July 4, 2013 - EPTDA (European Power Transmission Distributors Association) says it has digitalized its communication tools and strategies in an effort to better serve its connected members. The EPTDA Blue Book, the association’s membership directory which also acts as a reference guide of the mechanical Power Transmission and Motion Control (PT/MC) industry, is now available on the corporate website and mobile devices. The new web-based Product Locator connects more than 210 distributor and manufacturer companies—all EPTDA certified members—in the PT/MC market, and features 16 main product categories, including: bearings, gears, chains, seals, hydraulics, electronic drives, and other key components. EPTDA’s upcoming 2013 Convention has also been digitalized—from registration to on-demand meetings at the event, EPTDA members and non-member delegates can keep tabs of their own agenda and priorities with the EPTDA Convention App. Registered delegates/members can connect personally with other attending companies, set up appointments, send instant messages, submit live feedback to the speakers, and more on their mobile devices.
The ARC Advisory Group released its new Global Service Provider (GSP) Supplier Selection Guide, which includes both selection criteria and guided workflow steps for choosing a services company. The scope of the criteria cover the needs of corporate IT and manufacturing IT, including communications with control systems. The guide has attributes tailored for industrial organizations, and allows those involved in a GSP selection process to make quicker and improved decisions. Ralph Rio, research director, stated, “The pace of technology evolution continues to accelerate. Now, cloud, mobile, social, analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D are impacting industrial concerns for improved business processes and enhanced business models. “Technology adoption is not an option. Each of these major technology groupings involve multiple specific technical skills. GSPs have access to a diverse set of skills, and can map them into a project as needed for lower cost, less risk, and faster time to benefit.” GSP selection has become mission critical. The needed services include application and IT infrastructure development, roll-out, and maintenance. The companies have become complex and decision making involves a range of capabilities from specific technologies to managing major programs. Suppliers have specific domain expertise, geographical presence, and knowledge of certain industry dynamics. The ARC STAR Supplier Evaluation and Selection Service guides users through a step-by-step process of selecting and evaluating suppliers against specific technology, application and industry requirements. The process guides the user through the project and team definition, reviewing and editing ARC-provided selection criteria and supplier questions, weighing selection criteria, developing a supplier Request for Information (RFI) list, evaluating supplier responses, and developing a final ranking of RFI results. ARC STAR then fully documents the process and results for management review and approval.
CMMS provider DPSI has a new website that highlights cloud-based and mobile products, details market segments and provides social media access, available at www.dpsi.com. According to Carol Owens, president, “Our new site highlights DPSI’s mobile and cloud-based offerings, as well as our expertise in the manufacturing, facilities and fleet markets. We also offer improved navigation, in-depth information on our products and easy-to-find downloads, all wrapped in a more contemporary design. We have streamlined the information gathering process for visitors, even as we provide them access to more information about DPSI, our products and markets.” www.dpsi.com
The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) has launched a newly redesigned website at www.ptda.org. The organization says the new website is cleaner and easier to navigate than ever before. Powerful search tools make it easier for users to find relevant industry information and to locate distributors and manufacturers throughout North America and beyond. A fresh, mobile-friendly design makes the site accessible for those on the go as the new site displays well whether users are on tablets, cell phones or desktops. In addition, the site offers loads of industry-specific content. While some of it is accessible only to members, much of the information — such as guidelines and formats — is publicly available with just a few additional steps. PTDA members can now quickly access and update their online profiles. PTDA’s Communications Committee and its Website Redevelopment Task Force provided input during the website redevelopment process. Their time and efforts not only made the new site possible but also helped ensure the new site meets members’ needs. Founded in 1960, the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) is the leading association for the industrial power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) distribution channel. www.ptda.org
Eagle Technology, a provider of CMMS/EAM solutions, has released mobile-based application of their Proteus MMX, a maintenance management tool that provides technicians with quick access to work orders, assets and maintenance data from the field. Proteus MMX Mobile allows technicians to update work orders, asset information and other critical data in real time via smartphone or tablet. By staying out in the field with their mobile CMMS, technicians can spend more time maintaining equipment and completing work orders without having to travel back to their home office or computer. Asset and work order data can be accessed wherever they are, 24x7. Since data is communicated real-time, the minute a technician updates a work order, adds a new asset or closes a PM, managers can use this data to make facility-wide decisions or issue new work orders to technicians in the field. The application is very user-friendly, with large buttons and a clean work flow. Each day, technicians can quickly gain access to their work orders. Once a work order is selected, they can access tasks, parts, assets, schematics and more to complete the work order. Harshad Shah, president of Eagle Technology, states, “Accessing comprehensive maintenance data while in the field allows maintenance professionals to instantly update records, record conditions, and flag necessary alerts without having to return to their home base.” Proteus MMX Mobile can be implemented in a fraction of the time of other systems. Since Proteus MMX can be hosted at Eagle’s site, all technicians need is their phone or tablet, and the free Proteus MMX Mobile app, and off they go. It is the perfect tool for a mobile workforce, including field technicians, campus maintenance staff, and mobile users around the facility. Proteus MMX Mobile gives technicians the assurance that all of the information they need is accurate and up-to-date as possible and accessible at all times. Proteus MMX Mobile is available as an add-on module for Proteus MMX, and runs on Android phones, iPhones, and Windows Mobile 6.5 phones as well as tablets running the Android or iOS operating systems. The app is available in the Android Marketplace and the Apple Store. www.eaglecmms.com/products/ProteusMMX/OptionalModules/Mobile.htm
Enterprise asset management (EAM) is evolving fast. We’re now able to collect more conditions-based data on assets than ever before, but in order to make effective management decisions, we need to be able to integrate and analyze all this data. Plant engineers and maintenance leaders need powerful tools that incorporate conditions data with baseline operational data from asset manufacturers, information from installation contractors and more — tools that allow them to look at the performance of the asset from different angles, quickly alerting them to trends and filtering out the information that’s most critical. Enter EAM software platforms, which can do all that and more. Using these programs is recommended in PAS 55 (the Publicly Available Specification: 55-1:2008 for Asset Management), which is rapidly being recognized around the globe as the best guidance for optimizing asset management (AM) systems and processes. “For asset-intensive businesses to effectively adopt PAS 55,” a recent PAS report states, “they need a standardized method for identifying, tracking and managing the condition of every known asset, managing risk before it becomes a problem, standardizing the asset-registry process and generating reports that show compliance to plans and strategic direction.” While widespread use of EAM is still to come, PEM has sought out the perspectives of three providers about what these systems can provide, and how to best integrate the use of the software — from the day a piece of equipment is installed until it’s time to replace it. Computing power One of the most valuable aspects of EAM software platforms is their ability to analyze large amounts of data and provide solid automated AM decisions. “We now have the convergence of real-time operational data from an asset — conditions monitoring data gathered with mobile devices or gathered automatically, and so on — with transactional data, which is baseline data indicating how a machine should optimally be performing,” says John Benders, vice-president of product management at Ventyx (parent company ABB). “We want companies to look at their production targets and how various assets support that, and based on that, what assets are considered critical.” Unexpected downtime with these assets must be avoided, and he says EAM software is the best way to assess their condition and manage them appropriately. “The power of such software is found is its ability to focus in on which parts of the information coming in is critical, and pick up on the important trends,” he notes. “It’s not just about gathering more data, but analyzing it efficiently.” Kevin Price agrees the data-integrating power of EAM software is what makes it worth integrating. “When an asset is commissioned, it is relatively easy to keep it running and thoroughly maintained for the first while, but efficiency declines,” says the director and senior product manager for Infor’s Infor10 EAM software product suite. “Preventive time-based work orders ‘reenergize’ the asset, but EAM software allows you to go beyond this. It will integrate and analyze everything, and may determine that preventative maintenance should be accelerated.” He calls this next level of AM ‘predictive,’ where preventative maintenance schedules are integrated with analysis of heat/vibration/oil, ongoing inspection and assessment data, power consumption anomalies, and manufacturers’ specifications. “The result of the software’s use is that theoretically, the asset will run as it was when it was first operated,” Price notes, “which is the ultimate achievement.” Energy consumption Energy consumption by assets is something often not examined, according to Price — and it should be. “ ‘Consumptive asset management’ is a way to diagnose asset health by looking at energy consumption,” he explains. “The City of Des Moines is a case-study customer of ours. It has 60,000 pumps in their water and sewage system, and using consumptive asset management with our software, they’ve saved a lot of money not just on asset management itself but with savings in energy consumption. We look at power or water, air, gas, consumption, either from sensors on the asset, or even from readings of the consumption of your plant lighting circuit or HVAC circuit at various intervals.” The value of EAM software is also found in its inherent centralization of all data, says Patrick Zirnhelt, director of sales (asset-intensive industries) at IFS North America. “You certainly need the right data-gathering technologies and systems in place, but ideally, EAM software provides that critical one place for data to be held and worked with, that everyone who’s in the company or who comes in from outside to work on assets interacts with, and that’s centrally updated on an ongoing basis over the entire asset life cycle.” It’s tremendously risky, he says, when workers have to go to different sources (binders, files or computers) for information on assets. “Millions of dollars can be lost in wasted time, and in sub-par asset management decisions,” he asserts. “It’s truly shocking how many companies are still using spreadsheets, tons of them, and sometimes they’re not on networked computers. “This means data access can be limited for those who need it, and it poses security risks and the risk of data loss as well.” EAM software, such as IFS Applications, features project management as an integrated component. This supports phases of an asset life cycle, including equipment or asset design, construction and commissioning — or decommissioning and asset retirement. Secondly, it allows for effective management of plant shut downs and other large projects that take place during the asset life cycle. And finally, it allows the entirety of an asset life cycle to be managed as a single years- or decades-long project that executives can manage for profit. IFS has worked with several clients where EAM software replaced thousands of spreadsheets. “That’s a lot of threat eliminated,” he says, adding, “It’s also very hard for executives to be able to estimate the value of their equipment in this type of situation and with EAM software, you can do this analysis with complete confidence.” Mobile computing Benders foresees that mobile computing will become more and more important in effective asset management — and in maximizing the benefit of EAM software. “When personnel are doing manual maintenance inspections, it takes a while sometimes for this information to make it into the CMMS and there might be input errors made, undermining people’s confidence in the information,” he notes. “Mobile device are less subjective, allowing a worker to choose a level, like low, or medium or high from a drop down menu, or to gather an actual number value from a mobile sensor device — and it’s also available to the software to analyze right away or very quickly.” In terms of the future, Benders adds, “The volume of data with asset management will only increase, and the shift to using computer power to analyze and filter this information to get optimized automated decisions has only just started.” Treena Hein is a freelance writer based in Pembroke, Ont.
Blue Dot, an enterprise mobile solutions company, has introduced an application for mobile workforce management on the Apple iPad. Built on a strong legacy of enterprise asset management (EAM) mobile business processes, this application was designed to eliminate the paper and data-entry laden work flows typical of traditional work order processes. This evolved process enables technicians in the field or on the plant floor to perform their duties more quickly and efficiently. The Work Management application provides graphical job cards where asset management professionals can access assigned work order details, critical asset specifics, part lists, and instructions. With the application, field engineers and technicians can create work orders at the point of origin and update, complete, and submit planned work orders to their EAM system of record. They can also log details like failure codes and closing comments to capture critical downtime data that can improve asset reliability. Blue Dot has developed the application using hybrid HTML5 and native Apple iOS standards. Work Management can be accessed whether connected or disconnected (offline) to meet the demands of industries who manage remote work in the field or harsh manufacturing environments. Blue Dot even created an early adopter program where two selected global customers in vastly distinct industries provided critical feedback during the development cycles on usability of the application, durability of the iPad device in their unique industrial settings, and integration of the application with their core enterprise applications and strategies. These customers have already begun the rollout of the application in their organizations. The application is available through Blue Dot in a stand-alone mode requiring integration with your applicable ERP/EAM/CMMS systems or purchased with a pre-packaged adapter for Infor10 EAM. Shortly, Blue Dot will be delivering the Work Management solution for Apple’s iPhone. www.bluedotsolutions.com
Power transmission group Renold has launched a version of its website for access by smartphones. The mobile-optimized version has been designed to work perfectly with small screens and redirects users automatically whenever a mobile device visits www.renold.com. The mobile version operates in a hierarchical structure, providing easy access to key product information, PDF files, an easy contact page, and the location of all Renold sites worldwide with addresses, contact details, directions and maps. This will be particularly useful for engineers working on large sites needing quick information on a Renold product while away from a computer, and for engineers on the go. David Turner, Renold Chain’s marketing communications manager said: “It’s a bit like having a whole load of information on Renold products in your pocket. It’s easy to use, simple to navigate and we hope it will make Renold more accessible to all our customers.” www.renold.com
Motion Computing has introduced its Motion CL900 SlateMate — a productivity tool that extends the functionality of the CL900 tablet PC — to the Canadian market. Securely integrated into the tablet PC’s internal frame, the first CL900 SlateMate includes a magnetic stripe reader (MSR) and barcode scanner (BCS) for mobile data acquisition and processing. For example, the BCS reads virtually any barcode, vital when scanning building components or mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) equipment to access essential information, such as commissioning and installation data, maintenance schedules and startup procedures. (Read a recent PEM cover story about the advent of mobile computing devices in maintenance, including an interview with Motion Computing.) Built on the foundation that purpose-built integrated tools maximize the benefits of tablet PC deployments, SlateMate was designed to enable the future delivery of new integrated configurations that meet the needs of users across vertical markets. Motion CL900 is a durable, lightweight and highly-mobile tablet PC that provides up to eight hours of battery life. In combination with SlateMate, the CL900 provides users with security, connectivity and the flexibility of fewer devices to manage. Benefits across vertical markets include: Rapid data acquisition for improved documentation Real-time access to customer and inventory availability Improved customer service due to insight into up-to-date data from any location Faster turnaround times through improved collaboration and connectivity “While extended battery life still tops the list, integrated tools, outdoor visibility, durability and touch-screen capabilities are all key considerations for mobile productivity solutions,” said David Krebs, director of the mobile and wireless practice at VDC Research. “With the CL900 SlateMate, Motion offers an innovative mobile platform that addresses the performance and functionality needs of today’s mobile professionals.” The first in what will be a family of integrated expansion options for the CL900 Tablet PC, the Motion CL900 SlateMate with MSR and BCS is now available through Motion’s network of resellers and distributors. The CL900 SlateMate is not sold separately and is only available at the time of product purchase. www.motioncomputing.ca
Maintenance Connection, a leading provider of browser-based Enterprise Maintenance Management Solutions, has released of a mobile CMMS tablet-based version of their MC Mobile Wireless Edition. The Mobile CMMS Tablet Edition is a valuable work flow management tool that provides technicians with quick access to work orders and key maintenance data from the field. The Maintenance Connection Mobile CMMS Tablet Edition was developed in response to the increased availability of larger and more interactive mobile devices that provide users with bigger screens, as well as touch based interfaces. Functionality includes options for members to view and edit open work orders, as well as create new requests when needed. Members can update inventory, have the ability to view asset details, asset history, and make edits when necessary. The application is very user friendly, with icon driven screens and a smooth flow. For example, the Work Order List is especially easy to read and navigate, providing technicians with quick access to their assignments. Once a work order is selected, technicians can easily view icons to access tasks, material costs, inventory counts, history, assignments, labor costs, and areas to enter information required to complete the work order. The Mobile CMMS Tablet Edition uses a wireless Internet connection, providing real time access and updates to the Maintenance Connection data. The Mobile CMMS Tablet Edition is optimized for tablet devices such as the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy. However, it is compatible with a broad array of browsers, and may thus also meet the needs of organizations using netbooks or laptops. www.maintenanceconnection.com