Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

April 2012    |    Volume: 44    |    Number: 4

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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Emerging Technologies

Innovative tools of the trade

Smoother facility operations

Knowing what’s going on, keeping the machines running and fixing problems quickly are key aspects of facilities management.

Que Centre’s Web-based facilities maintenance management software can help industrial engineers working in small to midsized facilities do just that. The software is designed to streamline three modules: work order, preventive maintenance and inventory tracking.

The first module’s goal is to create a work order database that can be accessed and searched easily. It enables tracking of order statuses and costs. The second module is the most applicable to a factory floor. It integrates preventive maintenance actions into everyday operations to prolong equipment life while decreasing operating costs. Furthermore, it helps IEs plan a maintenance schedule to ensure the machines deliver what they are supposed to deliver in the amount of time they are supposed to deliver it in. The third module is almost like a user-friendly, custom-made ERP system. It allows accurate tracking of inventory as it moves through a system and monitors usage quantities. This helps drive a lean process and creates better cost control.

One highlight is that the system comes preloaded with the customer’s data, so it can be used fully the first day it’s installed. The facilities management system can simplify current systems or serve as an upgrade from the homemade internal system.

Before purchase, facility managers can use Que Centre’s ROI calculator to see if the software is something your company should consider.

SKF, which supplies bearings, seals, mechatronics, services and lubrication systems for industrial machinery, also offers products that diagnose potential machine problems.

This includes its Microlog Consultant, designed for many industrial applications. It can diagnose machine troubleshooting, maintenance verification and production line testing and quality assessments. Microlog Consultant includes technical support, maintenance services, engineering consultancy and training with their products. This is a major benefit as the diagnosis devices are complex and require user interface training.

The consultant device appears logical to use on the right type of machinery and industrial setting. The fast diagnosis and troubleshooting could save valuable time by diagnosing issues properly. Analyzing machinery and systems properly will extend machine life. The device allows for seamless data transfer for further analysis and reporting. The fact that you can see real-time data on the device allows for instant analysis and action to fix or alter a machine.

Operators have the ability to choose their own limits and settings by using the conformance setup generator tool from an included library of standards. This product delivers great benefits in the right industrial scenario and has the ability to help companies become more efficient and lean.

David Rossi is a supply chain engineer with Unilever North America and is a Young Professional Representative within IIE. He has a B.S. in industrial and systems engineering from The Ohio State University.