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From CapEx to OpEx Part 3: Documentation Helps to Reduce Service Costs


From non-networked documentation to intelligent information

There are many reasons for modifying machinery. These include predictive replacement of worn assemblies, repairs following faults, or even retrofitting, whereby the machinery is updated to meet current standards. What all these scenarios have in common is that they should be as efficient, time-saving, and predictable as possible in order to keep machine downtimes and disruptions to operational processes to a minimum.

Already read Part 2?

Servicing strategies such as preventive maintenance, condition-based maintenance, predictive maintenance, or reliability-centered maintenance give the company flexibility in how they schedule any required maintenance, which means there are as few disruptions to operations as possible.

The key is to identify emerging defects in good time in order to leave a time window in which the parts can be replaced before the defect actually arises. This can then be scheduled for a point in time when the affected machinery is not required or is being refitted. With this approach, unplanned downtime becomes planned maintenance.

Prerequisites for efficient maintenance

A clever maintenance strategy allows you to gain valuable lead time that can then be used to plan maintenance as precisely as possible. For an efficient process, it is essential to have the right spare parts and the right people with the right know-how on site, at the right time and with the right tools, equipment, and information.

To achieve this, there needs to be comprehensive documentation which enables the processes - for example, the replacement of a large assembly - to be realistically simulated and analyzed. The documentation must therefore meet several basic requirements. It must:

  • be tailored exactly to each piece of machinery and its configuration
  • as well as encompassing all aspects of the product life cycle
  • be both digital and three-dimensional – a Digital Information Twin that contains all the existing information relating to the machine.

The more complex the plant, the higher the requirements

While the standard tool may be sufficient for small, manageable parts, the requirements increase the bigger the system and its components are. A forklift or even a crane may be required. How can the component be lifted out of the system without too much dismantling; what is the optimal process? Are special tools required? Does a specialist need to commission the system, reprogram the control, or configure the sensors?



From non-networked documentation to intelligent information

Ideally, the documentation will contain this information; otherwise, it must at least provide the data so that the processes can be simulated and analyzed. For example, the 3D model can be used to analyze whether the component can be lifted upwards, and which other assemblies have to be removed to make this possible.

With comprehensive information, intelligent predictive planning and sufficient lead time allowing for complete planning, even complex modifications can be carried out efficiently and without unnecessary disruptions to operational processes.


efficient spare parts management and individualized documentation

This approach relies on efficient spare parts delivery and individualized documentation, which saves the planner from having to grapple with assumptions and uncertainties. And the right maintenance strategy gives the planner the time they need to implement such a comprehensive planning strategy.


So how do you obtain individualized documentation?

The right software helps you create complex technical content efficiently, and distribute it individually.

Learn more here


What new business models are made possible by digitization, IoT and global networking?

In part 4 of our blog series "Services are the new product", you will find out which new business models are possible today and how you can implement them efficiently.

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