Laurelton Diamonds keeps track of its manufacturing assets and anticipates quick ROI
Laurelton Diamonds are a rough diamond trading and manufacturing firm. The company procures rough diamonds and ensures the integrity and high quality of the diamonds through a strictly controlled, worldwide supply chain that sources, cuts, polishes and supplies finished stones to the parent company. Laurelton Diamonds employs more than 4,000 people across the globe with operations in the United States, Belgium, Botswana, Mauritius, Vietnam and Cambodia. They research, design, modify and build tools, equipment and machines to support their production facilities. They decided to look for an easy-to-use and intuitive CMMS tool in order to maintain their high-quality production standards.
A wide scope of operational requirements
Laurelton required a user-friendly IT solution for their technicians, to suit all operating levels. Providing a tool capable of being used seamlessly, regardless of local culture and age range, proved a challenge. Improving reliability was the number one goal, while also reducing maintenance costs. Consequently, a robust and flexible CMMS platform was needed.
The diamond polishing wheel – known as “scaife” – is one of Laurelton’s key manufacturing assets. This piece of equipment is critical to ensure that high quality diamonds are produced, as any minor flaw can represent a significant loss in diamond value. Laurelton focuses on consistency in technical quality where reconditioned polishing wheels are concerned, needing to be checked from one facility to the next. “Consequently, there was a need for a unified, accurate and easy to use knowledge database to be shared between the different facilities,” according to engineer Pieter Van Nueten.
Capturing reliable machine data was also a challenge. Root Cause Analyses was time-consuming, especially at a time when Laurelton is in the process of transitioning toward an Industry 4.0 manufacturing environment.
The “miracle solution” should cover a wide spectrum of functionalities
A broad scope of functions was needed, covering a range of issues:
• Easy-to-use, intuitive interface
• Multi-language capability
• Cloud and offline capability
• Ability to monitor and track scaife’s production and lifecycle
• Thorough overview of maintenance tasks, generating clear, digitized reports
• Reduced paperwork, up-to-date procedures/task lists availability – ideally linked to the Dozuki training software
• Ability to extract or import data within the platform and communicate with Laurelton’s I4.0 platforms
Why DIMO Maint? Because it’s user-friendly and intuitive!
“Upon thorough scrutiny of the marketplace for a proper vendor, we finally selected DIMO Maint MX because it is such a user-friendly tool that the technicians will be able to fully focus on their maintenance tasks and spend less time on the administration side” explains M. Van Nueten. The system makes it possible to work offline, as in some regions internet connections can be an issue, and offers cloud-hosted functionalities.
The DIMO Maint Team helped define the scope of the project upon project kickoff and set up a roadmap for the whole project. This was broken down originally in subprojects for two of their facilities : firstly, Laurelton worked to customize the platform and set the parameters with the vendor’s support. Secondly, they opted for training by the vendor, so that an in-house coach could run training courses across each facility within the organization.
No organizational changes were required during the transitional phase. Naturally, additional time was allowed for upon project kickoff, but the goals and benefits were clearly laid out from the start: the solution ensuring increased efficiency, more useful and accurate data, and with less time spent on maintenance interventions.
A quick learning curve thanks to a responsive support team
“The DIMO Maint Support Team proved very cooperative and helpful. Their thorough, hands-on understanding of their product shortened the implementation and training time of the platform. Any issue was solved within a day or a couple of days at the most. Furthermore, the DIMO Maint Development Team is open for recommendations from the customer and integrates them into the platform. This is most appreciated and definitely a bonus,” according to M. Van Nueten.
A host of significant maintenance benefits
With DIMO Maint MX, Laurelton can optimize their preventive maintenance strategy, having fewer corrective interventions. Switching from paper records to a digital system, with automatically updated task lists facilitates connectivity with their Digital procedure platform. This enables the company to improve all internal and external resources, achieving greater security and reliability of data than ever before.
Technicians are able to provide trackable feedback on their maintenance activities, thus maximizing efficiency of task lists. Having reports available instantly enables Laurelton to have a global and unified view of their maintenance activities. This even allows comparison of facilities in a given region against others.
The company started off with one of their key assets – diamond polishing wheels – as part of a pilot project. The solution is being deployed on the remaining facilities and will encompass other asset categories.
Increased scaife lifetime and quality as part of the Return On Investment
ROI estimation can be complicated as this is affected by the number of variables involved in the organization’s maintenance.
“Over time, we did notice improved quality and less diamond value loss which means that we can expect the ROI to occur sooner than anticipated. If we do a calculation based solely on the asset lifetime extension, and labor compared to technician productivity, we are expecting a 2-5-year ROI,” concludes Pieter Van Nueten.