Documentation – an underestimated process risk

Delayed decreases in delivered components due to incomplete or non-timely documentation are a nightmare for any manufacturing company. In maintenance, the documentation is also a process risk.

Suppose an employee relies on a railing, the railing gives way, the employee crashes and suffers a fatal accident. In the following investigations, the documentation for the manufacture, installation, and maintenance of this railing will indeed be checked. Did the welder have corresponding, valid certificates in production? Were the railings allowed for the installation at this point? Are regular maintenance logs required to check the stability of the railings? A decision-maker must ensure that a complete, quality-assured documentation is available for all relevant process steps. Otherwise, he already has one foot in the “prison”.This extreme but simple example shows the risks that result from the incomplete documentation. Nevertheless, the practice shows that the importance of documentation is still often underestimated.

Along the supply chain, there is a need for documentation in many process steps. This article focuses on documentation in manufacturing and maintenance.

Documentation in production and maintenance

A quality-assured documentation process in production and maintenance is almost as complex as production and maintenance itself. If a software system supports the documentation process sustainably, then it must be able to map the documentation requirements of all business processes. The documentation requirements set in the respective processes vary between production and maintenance as well as between different sectors. To meet these changing requirements, an open and ideally customizable system is needed. With QMS, doquma GmbH, in cooperation with GiS, has developed a system that meets these requirements.

QMS contains the functional basis that a company needs to optimize and control its documentation processes. The core is the continuous mapping and execution of these processes. For this purpose, documentation tasks are defined for the various company-specific types of production or maintenance orders and these are stored in templates. In addition to the individual tasks, the resulting target documents are defined. Multi-level order and task hierarchies are also supported. doquma offers industry-specific best practice templates for common job types, which can be adapted to the company specifics by the customer.

If a new production or maintenance order is triggered, the QMS automatically generates the tasks defined according to the appropriate template. The orders can also be created in a third-party system and transferred to QMS via an interface. The generated tasks can be customized or additional tasks can be created. The upcoming documentation tasks are listed in a dashboard for the employees. There, the progress of the documentation process to an ordered hierarchy with a traffic light function is also visualized in a tree structure.

Increased efficiency

Workflows, reminder, rescue and escalation functions are used to automatically control and monitor the execution of scheduled tasks. This ensures that a complete documentation is created and archived parallel to the production or maintenance process. The planned and implemented quality can be proven at any time. A second quality assurance level can be set up using a four-eye principle when allocating and checking the target documents.

The documentation process is significantly accelerated and more efficient by QMS since the manual effort is reduced. The end-to-end process and integrated monitoring help the company to provide the required documentation in the defined quality at the scheduled time (see illustration).

Investment security

QMS was developed on the basis of the maintenance solution IBM® Maximo®. The existing order/task functionalities have been extended by the additional requirements of the documentation process. For this, the configuration options of IBM Maximo were used so that QMS supports all release changes from Maximo.

These configuration options are also available to the customer so that the customer can adapt the QMS to his needs.

The Maximo was supplemented by the Insight Control Panel for IBM Maximo of GiS, IBM Business Partner. It was only through this add-on that it was possible to present a clear dashboard with a structured representation of the order/task hierarchies, including traffic lights for the documentation progress.