In a previous blog post, we alluded to some of the challenges nuclear customers face in moving from older systems to Maximo Nuclear. Based on the expanded footprint of functionality within Maximo Nuclear, there can also be opportunities to collapse other applications inside of Maximo. These opportunities can present their own sets of benefits and challenges. An Operations Management suite fits into this category.
An Operations Management Suite of applications includes items such as Clearance and Tagging, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Lineups, Limited Condition of Operations (LCO) Tracking, and Operator Rounds, Readings and Turnover. Maximo Nuclear has supported Clearance and Tagging for more than ten years now but only recently has released the remainder of the suite of operations applications. There are overseas installations currently using the suite, but adoption in the U.S. has been limited. For most customers, it wasn't feasible until all of the applications were addressed. It didn't make sense to move Clearance and Tagging to Maximo while still maintaining another product to support the other applications.
There are many benefits to having these applications within your Work Management and Corrective Action system. For example, more than 90% of the demand for Clearances originate from Work Orders to support work. Having direct access from the Clearance to view Work Order status, scope, assignments, sign on/off, progress, etc. provides benefits to Operations. In addition, the person executing the work can review the clearance details, accept the protection and sign on/off the protection directly from the Work Order. With the use of Clearance Templates and Preventive Maintenance records, generation of Clearances to support repetitive work can be automated with the Work Order generation so that they only have to be reviewed for accuracy before issuance. Clearances also keep a complete history of equipment operations to leverage and take credit during execution of SOP lineups. Finally, this data is available to support Maintenance Rule availability calculations and risk assessment. It also provides a single source to feed all related activities and logic ties to an integrated plant schedule.
Some of the advantages of managing LCO’s in Maximo is the ability to link LCO’s to the initiating event such as a surveillance, condition report, maintenance activity, clearance or operator round observation. It can also be linked to the maintenance work order and/or surveillance that is required to bring the equipment back to operability. Capturing operator rounds and readings in Maximo provides full visibility, and may trigger maintenance work via Maximo's condition monitoring. Another direct benefit is the ability to initiate a condition report directly from the operator log functions rather than having to remember to go into a different system to log the observation requiring follow-up.
While there can be significant benefits to having all these functions in one system, the most considerable challenges come from user change management and costs. Since every product has its own terminology and functionality, reconciling existing functions to a new product doesn't come without a cost. Similarly, conversions, testing, and training also contribute to that cost. Because most operations management applications have been in place for many years, there always tends to be user resistance to change. Because of the structured safety conscious work environment and the autonomy usually given to the Operations group, they tend to be the most resistant group to any change, especially when it involves managing license compliance and personal safety.
Change is challenging, but it does not have to be painful.
We have years of experience helping clients evolve people, processes and technology. Many nuclear clients have relied on our expertise and guidance to transition from older systems to current solutions, contact us today to learn more.