Maximo Integration: Minding the Engineering and Maintenance Information Gap

by | Aug 8, 2011 | Digital Asset Management, IBM FileNet, Maximo | 1 comment

Phillip Crosby, notable business man and management theory author, asserted, “If anything is certain, it is that change is certain. The world we are planning for today will not exist in this form tomorrow.” When applied to managing a company’s enterprise asset base, truer words were never spoken .  Change is pervasive and anyone who has ever worked in this environment is aware of the challenges of translating an engineering modification package into actual changes to the physical assets and the maintenance supporting infrastructure.

Closing this information gap is the idea behind the CONNtext solution, bridging the gap between IBM’s Maximo Asset Management and IBM’s FileNet Content Management

Different Lenses and Languages

Engineering and maintenance staff view the their asset worlds through different lenses and languages. When engineers are assigned responsibility for a modification, they are envisioning a future or even abstract state. Typically they think of the change in terms of a system or at a functional level. They need to know the design requirements for the facility, applicable rules and regulations or industry codes , standards and requirements such as licensing basis analyses, specifications and calculations.On the other hand, the maintenance staff view the assets as they exist today, at the discrete component level and beyond.

Engineering conceives the change and is responsible for sending the requirements and instructions for implementing the change in the form of output documents such as installation drawings, specifications and procedures. With a different view of the facility that is function and design driven, engineering is likely not providing the change information with the level of detail that enables the maintenance staff to readily implement and maintain on a component level. In their world, every minute detail about a device is important and must be accounted for in order to properly perform maintenance.

Different Tools

With physical assets and information assets constantly in change and each having their own distinct lifecycles phases, managed in different systems, managed by different sets of people with different lenses, and changed at different times change coordination is a challenge . Engineering typically works within an enterprise content management system (ECM) that captures and stores such documents as design drawings, specifications, calculations, analyses, load studies and other controlled documents.  Within the ECM system the index, search and retrieval function is based on an information classification system derived by the engineering community in terms of how they think and work. What you might not always know is “all” the relationships that exist and are required in order to enact a given change. This knowledge is reliant to some extent on the engineer’s individual knowledge of how things operate on the component level within the plant: the minutiae of the maintenance world.

The maintenance community on the other hand typically uses a physical asset management system that is more focused on work order management. The strength of this type of system is the ability to handle ad hoc processes that span multiple departments. This kind of system assists in long- and short-term planning, preventive, reactive, and condition-based maintenance, schedule management, resource optimization and key performance monitoring. Within this system, maintenance information has been classified by terminology that resonates within their daily operational world.

Framework To Bridge The Gap

Our CONNtext solution was designed to help bridge the gap between different views of the engineering and maintenance and the use of different information management systems by integrating IBM Maximo with IBM FileNet Content Management.

CONNtext operates within the existing user interfaces of Maximo and FileNet, meaning there is minimal user “retraining”. CONNtext employs a document classification filtering scheme that identifies the organizational documents pertinent to maintenance. Once identified, CONNtext is designed to help an organization further group those documents by maintenance terms to create views that enable automating the engineering to maintenance logic into a manageable process.

As a result, the Armedia CONNtext solution bridges the two worlds and users can now:

  • Access engineering drawings and documents within IBM Maximo without having to learn a new system.
  • Receive prompts to ensure that they are working with the most current version of the documents.
  • Have searchable access to unstructured documents within IBM Maximo such as video, pictures, and documentation .
  • Provide regulators with a complete work history of changes on the configuration of assets and their components.
  • Identify loopholes in previously captured document relationships.
  • Gain visibility into other changes and projects in process that are affecting the document that they are currently planning to change.

Armedia’s CONNtext solution has been validated by IBM under the Information Management, Industry Frameworks  and Ready for Tivoli programs.


Need a bit more info on how Armedia can help you?

Feel free to schedule a 30-minute no-obligations meeting.

1 Comment

  1. Michelle Love

    I am researching a tool to manage engineering drawings. The company I am assisting will be using Maximo and we need to better understand what capabilities are already built into this system vs adding on, Hope you can help. Please call.


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