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Keys to Deploying New Maintenance Software Onboard

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The decision to adopt a new technology onboard is a significant decision. With any new product, component or software comes an inherent learning curve and with that, stumbles along the way.

Engineering departments can be effectively managed in a number of ways and the decision to deploy a planned maintenance system is a significant addition to any engineering program.   

Planned maintenance systems offer a wide array of functionality out of the box. The question we are often faced with is: Where do I start?  Seahub Director, Matthew Hyde, oversees all Seahub deployments and has seen a number of approaches used during a roll out and understands it is never a ‘one size fits all’ scenario. 

The deployment of a planned maintenance system can be broken into two stages. Firstly, data entry and account set up and secondly, ongoing daily data. 

“As any engineer will tell you, no two days are the same and it is often difficult to predict what issues will arise over the course of a working week. “ says Hyde. This uncertainty can make it difficult to allocate a set period of time to complete the process of collecting relevant equipment information and maintenance history in order to complete stage one. 

Vessels that start with a digital form of record keeping will find the initial transition of data into a planned maintenance system to be straightforward. Like any data entry, it will take time and often a slower more detail-oriented approach will deliver the best results. The advantages of committing time early to the initial set up are users tend to have consistency across the data entered and gain a macro view of their working month, allowing them to more successfully arrange tasks in fluent working order. 

Matt Hyde Engine room picture











Our past experience shows us that there is also value in a ‘take it as it comes’ approach whereby the data entry phase occurs as each components is worked on. Put simply, this means as breakdowns occur or maintenance becomes due, engineers will seek information on specific components and then move that data into their respective planned maintenance system. 

“This can be an effective deployment model for sole engineers or engineers who are on heavily used yachts with no scheduled yard periods.” says Hyde. The risk of this method includes potentially missing a service internal on a component due to the fact it has not required any urgent attention and therefore goes unseen. 

The success of a planned maintenance system lies in its ability to capture information as well as deliver the appropriate information at the right time. Data entry is a critical step in achieving these outcomes.

The processes of account set up and initial data entry will be unique to each vessel. Seahub’s managed service team is experienced in equipment and inventory databases, developing planned maintenance schedules and sourcing manufacturer OEM manuals and is a great asset to lean on during the early stages of deploying a planned maintenance system onboard. 

Mike Wilson, with 15 years experience in engineering in the yachting industry, explains it perfectly in his article here: Planned Maintenance Schedules – Computer or Paper

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