Facteon People: Introducing Steven Wu, Service Manager
As a science fiction movie buff, Steven knows Star Trek from Star Wars. He’s also a maintenance expert with over two decades of experience on factory floors across the globe.
Steven has an impressive portfolio of experience having worked as a Maintenance Audit Manager at VALMET, where he held responsibility for a paper manufacturer’s factory maintenance audits. Steven also worked as ABB’s Area Maintenance Manager for several years. His work experience is supported by a MBA from Northwest A&F University.
Now that you’ve settled into your new role, what are you most passionate about?
I enjoy being able to solve technical problems with my team.
I’ve only been working with the team for two months, but we have already faced some complex challenges. By working together, the customer benefits from decades of experience from a team that has solved a range of maintenance challenges across many industries. This ensures that we can get the line up and running with minimal production loss.
I’ve noticed a move away from employing a maintenance team in-house. Often, this service is outsourced.
It’s easy for manufacturers to attempt to minimise costs by utilising maintenance services on an ad-hoc basis. However, that would be like driving your car without topping up the oil.
You may save money in the short-term. But in the long-term, your car won’t be running at an optimal level and mechanical problems may result from not conducting preventative maintenance.
It’s a simple concept but in practice, it’s overlooked in favour of meeting market demand and production targets in the short-term. For that reason, I enjoy educating manufacturers on the importance of preventative maintenance.
What key challenges do manufacturers face in effectively servicing their machinery?
I’ve seen difficulties in sourcing and retaining qualified staff. This can be a major barrier to implementing a preventative maintenance programme. Fortunately, I’ve snapped up a team of talented and dedicated staff that work to keep your machinery running smoothly.
There is also a lack of awareness surrounding what maintenance is required. This challenge can be both intensified and helped by Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT (IIoT) technologies.
On one hand, this confusion is demystified as there are solutions implementors and a variety of technologies available to track and analyse your production line’s performance.
On the other hand, Industry 4.0 and IIoT make maintenance more confusing as manufacturers don’t understand what technologies they need in their facility.
It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to face a roadblock when moving from unsuitable technology, such as spreadsheets and whiteboards, to smart technology developed for manufacturers.
My advice to manufacturers stuck in this rut is to educate yourself. Consider how one of your production lines could utilise a digitised system. If that’s daunting, start with a single machine. Use that as your proof of concept.
Then, look to optimise other machines, and then production lines. Implementing Industry 4.0 and IIoT technologies isn’t a race, it’s a journey.
How does your team work to resolve these challenges?
We have a team of forty senior service engineers located China. As we’re a global company with connections to Haier’s Industrial Automation and Intelligence Division, we have the capability to scale up and deliver cost-effective maintenance solutions to manufacturers almost anywhere.
Sourcing parts is a major challenge for many manufacturers. As Facteon also designs and builds production lines, we can connect you with reputable suppliers that we trust. This ensures that any spare parts utilised during maintenance are of high quality.
We have recently moved into a new facility in Qingdao, Shandong, China. With a workshop and talented team, we’re able to complete machinery rebuilds or component machining in-house.
The attitude of my team is impressive. They consistently work to deliver quality service. We also have clear processes and quality control procedures in place to ensure every customer receives stellar and consistent service.
As we’re part of a larger manufacturing business, Facteon’s IIoT team has developed a software tool specifically for factory optimisation. Called COSMOline, it enables manufacturers of all sizes to simply monitor and manage all core manufacturing operations. It’s modular in nature, covering maintenance through to efficiency and quality. Learn more about IIoT software, COSMOline, here.
China locations we service
An international designer, builder and innovator of world-class production equipment. As a long established and widely respected organisation, we operate on the forward edge of smart manufacturing, robotics, data science, machine learning technology and Industrial IoT solutions. We aspire to cultivate a smart manufacturing ecosystem in which machinery and software offerings interact seamlessly to maximise operational performance.
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