Idhammar Systems MMS is making sure site maintenance management operations run smoothly for Rockwood Pigments. The company manufactures and processes liquid, powder and granulated forms of iron oxide colour pigments, and supplies a range of natural and synthetic inorganic pigments and ­automated pigment-handling systems

Rockwood Pigments’ manufacturing site at Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, is moving away from its outdated paper based maintenance operation. Historically the site relied on hand written requests and a spreadsheet for work orders and requisitions that were passed to the engineers, making it near impossible to keep an accurate record of all the maintenance work taking place around the site. This caused frequent discrepancies, meaning that response to breakdown was often delayed and sometimes even missed. So the Rockwood I.T. manager, Jonathan Ellis and engineering team leader Peter Richardson wanted a solution.

Shades of grey

Disaster struck in 2007 when Rockwood Pigments’ Kidsgrove site was flooded, destroying many important calibration reports, service records, manuals and other crucial documents, as well as records for both the running of the site and quality and environmental audits. This proved the critical factor in the company’s resolve to better protect their assets and backup their maintenance data. With this in mind they sought to find the best possible solution for change. The first step was to invest in their plant, improve planning, and move from a reactive to a preventive approach to maintenance.

Engineering team leader, Peter Richardson understood the opportunities of a ‘joined up approach’ to maintenance using a CMMS. Demonstrating regulatory compliance was also a key driver for purchasing a CMMS due to the pressure from both internal and external auditors to show evidence come audit time.

“We could provide records and most of the evidence needed for the auditors, but finding it quickly was proving difficult. We needed to be able to prove times and dates on maintenance works, so we had to commit to a better way of working in the form of MMS software.”

A clearer picture

Having chosen to implement the Idhammar MMS, it was a chance for a brand new start, so Rockwood set about adding data to the system whilst cleansing existing records.

Richardson explains: “The data input process provided the perfect opportunity to clean up our records; we had around 3,000 suppliers on record, half of which were out of date and several listed for machines we didn’t even use anymore. It was the same with the engineering spares.

“Eliminating outdated files has improved the efficiency of our asset management.”

With their data in order Rockwood Pigments started to enjoy the other benefits of the software including a clearer more organised approach to maintenance which allowed the scheduling and classification of their maintenance (preventative or breakdown, new installation or inspection, condition monitoring etc), as well as the opportunity to set up planned preventative maintenance tasks; enabling auto inspection and reporting on a number of critical items. Also, process controllers are now able to take advantage of the software’s powerful reporting and analysis tools which allow them to cross check data and report on the findings.

Exceeding expectations

Despite an initial concern from the engineering team that the software was put in place as a time and motion study, it soon became clear that the software helped to demonstrate the value of the team; including hours worked and jobs completed. The Idhammar MMS has been a great success, allowing Rockwood Pigments to be more cost and time efficient; maximising asset performance whilst reducing overall downtime. Concerns about regulatory compliance are also a thing of the past due to the central data repository which stores permits to work, health and safety certificates and service history records which are assigned to each asset. Peter remarks:  “I’m now confident that I can produce the correct maintenance documentation quickly and easily and demonstrate the professional running of the department.”

Smooth and seamless

Pleased with the progress the maintenance team was making and happy with their chosen CMMS, early in 2011 Rockwood Pigments chose to upgrade their Idhammar MMS sofware to the latest version in order to benefit from new features and functionality.  Jonathan Ellis, I.T. Manager comments: “When working with Idhammar Systems, software migrations and upgrades are smooth. It’s the way system implementations should be – swift and hassle free.”

In relation to the latest version, Richardson concludes:  “There are still many valuable features of the software which we will be using in the future, but for now, it does everything we wanted it to and more.”

Idhammar Systems        

T: 01179 209405

Leak detector is worth its weight in silver

Cygnus Instruments’ CygScope is being used by silver smelting company Britannia to accurately pinpoint leaks in industrial plant and machinery.The efficiency of the vacuum in the silver production process is paramount to producing a high product yield and leaks can waste 20-30 per cent of a compressor’s output. The CygScope uses detection of ultrasound to allow the user to quickly and accurately pinpoint leaks. The CygScope has improved the ability of the maintenance department to detect leaks and it has ensured greater safety in the leak detection process. The parabolic probe has meant they are now able to carry out checks from a distance in areas previously inaccessible due to heat or height, effectively eliminating missed leaks. The CygScope is suitable for virtually all types of leak detection. 

Cygnus Instruments         

T: 01305 265 533