Window, Door Manufacturer Optimizes Equipment Maintenance With Software
Builders, replacement-window professionals and homeowners have relied on products from Atrium Windows and Doors (AWD) since 1946. During that time, the company has evolved from a small manufacturer of aluminum and wood fenestration products, to one of the largest manufacturers of vinyl and aluminum windows and doors in North America.
Bruce Manning, IT manager at AWD, says the company uses a combination of automated and manual manufacturing processes to assemble 10,000 windows and 500 doors weekly. The processes involve the use of CNC glass-cutting machines, lineal saws and welders, corner clearers, notch boxes and many other types of equipment.
“We use lineal pieces of vinyl and aluminum to make window and door frames, and we turn discrete parts, including billet glass, into cut-to-size insulated glass,” explains Manning. “The window and door operating assemblies require balancers, handles, locks and other hardware.”
More than two years ago, company managers were in need of software to help them better manage all aspects of equipment maintenance. In March 2014, Atrium installed the Bigfoot CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) on a trial basis, considering it to be an affordable stop-gap solution before implementing a suite of enterprise resource planning software that included CMMS. However, Bigfoot proved so successful that the company canceled the latter project and redeployed the software in March 2015.
CMMS is cloud-based software that maintains a computer database of information about an organization’s maintenance operations. According to Manning, Atrium uses Bigfoot CMMS (made by the Smartware Group) for preventive and predictive maintenance of all of its equipment. Besides welders, saws and glass-cutting machines, workers operator glass washers, back beading machines, die sets, end mills, hot-melt pumps, insulated-glass spacer machines, ovens, routers, sealant pumps, and equipment for wrapping and packaging, and for making aluminum screens.
“Before Bigfoot, our maintenance department and the production supervisors [used] radios, phones, pieces of paper and a variety of other means to communicate equipment problems,” says Manning. “Now, the software offers the advantage of a central repository for asset and location-based work
orders, along with the ability to measure our downtime accurately.”
All redundant, nonproductive communication has been eliminated, providing Atrium with a single system of record. Another benefit is the software automatically generates an email alert to the appropriate user when a problem or maintenance request is entered.
“Our biggest challenge continues to be aging equipment [due to] many years of service,” says Manning. “Bigfoot allows us to look at our equipment history and compare one asset against another to determine the best use of our 2017 capital expenditure funds.”
Thus far, the software has cut equipment downtime by 77 percent, resulting in significantly increased output. These impressive results have AWD considering installing the Enterprise+ version of Bigfoot with a native mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
The app’s quick-response-code scanning and swipe-gesture functionalities let users quickly check the status of parts, work orders and assets. Its built-in camera lets users capture, upload and attach images to information about those same parts, work orders and assets.
For more information on CMMS software, call 866-858-7800 or visit www.bigfootcmms.com.