Webinar recap: Part 2 Cold Starts

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Staying resilient when faced with production slowdowns, unplanned facility shutdowns, or layoffs is particularly difficult. In an effort to help Fiix users who are currently experiencing these situations, we developed a two-part webinar series called Hot Stops & Cold Starts.

In part two of the series, Fiix user Brandon De Melo, joins Charles Rogers and Steve Ricard from the Fiix professional services team to discuss how to make the most of unplanned downtime and prepare for a quality restart after an extended outage. Brandon works for a global automotive supplier and shares his story about his recent shutdown due to COVID-19 in this webinar.

Missed part one of this series? You can access the full recap here.

Who’s who: Webinar participants

headshot of Brandon De Melo

Brandon De Melo, CMMS Coordinator

A Manufacturing Engineer, Brandon has been working for a global automotive supplier for 4.5 years and was key to implementing Fiix at his facility.

headshot of Steve Ricard

Steve Ricard, Implementation Team Manager

A Certified Facility Manager and Certified Reliability Leader, Steve has over 34 years of maintenance management experience and participates in a national speaking circuit for maintenance professionals.

headshot of Charles Rogers

Charles Rogers, Senior Implementation Consultant

Mechanical Engineer with over 33 years of training and field experience in maintenance & reliability, risk management and process safety management (OSHA PSM).

Only 48-hours notice

04:15 Brandon describes their emergency facility shutdown that happened with only 48-hours notice due to COVID-19. He points out that at that time, sourcing sanitation and PPE supplies was difficult and expensive. “Everything happened so fast – we shutdown utilities, steamers, flushed them out, shut everything down and all employees were laid off.”

One of our main priorities was obviously our workers’ safety.
– Brandon De Melo

06:40 Brandon shares his top two take-aways from part one of the Hot Stops & Cold Starts series:

  1. Learning the best way to handle all SMs – closing as incomplete v. pausing them
  2. Valuable time saving tip of how to update multiple status at once

08:05 At Brandon’s facility, production lines are normally shut down each weekend, allowing important maintenance work to be completed. He describes how they use Fiix to manage all of their regular weekend work and track all associated labor costs.

10:15 Brandon’s facility was unable to re-tool and was forced to close its doors temporarily. So, Brandon shares how he used his unplanned downtime to make brackets for face masks for his local hospital using his 3D printer at home.

Picture of Brandon De Melo printing masks
Picture of of the pieces of the protective masks made by Brandon using his 3D printer

11:00 Brandon explains why restart planning is important for his facility – stating that it will hurt them if they don’t effectively plan for it.

Put in the time now to make a difference tomorrow.
– Brandon De Melo

Start planning yesterday

12:15 Charles covers why planning for restarts is critical, some of the pitfalls if not managed properly, and different restart strategies.

17:40 Charles reviews some important restart checklists and we hear from the audience, and Brandon, on the types of checklists they use.

audience poll

22:05 Following a question from the audience, Steve opens a Fiix demo environment to show how to identify critical assets in Fiix to create a critical assets PM checklist.

During this demo, Steve references learning about creating a critical work order list from previous webinar guest and Fiix user, Tom Dufton.

Interested in learning more tips from Tom? Access his full webinar recap here.

27:55 Our second audience poll reveals that only 6% participants are currently using their CMMS for managing their restarts, so Steve jumps back into the Fiix demo environment to show some more useful features, including:

  • Creating color-coded shutdown and restart maintenance types
  • Using priorities for work orders, and how and why to use them
  • Creating a restart event trigger to generate WOs with required labor tasks
  • Adding work permits to work orders

During this demo, Steve explains facility restart triggers following the Fiix crawl, walk, run philosophy. Crawl stage, creating an event trigger to generate an SM against your facility. Walk stage, creating an event trigger to generate SMs against specific assets.

Pro Tip: SM triggers can be any combination of time based, meter based, or event based.

You can’t report on what you don’t record.
– Steve Ricard

39:35 Charles poses some thought-starters in his summary of things you and your team should be considering as you plan for your restart, including:

  • Setting realistic and staggered restart goals
  • Scheduling pre-start sanitation and maintenance crews prior to operations
  • Allowing for a critical equipment PM “blitz” 5-7 days ahead of planned facility start-up date
  • Starting utilities systems to check for leaks and closed valves
  • Checking critical process controls systems, instrument air lines, and testing safety interlocks & alarms
  • Checking steam traps for proper functioning
  • Testing conveyor systems

Pro Tip: Host virtual meetings with cross-functional stakeholders to start strategic and tactical planning for your pre-start and restart now.

It’s always good to communicate, but it’s even more important in times like this to have clear and open communication. So people can know where we’re going, how we’re doing things, and so they can participate in that process.
– Charles Rogers

44:00 Brandon adds that his facility is also planning for a sanitation “crash-cart” to help put workers’ minds more at ease and to ensure their safety when they return.

46:40 A member of the audience says that his organization will be primarily concerned with getting the facility up and operating as fast as possible and asks the panel for tips on having the conversation with management about the importance of giving time to maintenance to prepare for restart.

Steve responds by suggesting a shift in mindset – your maintenance team is not a cost center, they are a profit center.

He illustrates his point by using the example of producing wet steam when ramping up production too quickly, causing equipment to malfunction. “Having a full production crew standing around because equipment is down, is more expensive than bringing your maintenance team in early to properly prepare for a quality restart.”

49:48 A member of the audience asks for some good KPIs for measuring shutdown & startup performance and Charles provides some great examples, including:

  • # of shutdown WO before the shutdown
  • # of shutdown WO completed during the shutdown
  • # of “found work” or unplanned PMs completed during the shutdown
  • # of emergency WOs generated during restart
  • Time to full production v. what was forecasted

In closing

If you are currently affected by a facility shutdown, on behalf of all of us at Fiix, we hope you and your colleagues are back up and running soon. Be safe, be healthy, wash your hands, and we look forward to sharing our next webinar with you.

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