Dana Inc. demystifies the transition to a digital factory

Most manufacturing companies agree that they need to transform their plants into digital factories at some point soon. They can’t drag their feet too long or they may watch their competitors gain a distinct advantage.

Besides improving production efficiency and quality, digitalization will pay big dividends for maintenance operations. The ability to combine real-time asset condition monitoring data from a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality will maximize the reach of understaffed and overworked maintenance groups.

The benefits are intriguing. But the challenge for many manufacturers is where to start and how to proceed in the most cost-effective and nondisruptive way.

Robert McKenna, Manufacturing Asset Management Lead for automotive supplier Dana Inc., answers those and related questions in the Accelix Best Practice Webinar: “How Dana Inc. is becoming a digital factory“.

Dana is in the early stages of rolling out many new technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including an interactive mapping system modeled after Google Earth. This webinar discusses Dana’s progress and what the company is learning as it rolls out new technologies at its different plants.

With more than 44 years of experience in maintenance, McKenna knows the territory well. He started as a multi-craft millwright and gradually moved into supervisory and management roles. His understanding of the day-to-day challenges that maintenance technicians face provides valuable insight into the key technologies that Dana is using to transition its facilities to digital factories. Anecdotes and examples further punctuate the tangible benefits of this technology for maintenance operations.

The key topics he covers include:

  • Helping lean maintenance groups do more with fewer human and financial resources, less time for training, and a lack of engineering support.
  • Making up-to-date critical maintenance metrics available to everyone who needs them—from maintenance technicians on the production floor to upper management hundreds or thousands of miles away.
  • Managing training by embedding training videos into the CMMS system and assigning them to relevant tradespeople via work order to track completion.

You’ll also see how the innovative mapping system takes maintenance staff members located anywhere in the world on a virtual journey around the plant floor, allowing them to zoom in on specific equipment and click on sensor hyperlinks to view current asset conditions. When and if those conditions exceed specified norms, the system automatically generates a work order for an immediate check.

McKenna also highlights new tools that Dana is rolling out in early 2020. One example is a whiteboard system posted at the end of each production line that provides an hour-by-hour status of whether the line is meeting schedule and volume objectives. It notes any problems that might explain why goals are not met.

He also describes new mobile technology that enables maintenance technicians to focus a smartphone on a piece of equipment and immediately see details such as mechanical and electrical prints and troubleshooting techniques.  As a bonus, you’ll see a demonstration of the Fluke ii900 Sonic Industrial Imager that Dana uses to find compressed air leaks. The video follows a technician through one of Dana’s plants as the imager reveals several hard to find leaks—including one 25 feet above the production floor. It demonstrates the uploading of images into the document storage of Dana’s eMaint CMMS, and how the images are added to a work order so the repair person can see the exact location of the leak on the equipment.

If you’re a maintenance technician, supervisor, planner, or manager, you’ll find valuable information in this webinar from the perspective of someone who knows the realities of industrial maintenance. See for yourself by viewing “How Dana Inc. is becoming a digital factory,” and check out these additional resources:

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