Project Description

DCO Energy

U.S. energy development company standardizes all maintenance on eMaint CMMS

Customer Since: 2016 | Industry: Energy

DCO Energy, an energy development company, headquartered in Mays Landing, N.J., is one of the largest generators of cogeneration and renewable energy projects in the Northeast. Some of its 22 facilities weren’t effectively leveraging the software they had. Others were allowing various maintenance management systems to sit idle, and some had no system at all.

The organization wanted to mobilize around one CMMS for all locations to enable companywide tracking and reporting, improve plant accountability, and standardize maintenance operations. It chose eMaint.

Today, 50 super-users champion the eMaint CMMS. Its roving technicians record work activity via eMaint MX Mobile, which comprises 144 users. And the organization has standardized its maintenance across all facilities.

  • Adapted sign-in/sign-out function to track technician time accurately

  • Leveraged the project management tool and historical data to estimate the total cost of an outage

  • Developed a custom report showing active work orders in real-time, the assigned technician, and their location

  • Created required fields making WO’s mandatory to begin work

BACKGROUND

Operating as an independent energy development company, DCO Energy, LLC specializes in the engineering, construction, commissioning, management, and ownership of renewable energy projects, central energy centers, and combined heat, chilling, and power production facilities.

Phil Aiello, a performance engineer for DCO Energy, was assigned to lead the effort to standardize maintenance operations at its 22 facilities by implementing eMaint Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software systemwide. Aiello also began serving as system administrator once it was in place.

The company initially planned a largescale rollout of eMaint and leverage many of its capabilities. As things progressed, it became apparent that they needed to reduce the scope and scale of the CMMS to fit the organization’s present status enabling more effective optimization.

CHALLENGES

An essential component of a successful multi-site eMaint CMMS implementation is across the board buy-in of the system. Just as important is to ensure that maintenance team members use the system. Aiello began analyzing the task at hand. He recognized a lack of maintenance management accountability and the inability to view overall facilities maintenance activity.

Each of the 22 facilities ran independently, and preventive maintenance (PM) tasks and completions were not tracked. Plants employed an assortment of maintenance management systems but weren’t recording work regularly.

Work requests were sometimes created using paper, and work orders were dropped in trays hoping to be found. The preventive maintenance scheduling tool wasn’t utilized effectively to prioritize work, and once jobs were completed, no process existed requiring a review of the work.

IMPLEMENTATION

One of the common mistakes organizations make when implementing a CMMS is to want to go big rather than scaling the maintenance management system to fit. DCO Energy initially planned a large-scale rollout of eMaint.

As things progressed, it became apparent that the process of implementing and optimizing a CMMS at 22 facilities was going to take years, not months and that they needed to reduce their scope and build slowly. The organization began developing flow charts to visualize work processes.

“The flow charts were extremely useful, and we spent the first three months not touching the system but deciding on how we wanted the process to work,” said Aiello. “From there, we built out the system with the help of eMaint’s excellent implementation team and streamlined the process from there.”

Once stakeholders started using eMaint, some plants resisted the change and needed continuous support, encouragement, and reminders about the importance of utilizing the CMMS properly and following the agreed-upon process. Also, some personnel required more training.

Super-users, leaders, and champions were identified within plants to make sure personnel were ready and willing to embrace the system for the long term. One area of concentration included mobile users.

“We realized that we had to identify a mobile user “Champion,” someone that caught onto the training quickly and was not overwhelmed by the program and understood the goal,” explains Aiello. “That way, we could encourage the other users struggling with the program to seek out their coworker for help without having to go to management.”

As the eMaint administrator, Aiello customized the software to enable detailed reports and ensure adherence to work order processes and procedure standards.

Here are just four ways the organization leveraged eMaint:

  • Each work order contains required fields that must be completed before a technician can move forward within the Job Status process.
  • Technicians cannot edit the work order until they sign in. Signing in also date-stamps the technician’s start time.
  • Upon sign-in, technicians are automatically redirected to the company’s required Job Safety Analysis form, a requirement for every WO. Once reviewed and saved, the WO opens.
  • Maintenance team members cannot sign out of the work order unless they provide comments about the task.

RESULTS

“No work is performed without a work order is now the motto for their operation’s team, and all DCO Energy facilities use eMaint. Customers regularly receive comprehensive customized reports providing insight into their facility operations, including exactly how much money is spent per year on individual assets.

In 2020, DCO maintenance teams used eMaint to complete 23,671 preventive maintenance work orders and 3,445 corrective maintenance work orders.

BENEFITS

  • Time tracking, parts allocation, and PO tracking, all with a WO or project, enables DCO Energy to bid, budget accurately, and precisely allocate money for a new plant or operation

  • Work order history data helps the organization develop KPIs accordingly

  • Workers move seamlessly from plant to plant to fill in or accommodate other critical operational needs because everyone uses the same system

“One of our goals was to get workers to engage with the CMMS, get their feedback straight from the field, and use that information to improve our overall work effectiveness. Where we’re at now is, all of our 22 facilities are using the same system. We’re all using eMaint.”

– Phil Aiello, performance engineer for DCO Energy