Structured maintenance management is a key factor in ensuring economic efficiency and reliability in ongoing production operations. Therefore, Heinz Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG (Preußisch Oldendorf) developed and defined detailed maintenance plans for every machine years ago.
“Three years ago, we turned everything on its head again, reviewed all the plans and described in detail all the necessary points for every machine as a work aid for the machine operators and service staff,” explains Anne Theile-Wielage, Head of Mechanical Production at Heinz Schwarz.
For a few years now, each machine has had its own logbook to hand, in which data on maintenance, error reports, unplanned downtime and more have been recorded on an ongoing basis. The basis of the data was therefore already available in very good depth. However, with the lack of alternatives in the Excel table format, it was not yet optimised in format.
Issues resulting from this:
Monthly inspection using printouts
Documentation, for example for audits on paper
Maintenance tasks are delegated using Outlook
Our management board was immediately interested because the product was available right away, removed the need for long in-house developments and the proximity to Bielefeld also went in favour of WERKBLiQ.
Due to the situation, the desire to digitalise maintenance management in order to make information available more quickly and efficiently and to enable more detailed analyses had been growing for some time. “We developed a comprehensive requirements specification for this purpose with the hope of developing our own IT solution that meets our expectations, down to a ticket system for our internal maintenance,” continues Anne Theile-Wielage.
The company realised that the in-house development, starting from nothing, would take a lot of time. Interest piqued when the initial contact with WERKBLiQ was established at the FMB supplier trade fair in Bad Oeynhausen in 2016. At this point in time, the maintenance platform already fulfilled a significant proportion of the requirements detailed at Heinz Schwarz and additional open points were already anchored in the road map and, in some cases, already in development.
Concrete interest rapidly arose from the initial discussions: In February 2017, test installations of the WERKBLiQ platform on two different machines, lasting several weeks, began. The experiences were very promising right from the start: “We were able to make a huge contribution to the development and to shaping the system.”
The nature of the partnership, the flexibility and the open communication with the young WERKBLiQ team won us over from the start,” underlines Anne Theile-Wielage. “That continues to be the case now during ongoing use – for example, in contact with the telephone helpline.” With the next development stage of the platform, further tests continued in summer 2017, and the contract was officially concluded in September.
In the ongoing cooperation, Heinz Schwarz has continuously provided practical experience which has been regularly discussed with WERKBLiQ. A large part of these topics was included in the roadmap as a project, which led to a continuous improvement in user-friendliness and suitability for processes .
Both sides and ultimately the system itself profited from the close conceptual cooperation.
The entire maintenance process is thus running significantly more transparently, efficiently and seamlessly and employee acceptance of the use of the platform is very high. The machine operators quickly realised that the digital platform brings lots of advantages into their everyday working life, from faster processes to less paperwork, for example when processing daily and monthly reports.
The monthly inspection plans alone for twelve milling machines, which are now digitalised and no longer processed on paper, lead to significant benefits: The cost saving resulting from the decreased workload amounts to more than EUR 1,000 per year – just one example of the cost-effective benefits of using the intelligent maintenance management system.
Currently around 25 machines are covered by WERKBLiQ . This includes milling machines of various sizes, from small milling machines to portal milling machines, as well as presses with different application purposes. By implementing object management, the system is being further expanded to all kinds of equipment which require maintenance .
We are excited to take the next steps with WERKBLiQ.
Digitalised maintenance is therefore now firmly anchored at Heinz Schwarz. “The benefits speak for themselves. A significant prerequisite for the success of the project, however, is that you specify clear responsibilities and that someone deals with successfully driving implementation. At our company, one employee from the process optimisation team took on this task,” says Anne Theile-Wielage. “The simple fact that we are now ready for an audit at any time without any preparation time or viewing the documents again with the time this takes speaks for itself!”
Another significant benefit from her perspective is that they can monitor the current machine status by having a quick look – even when on the go. Further requirements have resulted from the use of the WERKBLiQ platform in the meantime, e.g. in spare parts management. “This also includes topics that we wouldn’t even have thought about a year and a half ago,” says Anne Theile-Wielage.
About Heinz Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG
Founded in Preußisch Oldendorf in 1964 by Heinz Schwarz, Schwarz Werkzeugbau has become one of the largest independent tool construction companies in Germany. Its range of services extends from traditional tool construction and complete development to series production of components.
After successfully joining the KDW Group, the company is perfectly prepared for the decades ahead with its new business management team. Schwarz covers all the relevant value creation steps with its own employees and machines. In addition, the company is capable of representing all the relevant steps in the customers’ product life cycle. This creates significant benefits for all project partners, such as conceptually streamlined projects, accelerated development processes and increased quality thanks to fewer interfaces.