Unscheduled production and manufacturing downtimes are every industry’s worst nightmare. Predictive planning only helps to a certain extent. Even with predictive maintenance, there is still a certain amount of residual risk that not everything will go as planned. What if an expendable part stops working before the schedules maintenance time? In that case, good advice is expensive, in particular if there are supply shortages and the corresponding part has packed up ahead of time, which is why it is not yet in stock.
The solution to this challenge lies in a site-wide, centralized spare parts master data management system. This is because it is highly likely that the same or similar machines are running, and also that the right spare part or even special tool is stocked somewhere else as part of the maintenance cycle. The basis for this is our 4D Master Data Management System which, in this case, keeps a record of spare parts. The technical specifications of the expendable parts per plant or machine at the locations are the master data, which hardly ever change. The transaction data relate to the quantity in stock and the storage location, which continuously change depending on the maintenance cycle.
A centralized database for spare parts, expendable parts or even special tools rarely exists. This information is usually recorded in local databases or managed in separate files. The disadvantage of this approach is that nobody has a comprehensive overview of whether there are locations that require identical expendable parts. This not only creates synergies in procurement, but may also provide the necessary assistance when there is an unexpected outage due to premature wear and tear or supply shortages.
Firstly, a comprehensive, consistent master data record is created for all facilities and machines for each required spare part from all the available data systems and files. In this step, duplicates are also cleaned up using the underlying, customized master data model. Then the relationships and dependencies are mapped between the expendable parts and, if necessary, special tools. This gives you a comprehensive, site-wide overview of your spare parts list. You can maintain master data and collaborate either directly in our 4D Enterprise Suite or in the previous source systems. This is because the 4D Enterprise Suite consolidates your expendable parts master data, serves as a working system and as a data hub that passes on information to other systems. Any changes or additions to your master data are automatically saved with a timestamp and user record, giving you historical data as well as a database for comparative analyses alike. Furthermore, at all times you can see, with just a few clicks, which site is using identical spare parts and, if necessary, simply enquire whether it is in stock or not.
With the integrated workflows, you monitor and control your existing processes and workflows in the spare parts master data environment. After all, this forms the solid basis for all operational activities, such as ordering and storage. The better the quality of your expendable parts master data, the more efficient and error-free the downstream operational processes and tasks will be. This is because you transfer the required master data elements directly to the ordering or warehousing system, doing away with the need for repeated error-prone maintenance. If you always have the correct technical specifications of spare parts at hand, it is easier to find an alternative supplier should an emergency arise. Furthermore, the integrated reporting system provides you with digital support for evaluations, analyses and graphical representations of the hierarchical order of spare parts. This gives you a 360° view of your spare parts that is always available, up to date and consistent. The processes and procedures for your expendable parts management run efficiently on a permanent basis and costs are also kept to a minimum and predictable over the long term. Because, the lower your risk of unforeseen downtime, the greater your competitive advantage.