Spunchem weaves control of health, safety and maintenance with ApplyIT’s Operations Suite
Spunchem Machines
​Spunbond is produced with state-of-the-art technology

Spunchem Africa, the polypropylene non-woven spunbonded fabric manufacturer, has tightened its health, safety and maintenance performance to meet international standards using the OptiRUN and SmartSURE modules of ApplyIT’s integrated suite of operations management solutions.

The Durban-based company, which is 50% owned by Monier Roofing in Europe, manufactures polypropylene thermal point bonded Spunbond, the material used in various applications including industrial roofing, warehousing, containerisation, automotive parts, hygiene products, agriculture, mining, medical apparel, quilting and bedding.

The SmartSURE and OptiRUN modules form part of the broader Operations Suite.  The applications enable preventative and reactive maintenance strategies in plant operation, including automated scheduling of routine inspections and maintenance tasks.

The systems replaced a manual system of capturing health, safety and maintenance information at Spunchem, which did not meet with the strict reporting specifications of European holding company LaFarge, which sold to Monier Roofing in early 2008.

OptiRUN and SmartSURE were selected as the optimal systems of choice to take the company’s maintenance, health and safety reporting to the highest standard.  The systems were implemented in October 2006 and are used by more than 150 users on site.

OptiRUN is a full-featured maintenance management system that supports proactive and reactive maintenance strategies to improve the progress and prioritisation of day-to-day maintenance tasks on site.  The solution schedules planned maintenance tasks, prepares work orders for planned and automated shutdowns, enhances the communication of task assignment, and provides an optional module for the management of engineering spares and other physical assets on site.  It also acts as a central repository for maintenance information, and provides a detailed history of work done throughout the plant.

SmartSURE, which provides a single point for capturing, reviewing and reporting all SHEQ-related information on site, is designed to support a management system by providing simple, effective tools for reporting and investigating incidents, monitoring corrective actions and communicating learning points across the plant.

“The software’s rich functionality allows us to analyse the root cause of an incident and identify solutions, corrective actions and preventative measures,” says Rod Murray, engineering manager at Spunchem International.  “We can monitor and track the progress of all SHEQ tasks, which once completed provide a record of what was done is captured, any deviations recorded and corrective actions raised.”

A database of equipment is recorded on the system, and tasks and inspections linked to items of equipment allow a complete record of regular maintenance inspections and repairs over time.

Once OptiRUN and SmartSURE were implemented, ApplyIT adjusted the company’s purchasing system to accommodate the entire plant.  This meant order numbers could be run directly from the shopfloor where they were generated, authorised by the respective manager, delivered onto site and logged.

Murray says the purchasing process has become smooth and efficient – it saves time, paperwork and cost, and the ordering process is now limited to preferred suppliers.

“This is a powerful system.  It assists a planner to schedule SHEQ-related tasks more effectively and still be able to get on with other tasks relating to the company.  The system has been in place for over a year, and yet we feel we have only utilised a small percentage of its potential.  In future Spunchem will benefit greatly from exploring more facets of the solution,” says Murray.

Gavin Halse, MD of ApplyIT, says to be truly effective, maintenance activities need to be viewed not in isolation, but as an integral part of managing operations on a plant.

“OptiRUN and SmartSURE form part of ApplyIT’s integrated suite of operations management solutions that address these requirements in a comprehensive set of solutions,” concludes Halse.