Mobile maintenance solution for SAP PM

Unterhaching, (PresseBox) - About Weidmuller Interface GmbH & Co. KG

You can recognise a successful company by the intelligent way it handles its resources. And the best advertisement of this is how it deals with maintenance. Because, if managed correctly, it is possible to minimise machine downtime, which reduces costs and gives the company an additional competitive advantage. Weidmuller Interface GmbH & Co. KG uses the SAP PM module for maintenance purposes and realised very early on, just how much optimisation potential it contained. The aim was to move away from protracted processes and unnecessary paper lists to a quicker mobile solution. At its location in Detmold, the global market leader in industrial connectivity employs around 1,850 people and deploys several hundred production machines and systems.

Piecework printing of papers

All things come to an end ... except paper lists from SAP PM. Working with SAP PM means printing lists of orders, distributing them, then starting all over again. With several hundred machines and systems to maintain, it is easy to imagine the mountains of paper being generated at the end of the month. Then there are the long processes and unnecessary waiting times. Because as soon as the employees have processed an order, they have to go back to the maintenance office to collect another. This is compounded by the complex way the orders are allocated and acknowledged, and the considerable administrative costs.

Something had to change

Weidmuller recognised the enormous optimisation potential and launched a project. The requirements: the analog SAP order processing system had to be replaced with a mobile, digital, solution for smartphones. The crucial factor: there must be no changes to the SAP standard! The process of allocating orders to the employees should be quicker and simpler, and it should also be possible to process orders on the late and night shifts when no-one was in the office.

Once the requirements had been defined, the next step was to select the systems. “As far as we were concerned, Membrain was the only option,” says Maintenance Manager Jens Langmann. “The company has a logical concept and no changes are made to SAP. There’s also no need for any additional SAP modules.”

Improving the “Mean Time To Recover” (MTTR)

When it came to setting objectives, Weidmuller set the bar very high. The app had to be able to process all maintenance flows and allow fast, error-free, mobile operation. It was also necessary for the processes to continue working in the SAP PM standard. In other words, there’s no more paperwork, better staff contactability, and short, efficient processes. Trial – Rollout – Go-Live
Four testers from the electrical and mechanical maintenance teams put the mobile version of the SAP PM flows through its paces. They tested the notifications, orders, acknowledgements, damage catalogue and material postings from and to SAP PM, among many other things. Simple, quick operation was a key factor. Following a successful test phase, the app was released for operation. “We can already see how much time we’re saving,” says Jens Langmann. The PM orders are sent straight to the employees’ smartphones which they can use to process everything from start to finish - no more paper, no more administrative activities, and most important of all, quick response times when machines break down.  

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