Seamless Integration: H&T Sees 73% Reduction in Downtime
SensrTrx and Fiix created a native integration to provide insight and create communication between operations and maintenance.
H&T Waterbury, the largest battery component manufacturer in the world, is one of those companies taking advantage.
Reduction in Downtime
For most manufacturers, there isn’t just one software solution used in the plant. Production often has one solution to help increase efficiencies and improve performance while maintenance has another to plan, monitor, and optimize maintenance activities. The need for the two systems to talk to one another is important so we partnered with one of the biggest CMMS systems, Fiix.
“It’s very difficult when there’s a fire we have to put out,” Spencer Cushman, VP of Operations at H&T Waterbury, says, “We want to run parts and keep the machine running, but also don’t want to break it and have the need for more maintenance later.” The delicate balance is why a seamless integration between production and maintenance is needed.
The issues need to be fixed, but in a way that still allows the plant to meet production goals.
The SensrTrx & Fiix integration:
- Enables communication between maintenance and production
- Moves the maintenance team to condition-based maintenance
- Triggers preventive maintenance work orders
- Collects process data to detect anomalies
- Eliminates the finger-pointing
About H&T Waterbury
H&T Battery Components is the world’s largest manufacturer of battery components for the consumer battery market and a fast-growing supplier for the rechargeable battery industry.
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The integration was seamless on our side. We just plugged in some of the asset numbers and saw the meter counts rise on Fiix. The highlights are really starting to show.”
– Spencer Cushman, VP of Operations, H&T Waterbury
Integrating SensrTrx Manufacturing Analytics and Fiix CMMS
The integration works by transferring information between the two systems using vibration and temperature sensors to transmit data to SensrTrx to understand trends, reporting, and analysis of data. Then in Fiix, the maintenance team can schedule maintenance activities, track inventory, and maintain workflow.
On a weekly basis, the operations and maintenance teams at H&T Waterbury review the previous week’s data. Looking at Fiix, the teams see what has been accomplished and what open work orders still remain. If there are open work orders, they evaluate how to schedule the maintenance and if it is going to have a production downtime impact. A “due date” is agreed upon and Fiix is updated to accurately reflect the planned maintenance.
The same type of review occurs on the SensrTrx side to understand how the plant performed.
According to Spencer, “The integration was seamless on our side. We just plugged in some of the asset numbers and saw the meter counts rise on Fiix,” and explains, “the highlights are really starting to show.”
How the Integration Works
Vibration and temperature sensors collect and transmit data to SensrTrx
SensrTrx contextualizes the data to provide analysis and trends
Contextualized data is transferred to Fiix to be combined with maintenance information
Fiix schedules maintenance activities, tracks inventory, and maintains workflow
Moving to Condition-Based Maintenance and Better Communication Between Teams
“It’s like car maintenance,” Spencer explains, “Whether it’s 6 months or 5,000 miles, it’s the same idea with our machines and we can use the two in combination.”
For example, production at H&T Waterbury is steady. The company knows they do about a million cycles a week. So, it’s going to be roughly 12 weeks before planned maintenance needs to occur. But, that doesn’t always hold true. What if a machine was down for a couple of shifts each week? That particular machine may not need maintenance exactly at the 12-week mark.
Now, actual information on total cycles helps H&T Waterbury get more precise on scheduling maintenance.
Once a set number of cycles have occurred, SensrTrx communicates to Fiix that a work order needs to be triggered. The integration provides more precise information. If there is a wear component that wears every million cycles, time-based maintenance could lead to inaccurate maintenance activities. If there’s poor production or a high production month, it may be too soon or too late for maintenance. It turns into a sort of guessing game without actual, hard data and systems communicating with one another.
This is why condition-based maintenance is exactly what is going to lead H&T Waterbury to continued success. The integration will very likely “have an impact” on the organization according to Spencer.
The biggest challenge for H&T Waterbury is making the change from maintaining maintenance as a time-based asset to a calendar-based mindset. Before, there just wasn’t the option to make that improvement, but with SensrTrx and Fiix integration, there is a huge benefit once the transition is made.
Benefits of Manufacturing Analytics and CMMS Integration
SensrTrx plays a big role in identifying micro stoppages and slowdowns on the machines. One of the biggest issues H&T Waterbury faced in the plant were machines that were rated to run a particular speed, but every couple of minutes would slow down. The slow down was difficult to recognize, but with SensrTrx, the software identified the problem and prompted the production team to make improvements to prevent it from occurring again.
Fiix, on the other hand, has been instrumental in keeping up with work orders and balancing fire fighting with preventive maintenance.
Highlights from both systems are really starting to show. Where Spencer says the next challenge lies is in the culture. Spencer explains, “Part of operational improvements is saying, “We’ve had this in the system for a while, how can we make it a part of our culture and daily activities to use the information?”
“It’s not good if it goes to an email and gets deleted, right? You need to actually do something about it,” he says.
“Both companies have been great for support, training, implementation, and helping get all of our staff up to speed.”
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