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Thursday, August 21, 2014

MRO Software Keeps an Accurate Equipment Count

It’s generally accepted in law enforcement that no two descriptions of a crime scene are the same. For whatever reasons, one person will see things a little — or a lot — differently than another. This is the basic idea behind a new MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) software offering for asset-intensive businesses by IHS, of Englewood, Colo.

The software, Struxure 6.1, provides master data management (MDM) for industrial operations on a local or global basis. Simply put, the software provides companies with the tools to accurately identify and catalog equipment and other assets and thus avoid unnecessary expenses in purchasing, inventory control, supply, warehouse management, and related operations.

Credit: Storeroom Solutions Inc.

It does so by establishing consistent definitions company-wide for the contents of an MRO catalogue through use of what IHS calls the Standard Modifier Dictionary (SMD). Jeff Ladner, senior director of operational excellence and risk management solutions at IHS, says personnel at different levels of an organization often describe equipment in different ways. This could result in reported shortages or overages of a piece of equipment, which affects inventory entries, internal reports of product availability, and ultimately purchasing.

“Slight variations in how information is recorded can lead to gross inefficiencies,” Ladner remarks.

With Struxure 6.1 software, however, users are said to get a reference taxonomy that provides the appropriate attributes for classifying parts, no matter who does it — procurement, maintenance, manufacturing, engineering, or other personnel. The SMD data dictionary ensures naming protocols are consistent, managing items including pipes, valves, bearings, associated plant equipment, and general supply items.

While other companies supply MDM software, Ladner says the IHS version focuses on industrial equipment for MRO. Other programs, he adds, are general in design and operation. Struxure 6.1 is said to be specific enough to be a niche product.

IHS’s software can be configured for different languages, so companies with global operations are able to get accurate catalogue descriptions of equipment.

Ladner says the software can be licensed or subscribed to annually, among other options. It is usually used as part of an IT structure. The learning curve is short, he says, mostly because it is an enhanced way of working with data.


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