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Globalizing the maintenance of lab equipment using CMMS

Danfoss and its worldwide network of laboratories


Danfoss A/S is a global leader within energy-efficient solutions that help save energy and combat climate change. The company’s key competencies are the cooling of food, air conditioning, the control of electric motors, and the heating of buildings – as well as solutions for renewable energy such as solar power and heat pumps. Danfoss has an annual sales turnover of approx. 31.5 billion DKK (2010). Worldwide 24,000 employees work at Danfoss in 21 countries.


The Commercial Compressors division develops and manufactures reciprocating and scroll compressors for commercial refrigeration and air conditioning applications. The division has globalized its development and operates a network of R&D centres in France, the USA and China (in Tianjin’s Wuqing district). The interconnected world-class laboratories are key actors in the company’s product development process, as they provide prototyping, testing and engineering services. They employ a total of 60 technicians, for over 360 testing machines, which can sometimes be shipped from one R&D location to another. All in all, the Laboratory Engineering Department manages over 150 million Euros worth of equipment worldwide.


Improving the reliability of lab equipment, a key challenge


The laboratories play an essential role in product development, itself at the core of Danfoss business: the company aims at reducing product development time and cost by increasing the availability of testing equipment. The can be achieved by continuously improving the laboratories machines’ adequacy (through engineering), reliability (through maintenance) and precision (through metrology).


In 2007, as the Chinese lab was looking for metrology and maintenance software, Danfoss took this opportunity to launch a global project to unify the software platform used by the laboratories worldwide.


The main objective of the project was to support Danfoss strategic goal: better availability of lab equipment will reduce product qualification time. Secondary goals included:


–  Setting up global KPIs for maintenance and engineering
–  Implement a common tool to share methodologies, knowledge, spare parts and equipment between the labs on a worldwide basis
–  Improve technical support for the Chinese lab
–  Manage new testing equipment construction projects in a quicker way
–  Integrate the US labs in a second phase of the project
–  Obtaining ROI in one year


A comprehensive selection process was conducted, resulting in the selection of Siveco’s web-based COSWIN maintenance management system and the setup of a joint project team.


A global project managed from China


The project was managed from Tianjin, China. From April to November 2008, key users were trained, technical data (both lab equipment and metrology equipment for the Wuqing plant) was migrated and the CMMS put into operation.


Joint Danfoss and Siveco team


The CMMS covers all maintenance, processes with a strong focus on preventive maintenance. Key functionality includes:


–  Equipment, parts and technical documentation
–  Stock management in all locations
–  Preventive maintenance: first level, regular and condition-based maintenance
–  Instruments calibration
–  Corrective maintenance
–  Reporting, analysis and decision support


The CMMS: a global tool for a global way of working


According to Gerard Fermon, Global Maintenance Manager at Danfoss Commercial Compressor: “For the first time, the central technical database provided the various laboratories with a common language, a know-how sharing tool and a global way of working. The US labs were later integrated into the system. The Siveco China team was a major driver in the project, from the very beginning, proving that global improvement initiatives can be managed from China.”


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