Geislinger was founded in 1958. The company developed from a torsional vibration solution provider into one of the leading suppliers of couplings and dampers worldwide. Quality, innovative technologies and a huge wealth of experience have made Geislinger into a market and innovation leader throughout the world. Today the company is managed by the third generation of the family Geislinger.
Every day, Nelson Multer has to do a delicate balancing act. You see, Nelson has two jobs: he is responsible for maintenance at Geislinger’s American factory while also working as a production technology engineer. “Pretty much, we all wear several hats here,” he says. “Even though our overall organization is quite large, we’re a small operation here in the United States.”
With its headquarters in Hallwang (Austria), Geislinger has 450 staff at two locations and a turnover of approximately 70 million Euros. Other production sites, sales and service offices can be found in the USA, Korea, China and Japan.
Geislinger’s customers demand precision and a long service life. Ships, trains and big stationary engines are meant to operate for several decades in harsh environments with frequent jolts and shaking. According to Multer, Geislinger’s product has to be “highly engineered, with very tight tolerance, and typically very large parts. ‘Large’ and ‘tight tolerance’ usually don’t go together. But in this case they must.”
With such strict standards set for the product, Nelson and his team have to meet high expectations when it comes to maintaining factory equipment and ensuring uptime. To tackle the challenge, Nelson relies on Fiix CMMS for planning preventive maintenance and recording corrective maintenance work.
How Fiix has changed maintenance operations at Geislinger Corporation
Before joining Geislinger, Nelson used a paper-based system with a dry-erase board – “Just hand written sheets kept in paper folders, so nothing automated at all,” recalls Nelson. When he started working at Geislinger 2 years ago, version 3 of Fiix was already being used. “I have to credit my boss for bringing Fiix in here,” Mr. Multer stated.
The CMMS was easy to understand and Nelson got up to speed quickly. “When we went from [on-premises] version 3 of Fiix, to the Cloud with [web-hosted] version 5, it just seems like it’s a friendlier system to use,” Nelson commented, “and I like the fact that you can access it from any computer or mobile device easily.” With the ability to take his work home when he needs to, Nelson is able to tidy up records and schedule upcoming work for the next day. Geislinger’s Fiix system automatically tracks and reminds them of weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-year and annual maintenance tasks on production machinery. Communication and planning are just as important as doing the actual work. Mr. Multer says that, “we meet twice a week, once to discuss preventive maintenance and then we meet once a week to discuss corrective and warranty maintenance.”
Nelson feels the biggest benefit of the Fiix system is the ability to look up work that was done in the past:
“The more information you can leave in the comment completion notes the better; what component failed, and such… – its easier to come back to it years later and find what the problem was last time. … With a paper system, it would be impossible to find or maybe you did not file that paper work order in your folder.”
The benefits from this digital record keeping are very real. Besides the record-keeping features, Nelson’s team also uses the ability to attach files to a work-order. They scan and attach service reports to work-orders: these are reports that offsite contractors file when they come in to do work on a machine. The maintenance team uses service reports most often for corrective maintenance. Attaching the reports lets them refer to the work in the future, and ties in external contractor knowledge into their internal CMMS.
Keeping up with preventative maintenance will remain an ongoing process at Geislinger. “Letting maintenance slip allows worse things to happen.” Nelson explains, “Its kind of like washing your car every week. You notice when you’re down there scrubbing a tire, that ‘whoops I have a loose lug out there’.” Mr. Multer says that preventative maintenance “keeps the operator closer to the machine…. We do as much maintenance with the operators as we can,” with dedicated technicians doing some of the higher-level preventative maintenance. In the future, Mr. Multer said “We’d like to get our office added to the system. If I have a light out at a certain office, we’d like to be able to identify that office easily.”