provide government agencies like OSHA, DOT or FDA with maintenance records to confirm regulatory compliance during inspections.
“For example, if EPA is in for an air permit and asks for the last time we serviced our bag filter, Robbie [Toms] can show them not only exactly when it was last serviced, but everything that’s ever been done to that machine,” says Monroe.
Southern States’ IT Innovation Award application for its integrated PDA-CMMS may have earned first prize from AFIA, but the feed division’s entire operation deserves high honors for embracing technology in everything it does from receiving to manufacturing to quality control.
If the past is any indication of the future, continue looking to Southern States Cooperative for new ways to apply the latest technology to feed manufacturing operations.