As explained in this online video the creation of routes strongly contributes to the productivity of field staff as part of a planned maintenance program. However, this is not the only beneficial aspect of this practice. There were only 2 of us in charge of collecting data on a paper machine for one of our clients, and it was our first operation for this client. We had in front of us a hard copy of the machine’s blueprints with the numbers corresponding to each roller to help guide us on-site for data collection. We needed to collect data from rollers #30 and #40, but before climbing the ladder to access the upper level of the machine, we had left part of our gear behind. Once we were in front of the rollers, neither of us could remember which one was #30 and which one was #40. Both of them were visually identical, and we had left the blueprints behind.
Time was of the essence since the machine was going to be shut down very soon, and it was not possible for us to go down and then come back up in order to take the measurements in a short span of time. Fortunately for us the route had been correctly prepared and documented by our colleague in charge of set-up who had taken the time to photograph not only the machines but also the position of the sensors. Since these photos were directly and instantaneously accessible on the data collector, FALCON, there was no longer any ambiguity with regards to identification of rollers. This allowed us to take measurements on the right equipment and also enabled our experts to perform analysis on relevant data.
The conditions of the field staff in industrial environments can sometimes easily explain bad choices (harsh environmental conditions, lack of information for new staff, pressure related to time and the number of equipment to be measured). Good documentation of routes can thus avoid numerous measurement errors and reassure the staff in charge of analysis that the available data is of high quality, was taken in the right place and on the right machines. With very little additional effort during set-up, you can be sure to make better decisions about the maintenance of your equipment.