February 19, 2009
Hitting a Home Run with Louisville Slugger
Louisville Slugger has been making baseball bats for 123 years and counting. In maintenance, Bob Hillerich has been focused on trying to retain the wealth of knowledge in his crew. He was quoted in a recent article in Reliable Plant Magazine regarding tracking their maintenance efforts using MAPCON. "Machines are taking the place of what workers were doing many years ago. With the addition of new automation comes the concern, or the potential, of reduced reliability." Bob Hillerich is addressing those issues.
The Alpha Four floppy-drive system crashed recently. That opened the door to purchase a modern computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) system from Mapcon Technologies Inc. The system went live on March 13. "It's going to be a great advantage," he says. "Every morning, it (MAPCON) will give us a list of machines that are due to be worked on. It also will give us a list of what tools and parts will be needed, and where they are located in the crib. That will facilitate and expedite success with the amount of new people and machines we have." Machine history will also be housed on the CMMS, not in the heads of maintenance workers. That should help as new technicians seek ways to bolster reliability. "You will eventually be able to type in a symptom, and the program will give you its top three best guesses on what is possibly wrong with that piece of equipment," he says. "A vibration here or a noise there points you in the direction of that type of failure. The program will also tell you what parts are needed for that job and how long it should take to fix it."