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Producing tens of millions of cases of big brand beverages every year is heavy work that requires a reliable plant but with visionary entrepreneur John Halewood at the helm the UKs largest independent drinks manufacturing and distributing company is growing from strength to strength. With a turnover in excess of 250 million, over 1500 employees worldwide, and a focus on New Product Development, Halewood International boasts an impressive portfolio of favourite alcoholic drinks including Lambrini, Red Square Vodka, Lambs Navy Rum, and Crabbies Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer.
In 2009, the distillery and bottling plant in Liverpool which produces 11 million cases per annum, embarked on its lean journey and is using the Idhammar MMS to facilitate a number of TPM and continuous improvement initiatives including, 5s and Loss Prevention workshops for operators. With a dedicated Steering Team in place to use and shape the system, this focussed and managed approach to plant maintenance is resulting in significant operational benefits for the 20-strong engineering team at the site.
Making maintenance a management priority
In 2008 when Halewood was looking to replace its maintenance T-Card System, Operations Director Graeme Macfarlane (now Continuous Improvement Director) recommended implementing a CMMS having seen the operational benefits delivered by systems in the past. As a result, the company put to tender for a planned maintenance system, considering ERP solution offerings as well as standalone CMMS before choosing to implement the Idhammar Maintenance Management System based on the best of breed functionality and analysis capability it would provide.
Understanding the importance of gaining management and user buy-in, setting realistic targets, prioritising the functionality required, and the requirement for effective training programmes, Graeme Macfarlane ensured the CMMS implementation proved a success:
We didnt rush into implementing the system. We took a step back, made sure we had buy-in from the engineering Steering Team, planned how the system could be used to assist our processes, and provided user training sessions as a result the team is immediately recognising the benefits. Its working exactly as we planned it would.
Graeme Macfarlane, Continuous Improvement Director, Halewood International.
From the start of the project, gaining visibility of maintenance activity was a key objective. One of the engineering teams KPIs is the number of outstanding job cards for plant maintenance.
This KPI is measured by the number of worksheets issued, compared to the number completed correctly and returned on time. Graeme explains:
When we started measuring work flow we were inundated with outstanding job cards and some of the jobs were being missed. Since implementing the Idhammar MMS weve gained control, and having more than halved the number of outstanding jobs at any one time, were well on our way to reaching our target of only 10. My role then as Continuous Improvement Director is to make sure that the target doesnt become too soft - and re-set it to zero.
There are already plans afoot to extend the use of the system outside of the Steering Team by installing PCs on the shop-floor. This will then negate the need for the existing paper based Work Order/ Worksheet System and reduce the Job review and analysis lead time. In time, the plan is to make this process even quicker using PDAs and barcode readers.
In the meantime, the Steering Team is in the process of loading current stores into the Idhammar MMS in order to gain sight of, quantify, and potentially re-deploy the cash tied up in any redundant stock. Preliminary activity in this area suggests an initial estimate of 20% reduction in current inventory overheads. This process will also reduce time required at the stores counter and ensure there are no stock-outs at the site.
As planned, the system is generating an accurate picture of the maintenance and engineering work undertaken at the Liverpool site as well as highlighting opportunities for improvement.
Supporting Audit and Compliance
Demonstrating regulatory compliance is often a key driver for purchasing a CMMS, particularly in the heavily regulated industries like food and beverage manufacturing. Halewood International is a BRC accredited company and has found the central library function of the system a very useful knowledge-management tool that supports audit and compliance as well as best working practices and procedures. The Idhammar MMS provides a central data repository and document library ensuring permits to work, training and health & safety certificates etc, are assigned to each asset along with a historical log of all plant maintenance. This collective information bank also promotes knowledge sharing.
The maintenance team at Halewood International holds the key to maximising asset performance, minimising downtime and controlling production costs, whilst the Idhammar MMS is providing the foundation to deliver this efficient, effective maintenance.