Space-Centric Maintenance Planning
Mary Gorczynski 1100006B54 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  facilities tivoli space-management shipyard assetmgmt ibmsoftware coast-guard ibmeam service-management software ibmontwitter asset-management eam maximo
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Today's blog comes from David Turner, worldwide industry lead for Maximo government solutions.
Recent involvement with some shipyard maintenance initiatives and continued excitement over the IBM acquisition of Tririga spurred me to remember a conundrum from my days as a naval engineer in the U.S. Coast Guard. Specifically, I remembered how difficult it was to plan extensive maintenance work in a shipyard under compressed schedules in the tight quarters a ship provides. So how does the IBM acquisition of Tririga, a world-class real estate and facility management solution, get me thinking about shipyards?
One of Tririga’s main features is space management and space is a premium aboard ships, both during operations and maintenance execution. When I was a young lieutenant, serving as the engineering officer about a Coast Guard cutter, we planned a dry dock maintenance availability with well over 100 major maintenance tasks to be completed within six weeks in a small Houston area shipyard. Reviewing the work, I was convinced it would be impossible to complete in six weeks (having spent four previous years working in shipyards on a daily basis). Of course the naval engineers and contracting people in far away New York City insisted that the project was easily attainable because the shipyard provided a nifty work plan detailing the scheduled dates, resources, etc. for all of the planned work. Indeed, the plan had properly scheduled predecessor/successor relationships for all the tasks and resource estimates were spot-on. What wasn’t considered is WHERE each task on the work plan would be executed.
Using a very rough schematic sketch of ship’s compartments, I plotted the task numbers of all the work to demonstrate that the shipyard planned to have 15 to 20 painters, welders, electricians and mechanics working simultaneously in compartments not much larger than my bathroom… er head. To make a long story short, I was right. Many jobs were re-scheduled due to space confinement constraints and the maintenance availability ended up taking almost twice the estimated duration.
Project scheduling engines like Primavera, MS Project and even the Maximo Scheduling product don’t readily enable the maintenance planner to see the constraints that space imposes on work schedules. Some manufacturing and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions provide simulation capabilities to overcome this hurdle in the construction and manufacturing industries, but I’m not aware of any organizations using such features routinely for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work. I checked with colleagues and clients in the shipyards and such a capability still eludes them… but everyone agrees it would be a time and money saver!
Applying the space parameter to maintenance planning, along with leveling resources and performing critical path management (CPM) methods, is now achievable. The tools and data to do such are available in the IBM Maximo product lines with the Scheduler or scheduling system adapters and Tririga space management.,
So the gauntlet is set, we now have the tools to implement this capability. One term I heard for this concept was “butts per square inch.” I’m not sure you’ll ever see that on a Maximo screen, but I’m looking forward to hearing more about the interest level in such a capability, whether in ships, facilities, tunnels or other structures or environments where space management is critical to maintenance planning and execution.
The following graphic is something I scraped together as a potential method of mapping work order task resources to space. This would represent a single shift, with the idea that the maintenance planner could flip through shifts during a given time period where work orders have been scheduled. I’m not sure it makes sense to try to automate the scheduling engine to “level’ the usage of space. I’m not a big fan of taking away the human factor. A skilled maintenance planner, familiar with the work at hand, may purposely schedule multiple tasks in a confined space despite analysis indicating conflicts. The nature of the work may allow the tradesmen on site to deal with it. Just like we do today! Tell me what you think by commenting on this blog entry.