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Raul Martins

Why the Bill of Materials can be one of your biggest allies (or nightmare) on the Road to Reliability

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Hi all,

Even though many tools are available nowadays to improve companies results, many businesses still struggle with poor reliability and productivity.

The reasons vary from lack of knowledge about maintenance processes, to poor leadership, and many more. However, we won’t be discussing this today.

We will be talking about something that, although everyone knows how important it is, just a few really look after: BoM.

But, what the heck is BoM?

BoM stands for Bill of Materials, which is a list of materials needed to accomplish a particular assembly or task. The BoM can also be a listing of parts required to support the operations and maintenance of piece of equipment. It contains primarily consumable items and replacement components that may be inventoried as a spare. Impellers, bearings, shafts, conveyor belts, or lubricants can be part of your BoM.

Having a bill of material properly managed on you CMMS not only can save you a lot of time, but also it can save many dollars (or your local currency). This is because if you don’t have a proper BoM will mean that during an emergency, you will be rushing to find the components you need, which not necessarily mean that you will find them quickly, as you will probably be looking for the equipment manual, or reaching out its OEM asking for information ASAP. Meanwhile, your plant may be offline waiting for a seal, or a simple bolt.

On the other hand, having a not up-to-date bill of materials might lead to the same situation, or even worse. Imagine you are purchasing a component catalogued on you Bill of Materials that will use during that 12 hour outage. It is all good, the planning is flawless, you have enough labor, tools and spare parts. Nothing can go wrong. However, when the outage has come, that component that was bought in advance simply doesn’t fit. Welcome again to that situation mentioned above: you will be rushing to find the right component you need, which not necessarily mean that you will find it quickly, as you will probably be looking for the equipment manual, or reaching out its OEM asking for information ASAP. Meanwhile, your plant may be offline waiting for a seal, or a simple bolt.

That being said, managing your Bill of Materials properly is key to improve your results and avoid problems. For this reason, ensure your company has an establish management of change process, people are aware of the importance of a BoM, and review it every time some changes.

 

How about sharing your experience with us?

How do you manage your Bill of Materials? Have you had problems before due to not up-to-date BoM’s? Have you created/updated a BoM that was used later on a tough situation and avoided those problems said above?

 

Regards,
Raul Martins

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Great article.BoM management is really important.

From my experience we also introduced a bottom up method on daily morning Lean Meetings where we get real time information which spares needs to be replenished to ensure our BoM has necessary spares.It's proving to be effective together with the CMMS.

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great and very interesting topic.

It is always a struggle to have the right spare parts and even to have them when they are needed. The BoM must be created prior to the operation of the plant. Even in commissioning phase. The OEMs that are providing the equipment must be obliged ( through the purchase contracts) to provide the necessary BoM for the installed equipment and also update this  through the first years of operation. 

Also, the O&M must keep track of the failures  and the needed spare parts through their CMMS system. The tracking and the initial Bom are the basic info to create your BoM and each year to build on it.  

Prior to the start of each operational year the BoM must be updated from all involved parties and even by the OEMs or by consulting Maintenance communities with the same equipment. 

I hope I provided some helpful opinion.

BR 

Nikos.

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Hi @Mushanguri Innocent,

That sounds really good. In my view, this daily approach will strengthen the culture of keeping the BoM up to date and create an ownership feeling about them. 

 

Regards,

Raul Martins

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Hi @NikosPant,

On 4/21/2020 at 3:39 AM, NikosPant said:

The OEMs that are providing the equipment must be obliged ( through the purchase contracts) to provide the necessary BoM for the installed equipment and also update this  through the first years of operation.

100% agree. Recently I have been through a situation that I struggled to receive the spare parts list from the OEM, as they said their policy does not allow doing so. 

It is simply nonsensical in my view and this sort of OEM should not be considered during a quotation at all. Establishing a process as you mentioned is key to avoid this sort of issue.

 

Regards,

Raul Martins

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