Asset Maintenance System Integral in Boston Harbor Treatment Plant

Dec. 28, 2000
The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) is a state agency commissioned to provide water, wastewater collection, wastewater treatment, and solids processing for 61 communities located in the metropolitan Boston area. The MWRA's new $3.4 billion Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Facility is one of the largest in the United States and is the cornerstone of the Boston Harbor environmental cleanup effort.

The start-up, operation and maintenance of the Deer Island plant have proven to be key components in the successful cleanup operations to date. A critical part of the plant start-up was the implementation of the MAXIMO asset maintenance system supplied by PSDI in Cambridge, Mass.

The MWRA began its search for an asset maintenance system (also known as a CMMS - computerized maintenance management system) in 1990 when a facilities information system work plan defined the Deer Island maintenance management support needs. Focus workgroups determined maintenance strategies which provided the foundation to select and implement the asset maintenance system. Several systems were then evaluated by MWRA staff who reviewed the systems for functionality, ease of use, and previous success with leading commercial firms and government agencies. In 1994, the MWRA selected PSDI's MAXIMO.

"MAXIMO's advanced technology and proven capability in leading industries were deciding factors in our selection," commented Rossye Carroll, facility information systems manager. "MAXIMO's technology required only minimal customization to meet Deer Island plant requirements."

The CMMS implementation project, which included a comprehensive training program for plant staff, was completed in seven months. PSDI and MWRA jointly managed the effort which was designed to ensure acceptance of the high tech change in the "paper" maintenance culture. Using a "train-the-trainer" philosophy, basic computer skills, MAXIMO technology, and job-specific tasks were taught to all staff members slated to use the system.

"With MAXIMO operational across the network, the 'new' computer users on the maintenance staff quickly became more technically sophisticated and constantly made recommendations for improvement" noted Carroll. "The flexibility of this CMMS is critical because it enables the users to easily make changes to model the software to our business needs."

MAXIMO is integrated directly with the MWRA's existing material management and inventory control system which ensures up-to-date material status. The implementation and use of the CMMS has also standardized maintenance procedures, enabled staff to plan/schedule maintenance work, and allowed access to information for those who need it. With this system, the MWRA maintenance staff is empowered to go from reactive to preventive maintenance.

The MWRA runs client/server MAXIMO on Deer Island's 250-node Novell LAN which interconnects on-island support and operations facilities and provides a wide-area link to corporate information systems located at the MWRA headquarters. MAXIMO's functionality and processing has been distributed across a dedicated database server, a file server operating as a shared resource, and Intel 486 based clients. This configuration has provided optimum performance for the MWRA while maximizing the use of existing resources.

As a direct result of Deer Island's water treatment operations, reports show that the Boston Harbor - one of the nation's most polluted waterways - has shown significant signs of ecosystem recovery.

PSDI · Cambridge, MA

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