Maintenance Leads Dana Inc.’s Digital Transformation

A look at how Dana Inc. is digitizing to improve production operations, reduce costs, and train workers using Fluke’s emaint CMMS as a core tool in the process.

Dana Inc.'s Toledo Driveline facility
Dana Inc.'s Toledo Driveline facility

Dana Inc., the well-known manufacturer of drivetrain and electronic propulsion systems for companies ranging from Ford, GM, Chrysler, and VW to John Deere, Toyota, Nissan and locomotive companies, views the digital transformation journey its currently on as having begun in earnest six years ago. That was when Dana first began using Fluke’s emaint CMMS (computerized maintenance management system).

Dana Inc.'s Robert McKennaDana Inc.'s Robert McKennaWith 32,000 employees at 139 facilities in 33 countries, Dana adopted the emaint CMMS because “we had siloed plants and we wanted to get away from that and make everything visible from the front office to the plant floor,” said Robert McKenna, manufacturing asset management lead at Dana. “Now we can log on and see our asset information instantly, such as  how many work orders are open and how many maintenance activities are open. It’s all updated in the system as soon as a work order is updated or closed.”

McKenna said Dana currently has emaint CMMS installed in 39 of its sites to track 29,000 assets and pull data from 750,00 work orders. He added that Dana plans to roll out emaint to 22 more of its plants this year.

Dana sees the emaint CMMS as a tool to resolve several issues the company was dealing with prior to its installation. Issues such as being able to let workers know what was going on with assets in the plants and being able to see the big picture about a plant’s assets as well as detailed technical information. “We have been doing more with less people, like most companies are these days and, because we always have new technology coming in, we don’t have a lot of time to train everyone properly and there is often not enough internal engineering support,” said McKenna.

With emaint in place, Dana is able to address these training and engineering support issues by creating videos and hosting them in the CMMS, which can be accessed by mobile devices in the plant to help train employees. “We can even assign work orders to employees to watch these videos for training purposes,” added McKenna. “After watching the video, they can close the work order and add comments or questions that we can then address. This has been very popular with employees.”

Interactive Maps
The company has taken the additional step of creating the Dana Connected Plants Interactive Maps system in which emaint CMMS data is visually mapped to the corresponding asset.

“Like Google Earth, we use a snapshot from the factory that can then be navigated through, giving the users the ability to zoom in and out to assess equipment,” McKenna said. “When you zoom in on a machine, you can see relevant machine data. Workers can even use it to communicate with other plants to get spares when lead times from suppliers are problematic.”

Explaining further capabilities of the Dana Connected Plants Interactive Maps system, McKenna referenced a machine in the plant outfitted with Fluke Connect—Fluke software that collects, stores, and makes viewable machine data from Fluke tools and sensors. Hyperlinks visible on the machine in Dana’s map system connects to the machine’s vibration and temperature analysis. “You can review this data over a period time and the Fluke emaint CMMS can generate a work order for technician to review the equipment if ranges start getting out of spec—before the operator would even know that there’s a potential problem with the machine,” noted McKenna. “Workers can even use this system to see the prints on a machine that used to be filed away in an engineering cabinet. Now they’re live [digitally] on each asset.”

In the Dana Connected Plants Interactive Maps system, “we can just type in a plant location and jump right to it and view the plant and all the machinery in it,” said McKenna. “We’re working now on enabling the system to allow for workers with mobile devices to point their devices at a piece of equipment and have the information automatically appear without having to click on a link first.”

Axles manufactured by Dana Inc,Axles manufactured by Dana Inc,Production Insights
Beyond the CMMS and interactive maps application at Dana, the company also has a “whiteboard system” at the end of each line on which workers can see the hour-by-hour status of the line and where problems exist for which work orders. “We can see this data from each connected plant in real time,” McKenna said. “And we can see FTT (first time through) loss for each line too. It all ties back to our maintenance system.”

McKenna said this capability has been particularly helpful with the plants’ robotic workcells, where it can be difficult to see what’s happening in the cells during production. Dana created the Dana Vision Network—a motion activated video recording system—which records and documents motion in the cell that can be played back. “This gives maintenance an inside view of the cell during production,” he said.

Dana has also recently started using the Fluke ii900 for compressed air leak detection. McKenna noted that the company started using the ii900 not long after an outside firm had been hired to perform a leak detection in Dana’s plants, and “we found leaks with the ii900 that the outside team had not found,” he said. “With the ii900, we can even detect air leaks behind vented enclosure doors and then upload those images into the CMMS for inclusion with work orders.”

Proving the Value of Maintenance
Looking back over the progress Dana has made since 2014, McKenna said the process started with use of the emaint CMMS, and then progressed with the addition of Fluke sensors for vibration monitoring. “Then we added digital photos and training videos and made dashboards for tradespeople as well as management to access the data we’re capturing,” he said. “Now we have auto-generated reports that every maintenance manager receives each morning that includes input from the night shift workers. This is important because, when you cross shifts with a problem, the next team has to start troubleshooting from point A. With these reports, workers on the next shift can see everything that happened in the prior shift and move forward without needing to retrace steps.”

Dana is now moving toward the use 3D printed parts for end of arm tooling, clamps, and other holding devices. Creating these parts with 3D printers, rather than having to take a part into a tool room and have it heat treated and go through multiple processes before putting it into use means that Dana can now more quickly and cost effectively produce parts as needed to address production problems.

“All of this is about moving maintenance from an operation viewed as a plant overhead cost to it being viewed as a valuable business unit,” said McKenna. “We’ve done this by improving processing time on equipment and showing management how we did this with the emaint CMMS. We can show the cost savings from our ability to keep equipment running longer to prove the value to the company.”

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