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How can SAP Project System be used for large maintenance projects?

Routine preventive maintenance is key to the success of manufacturing plants, but it requires a host of project management tasks. Here's how PS can help.

Turnaround is a critical time for any large chemical, fertilizer, dairy, steel manufacturing or power plant where...

they undergo routine preventive maintenance. Turnaround requires a plant's complete shutdown to repair or replace faulty parts, tune, paint, and clean all equipment and machinery to bring them back to optimum performance and production efficiency. These maintenance processes can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

With possibly thousands of maintenance activities to manage, the associated procurement activities involved, the budget controls and resources to monitor and manage, the Plant Maintenance (PM) component of SAP ECC begins to reveal its limitations and only adds to planning and operational woes of maintenance planners. Enter the SAP Project System.

Integrating the Project System, or PS, component of SAP ECC with PM can ensure better project planning and visibility, smoother execution of maintenance activities and greater oversight and controls of maintenance budgets. 

Treating turnaround as a full-fledged project and having all the attributes of a project, such as defined start and end dates of the project, lists of all maintenance and procurement activities as work breakdown structure (WBS) elements, connecting all WBS elements through "networks" and assigning a project budget in the SAP Project System, help create important efficiencies. To that end, here are four compelling reasons why integrating PM with PS for complex maintenance-based projects is worth considering.

  • Scheduling changes made to any WBS or network in PS automatically updates the dates of the associated maintenance orders or procurement elements such as purchase orders.
  • With the right configuration settings in place, the SAP ECC system can automatically link up maintenance orders with either the project or WBS element or network. If needed, the maintenance planner can delink any link so as not to make that maintenance element a part of the maintenance project.
  • Complete control is available to check and confirm if the available budget for the project is sufficient to carry out all maintenance activities.
  • It's also possible to integrate third-party project management tools, such as Primavera or MS Project, with the SAP Project System.

Project elements, such as maintenance project structure, planned dates, costs, budget (with actual project data) and settling the cost of the maintenance project to cost centers, will all be directly connected to plant maintenance orders.

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