Championing SAP Plant maintenance at your organization

Posted by Rajen Patel on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Under: Engineering Maintenance Management

Do you feel that in your organization SAP Plant maintenance is not being used at its full potential? Do you think you can integrate maintenance activities with other departments? SAP plant maintenance module can’t work on it’s own. It needs to be integrated with other modules in order to get maximum benefits.

Here is two phase approach:

a) Optimizing use of SAP PM in department

b) Increase integration with other module

Optimize use of SAP PM in your business

1. Keep SAP plant maintenance data clean:

This is most deficult to maintain in day to day basis. Once data (master data and transaction data) is in control, other pieces will fall into a place.

No one likes to work in system when they can’t trust information provided by system. So keep maintenance data clean. Here are few tips

a. Keep workorder and notification list always current (IW38/IW28)
b. Make it easy to find equipment/functional location. Standardized naming conventions, field usages and, variants setup in IH08/IH06 etc goes long way to increase usability.
c. Keep master data accurate

d. Review preventive maintenance program. Don’t let system overload you with unnecessary repetitive preventive work order. For example: Review maintenance frequency. Easy way to increase frequency is to increase ‘cycle modification factor’ on maintenance plan’s scheduling parameter tab (IP02).

2.      Increase depth of SAP Plant maintance functionality:  

If there is business justification for use detailed plant maintenance functionality. For example Boiler, compressor, earth movers, production line etc’s maintenance is dependent on it’s usage. Implement performance based maintenance
program with counters (IK01/IK02). Make sure you enter correct annual estimates and select right scheduling parameters in maintenance plans (IP01/IP02). Another example is to build ‘bill of materials’ for critical equipment (CS01/CS02).  If you are using SAP PM for a while you can run simple report of material where used list (IW13) and get quick information for BOMs. Once you update equipment with BOM information, technician can quickly look for parts required for repair.  Another area to explore is warranty management.

3.      Increase breadth of SAP plant maintenance business processes:

Find business processes that be folded into SAP PM umbrella.  Here are few examples from my past experience.  SAP Maintenance module can be used for maintaining equipment assets as well as buildings/facilities. If your building maintenance crew and contracts are not already under SAP PM umbrella, bring it in. Building/Facility manager can track crew much more easily. For example: Your company is giving yearly contract for HVAC maintenance. Whenever call is made to contractors for repair/maintenance create workorder with service. Refer this to contract PO. Perform service entry sheets and track services performed by contractors. This will give manager better idea when they are planning for next year’s contracts.  If building and facility maintenance crew is involved in moves, repair of building track their utilization via  workorder.  Make prepared check list or task list (IA05/IA06) for repetitive work. For example: a) my office is too hot/too cold b) office move check list etc. This will streamline processes and increase productivity of crew.

4. Integrate with inventory management:

Inventory management is not primary function of maintenance and often maintenance department doesn’t have expertise to optimize inventory performance. Technician likes to keep spare of everything.  This will increase inventory cost of maintenance department.  Often inventory is inaccurate and not stored properly. This results in ordering parts again.

Integrated inventory management with plant maintenance by setting up material masters for inventoried items (MM01/MM02).  Populated correct ‘min / max data’. Run material  requirement planning (MRP) and let purchasing perform inventory replenishment.  Perform regular inventory counting. Again emphasis here is on accuracy of information. Make sure stores man/technician is performing goods movement (MIGO) for part   consumed and part returned. For parts required for repetitive maintenance you can add components to maintenance task list (IA05/IA06). This will make sure parts are available when needed. You can also use back flushing indicator to reduce transactions for goods movement. If your organization can’t delegate spares management to Inventory department, ask for expertise.

5. Integrate with Purchasing

Tricky part of purchasing non-stocked spare part is it’s not repetitive like manufacturing. It gets more complex if you have old assets or very unique assets like PCL controllers from 1970s. So real question is how to make purchasing more it effective when you let buyer buy spare with best terms with given specification? To smooth out process create non-stock purchase requisition from maintenance workorder. Describe part via proper material group, description and vendor number etc (IW32). Techncian can not track purchase requistion’s progress from workorder including visibility of purchase order. This process provides great visibility of maintenance order in tracking parts through order to consumer cycle.

Same process applies for purchasing services for maintenance work. Using service entry sheets (ML81N) will make sure technicians are satisfied by vendor’s work before invoice is paid.

Implement purchase requisition approval strategy to track accountability for approvals.

6. Integrated with production planning

For production facities often maintenance works gets lower priority until equipment breakdown occurs. Production planner can integrate their planning with maintenance preventive maintenance planning with use of workcenters in equipment master record. In workorder/task list specify system condition = 0. Planner can use CM50/CM21 to plan capacity.

Another option is to provide simplified screen to create breakdown notification (IW21) from production line. Workflow can setup to send SMS/email to technican’s pagers/mobile for prompt response. This ensure all breakdowns are recorded for reliability and downtown analysis.

7. Integrate with Finance/controlling

Organization should perform cost controlled activities for maintenance personnel time and material via maintenance work orders. Technicians should enter actual hours for workroders (IW41) and record all part/service consumption on order. Finance department should perform regular cost settlement for orders. If maintenance is keeping data accurate this can be fairly smooth transition that provides great visibility for KPI at management level.

Note: all transaction codes are in italics example: (IW21 – Create notification) 

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