With, Composites BUSCH develops efficient maintenance and full control of its machines

The DIMO Maint CMMS enables Composites Busch to enhance the value of its maintenance activity and to commit to a continuous improvement approach.

Digitizing maintenance at Composites Busch

Composites Busch is part of the Busch Group (sales €1 billion, 3,500 employees in 40 countries), world leader in vacuum technologies. Founded in 1988 and based in Porrentruy (Switzerland) to meet the Group’s own needs, Composites Busch (over 70 engineers and technicians) has since been serving a wide range of industrial sectors to develop solutions in high-performance composite materials, including the molding of parts for the watchmaking, medical and aeronautics industries, the sintering and manufacture of composite lamellae for vacuum pumps, as well as additive manufacturing and industry. Composite Busch was also the first to create composite field hockey sticks. Drawing on his experience of six months’ deployment of a CMMS at Ateliers Busch (500 employees), the Busch group’s largest R&D and production site in Chevenez, Alec Dudognon, Maintenance Project Engineer, acted as Project Manager for the implementation of DIMO Maint MX at Composites Busch. He manages all CMMS activities at the Chevenez and Porrentruy sites, including the creation of new equipment and infrastructures, as well as the management of major maintenance projects.

Organization of the maintenance department

lorganizing-service-maintenance In the luxury watchmaking sector, Composites Busch’s customers often have specific requirements in terms of innovation, particularly when it comes to small and medium production runs. In the medical and industrial sectors, the challenges are mainly normative, as the design, prototyping and production facilities in Porrentruy are ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certified. Composites Busch’s fleet of nearly 60 machines (including injection presses and CNCs) meets very high production rates and maintenance requirements. The business remains relatively flexible, since in the event of a breakdown, production can be diverted to another line. The maintenance department comprises five people, organized according to specific areas of expertise (a production and maintenance manager, an electrical technician, a mechanical technician, a janitor technician and the support engineer).

Clear objectives and indicators for maintenance

clear-objectives-and-indicators-for-maintenance Every month, the maintenance department tracks the number of interventions carried out via the CMMS, as well as the overall intervention time, the percentage of corrective/preventive work, and the cost of maintenance activity, including parts, subcontractors, machine stoppages and labor. In addition, we keep track of maintenance requests declared during the month and those to be closed, with a view to constantly improving the processing of maintenance requests. According to Alec Dudognon:

We have to communicate with production all the time. The maintenance budget is fully integrated into the production budget. For the time being, the team works standard day shifts. We are in the process of adding CNC machines to our fleet. Production runs 3×8 during the week, plus Saturday mornings. We’re managing to improve the efficiency of our activities, particularly in terms of intervention costs, but the primary objective remains to satisfy production demands. Maintenance is on the front line when it comes to saving energy, and has consumption targets for the winter period in Switzerland to avoid quotas.”

The origins of the CMMS project: meeting production needs

the-origins-of-the-gmao-project-meeting-production-needs Composites Busch wanted to control and monitor its machinery, equipment and operations. The company already had a Micro Maint system, and the project was an opportunity to review expectations so that the tool would be as close as possible to the activity, emphasizing preventive maintenance with ranges, tasks, counters and frequencies. Stock management was added, and Alec Dudognon spent a lot of time listing all the parts, locations and prices. He was able to retrieve data from the old CMMS, work orders, equipment and preventive maintenance without any problem, by purging what was obsolete, as the equipment tree had already been created. At this stage, DIMO support was invaluable, particularly for import/export and training administrators and operational staff.

A logical tree structure by levels

Level 1 is divided into geographical zones: Composites East for R&D and Composites West for production. The second level corresponds to allocation numbers: composite injection, laminate injection, composite finishing, laminate finishing. Then there are groups (injection presses, press numbers, CNC, etc.). The solution has three user accounts, two administrators and thirteen requestors. Alec Dudognon was in charge of training, focusing on practical aspects – as the staff already knew how to use the CMMS – and mobile uses.

It was more like a fluid change management process. Everyone was willing, and feedback was instantaneous, even if it did take a while to get used to filling in the forms on the phone,” says Alec Dudognon.

Taking a step back thanks to the CMMS project

As soon as requesters became active on the CMMS, maintenance wanted to take a step back to analyze the need for improvements on certain equipment. A list of generic indicators has been expanded to include the equipment that breaks down the most, and details of the breakdowns, notably their duration, which requires this data to be present in the system: “To extract these indicators, we export the data. We connect the SFTP of the DIMO Maint solution with the internal server, then a robot automatically retrieves the data and dispatches it to a customized Power BI solution. In addition, purchase requisitions are transmitted to Finance”.

Installation in less than three months

Deployment took place as follows in late 2022:

  • October: creation of ranges and users, parameterization, purification of tree structure, preventive maintenance frequencies, addition of inventory management.
  • November: production start-up, with two weeks’ training. Follow-up with technicians in the field, understanding input, taking raw data, understanding needs and expectations. Stock integration at the end of November, with referencing of all parts, creation of QR codes, layout in stock and 800 parts to be labelled. At the end of the day,” says Alec Dudognon, “we were able to save a considerable amount of time and improve accuracy.
  • Late November-early December: one week on the creation of indicators. Since then, the maintenance team has essentially been monitoring, creating equipment, adding documents and reports, etc.

How does a service request work?

Alec Dudognon explains the process: the person makes a service request on a PC, or a smartphone if they have one. During the 15-minute morning ritual of the “Top 5”, maintenance examines the requests received, plans the interventions (DI, reappraisal alerts, overdue BI alerts), then goes back over the previous day’s schedule, looking at what remains to be completed. Maintenance also enters subcontractors’ hours into BI, along with their reports.

Interactivity and visibility: the major “pluses” of DIMO Maint MX CMMS

Alec Dudognon admits:

The intuitiveness of the solution plays a major role in its understanding. It’s easy to find one’s way around the work orders, and there were no problems getting to grips with it, even for people who don’t know their way around computers. What’s more, the configuration is much less technical than some CMMS’s, as there’s no need for coding! Managing preventive maintenance documents is also fairly straightforward.”

In addition, the planning of all maintenance activities is visible to everyone, including production staff, giving them a clear view of their own activities. The history of equipment operations is very practical, as it makes it easy to find reports of interventions on similar problems. Everything must be impeccable in the CMMS history during audits. Traceability is a real asset: “The management of automatic preventive interventions is the BA-BA, as is stock management and analysis, the management of intervention requests, and the ticket system is very valuable. Everything is organized and easy to locate. Finally, we appreciate the ease of analysis, much easier than with Excel or paper”.

Future developments

future-evolutions The CMMS will enable Composite Busch to maintain its business over the long term, by facilitating the work of all those involved, who will no longer need to navigate all over the company’s internal server – all machine and intervention documents are now centralized. The maintenance department can confidently anticipate changes in its indicators: “The maintenance manager is also the infrastructure production manager. As such, he is the direct contact for the General Manager. In the long term, the CMMS will enable him or her to assess activity as closely as possible, and make continuous improvements based on concrete data” concludes Alec Dudognon.

Do you have any advice for a company that hasn’t yet launched a CMMS project?

Alec Dudognon highlights three crucial preparatory steps:

  • Structure the project from the outset, because it’s easy to get lost. This phase may seem long, but it’s essential, as it will speed things up later on, avoiding the need to make up for any mistakes after the event.
  • Communicate well between all departments, because the CMMS needs to be alive and used by as many people as possible. Hence the need to clearly identify expectations, needs and fears.
  • Follow-up: “You spend 50% of your time getting people to adopt the solution gently, by demonstrating the benefits. The remaining 50% is spent on follow-up in the field”.
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