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In October 2005, version 9.6 of both RCM Turbo and the Spares Optimization System (SOS) were made available for release.
The software now has the facility to handle multiple languages. There will be two languages installed automatically, English and one other. Additional languages will be made available for installation as translations become available.
Field Name Changes
As a result of making the software capable of displaying multiple languages, it is now possible for users to change any of the field names as they appear on the screens and in the reports. The field text is held in the <rcmtsos**S.mda> (where ** designates the version number). This file is password protected.
Upgrade to Crystal Report Version 11
This upgrade provides both enhanced screen display of the reports and a faster response. Any reports output to Microsoft Word retain perfect formatting. The new version also overcomes certain compatibility issues that arose with other versions of Crystal Reports that might have been installed for alternative software applications.
Increased Field Sizes
The Part/Component field found on both the Evident Failure and Hidden Failure Details screens has been increased from 30 to 50 characters. Also the S/A Initiator field in Primary Actions has been increased from 100 to 255 characters.
The primary enhancement is a change to the way the tree-view displays multiple levels of PU’s. Now where PU’s have been referenced in a parent/child relationship, these will be displayed in an indented hierarchy in the tree-view.
There are no limits to the number of levels of this hierarchy that can be created and displayed.
In addition to the tree-view displaying the codes for PU’s , MI’s and FM’s, it now also displays the Descriptions for each level. Placing the cursor over a description will expand the display to its full width if it is too wide to be seen in the tree pane. This function makes it much easier to recognize the equipment hierarchy from the tree.
The programming used in the Tree-View display and copy/paste function has been upgraded to make it faster to navigate even in very large databases.
Change and Save Window and Tree Pane Size
Once the program is running and a database open, the tree window pane can be re-sized by dragging the splitter bar left or right. In addition the whole program window size can also be changed by dragging or made full size via use of the normal size button. Now on exiting the file and/or program these two size changes will be remembered and reset the next time the same file is opened.
Enhance Search/Find Facility
The Search/Find facility in the tree-view has been replaced with a much more powerful feature. The new search facility will look for entries in all levels of the hierarchy (PU’s, MI’s and FM’s) from a single search. It will also look in both the code and description fields to find matches. The use of the ‘*’ is mandatory for the search to work but may be used before or after (or both) the search criteria.
Expanded Major Unit Dropdown
The PU Details screen field, Major Unit, which is used to create higher level ‘parent’ references, has been significantly increased in width. This makes selection of parents with long codes and/or description far easier.
New Installation Program
A new installation program has been developed. This program is expected to provide more reliable installation and give enhanced options for installation of client/server configurations.
In February 2005, initial implementation of RCM Turbo and SOS began for the Inco Mining owned Goro Nickel greenfield site in New Caledonia.
Holcim Cement acquires RCM Turbo and SOS
In April 2005, Holcim (Vietnam) Ltd commenced implementation of RCM Turbo and SOS.
2004 - December Parliament House installs RCM Turbo
The home of the Federal Government of Australia , Parliament House in Canberra has invested in RCM Turbo in a December 2004 implementation.
A virtual city within a city, the Department of Parliamentary Services presides over the maintenance of a wide range of assets. RCM Turbo was selected to formalise the maintenance decision making process and optimise the investment of taxpayers in the preservation of the life of the House's valuable assets.
2004 - August New Releases of RCM Turbo and SOS
In August 2004, Users will have received versions 9.5 of both RCM Turbo and SOS.
These releases include client driven enhancements such as new security login facilities, an upgrade to Microsoft Access 2000 for data storage, a new look and feel, a standardisation of criticality question sets between RCM Turbo and SOS along with further strengthening of the internal links between RCM Turbo and SOS.
Full details and release notes can be found on the Release CD-ROM's, along with User Group presentations dating from 1998 through to 2004.
New Release of SOS™
New Version 8.0 - Major Update
There have been significant changes to the look and feel of the software as well as the addition of some powerful new features.
This version of SOS is the result of a significant re-write of the whole methodology. It includes both behind the scenes changes to the programs so as to run faster, as well as a very different user interface, which is more intuitive and easier to use. This re-write has also represented the opportunity to incorporate some very important new functions within the system. The major changes are described below.
The main screen is split left and right. It now provides a tree-view in the left pane showing the two levels of equipment hierarchy where the parts are used, plus a listing of the parts attached. The tree may be expanded or collapsed as required by simply clicking on the required item.
The right pane shows either a listing of all the spares in the database or details of the selected spare. The spares details are then further split to show the identification of the spare at the top with the remaining data distributed between various tabs. The tabs are named; Item, Manufacturer, Details, Questions & Associated Items.
User Interaction Changes
The user will now make frequent use of the Right Mouse Button to access facilities and perform functions in the software.
Another of the major changes in the way users interact with the software is that the two tier equipment identification and assessment is now performed completely independently of the spares entry and assessment. The two are then brought together to calculate the optimum Max/Min levels.
The entry process for both equipment and spares, is now driven by Wizards to assist in completion of all the relevant information in a logical and simple to use manner, though the user my exit the Wizard at any stage either retaining or deleting the data entered to that point.
To link a spare with the relevant equipment is a simple matter of selecting it from the spares list and dragging it onto the equipment in the tree view.
Spares Used on Multiple Items of Equipment
Now that equipment and spares can be entered separately, it is possible to associate an individual spare with multiple pieces of equipment. Each time the spare is linked to another piece of equipment the software will recalculate the suggested Max/Min. The user may then specify the spare to equipment link which will take precedence for reporting purposes by marking it as the Default. The software will automatically set this as the first combination created, though the user may change it at any time.
It is now possible to only partially review an item. This can be done either by stopping part way through the Wizard review and saving at that point, or by selecting individual questions in whatever order you wish. Of course only when a complete set of answers are available will the software calculate a suggested max/min.
Item Grouping and Batch Update
There is a new field (and feature) which appears on the Associated Items tab. Here the user may enter a group identifier, using the same ID against a number of spares, normally at the time of entry. One of the spares in the group then needs to be assessed (have answers responded to throughout the question set). The user may then perform a Group Update, in which case these same answers (or profile) will be applied to all other spares nominated to be part of this group. The software will perform the Max/Min calculations for each spare based on the remaining details entered for each.
For security reasons the licence information has been removed from the SOS8xS.MDA and placed in its own database called SOS80R.MDA. Further enhancements are planned for this file in the future. The important issue at this point, is that there is an impact in upgrading from SOS V7.51 to SOS V8.0 in that the running the Conversion program against the SOS751S.MDA will transfer some of the data to the new SOS80S.MDA and some of it to SOS80R.MDA. Further information on the conversion process is included in the Installation Notes provided with the software.
Behind the Scenes
As mentioned in the Overview, there has been a significant re-write of the program itself. Much of this was to take advantage of the changing operating environment and to rationalize some of the progressive changes that have been incorporated over the years. The result is an improvement in efficiency.
In addition, the tables and naming conventions have been brought into line with RCM Turbo so as to facilitate data exchange between these two systems. It is now possible to open an RCM Turbo version 9.2 file using SOS 8.0.
Also, the screen fields have received a rationalization resulting in a much simpler process of translations for foreign language or specially tailored versions of SOS. In essence, if a word or label appears in multiple places, it now only requires translating once.
New releases of both RCM Turbo™ and SOS™ were distributed in early September 2000.
RCM Turbo™ version 8.3 contains a number of User requested upgrades, including enhanced handling of materials required to support the maintenance function.
All materials required to preserve the function of maintainable items are now stored at that level, for later use at failure mode level.
Bill Of Materials (BOM’s) and Application Part Lists (APL’s)
The new facility will enable users to generate BOM’s and APL’s for Maintainable Items and specific maintenance actions respectively.
This facility, whilst greatly enhancing the identification of required spare parts in a greenfield site, is also valuable in allowing users in existing sites to generate BOM’s and APL’s during the analysis process, allowing comparison with existing information in this area.
When entering materials required to carry out primary, secondary or breakdown tasks, users may now choose from a list carried forward from the maintainable item level, or enter new items to be added to that list.
The total cost of the spares listed are automatically carried forward to the Frequency Optimization Data screens and appear as the 'material cost' against the relevant Action.
Additionally, extensive new strategy notes and free text fields for recording of assessors' thoughts and assumptions have been included. These fields are available at the failure mode screen as well as for each type of maintenance action. New reports are included to provide access to the new facilities.
SOS™ Multi-Language Capability
SOS™ version 7.51 is now multi-language capable. The ever increasing SOS™ user base has found its way into areas where both French and Spanish are required.
SOS™ is now set up in such a way that any language can be applied within the software. This same functionality also provides the ability to completely tailor the appearance and terminology of SOS™ to suit local conditions.
Users will have received complete release notes with their new CD-ROM's. The release CD-ROM also includes full detail and copies of presentations from recent User Group conferences, as well as general demonstration materials
On November 11th, version 8.1 of RCM Turbo™ was released. This is a fully compliant, 32 bit version. Users will also have received version 7.41 of SOS™.
This is a 32 bit version, using Microsoft Access 97 database format for storage of data.
The Capital Allocation Selection Hierarchy (CASH™) is also available in this format.
RCM Turbo™ is under redevelopment at the moment and will be ready in 32 bit format
Users will notice that printing to disk file now allows output to many commonly available formats including Microsoft Excel.
RAPID, the Readily Accessible Parts Information Directory, is the electronic purchasing and investment recovery system for the utility and process industries and their suppliers.
1999 RAPID Conference
The 1999 Conference was again held in Florida. Kim Davidson and Rick Kabat presented SOS™ once again to the gathering. Considerable interest was again generated.
1998 RAPID Conference
In 1998 RAPID brought together some of the most influential industrial and materials management personnel from the nuclear and fossil power industry for the 7th Annual Conference and Exhibit. The conference was held May 31-June 3rd 1998 at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort, Clearwater Beach, Florida.
Strategic through Chris Kelly and Kim Davidson presented SOS™ on the afternoon of Monday 1st June 1998.
SOS™ was of particular interest to delegates as a methodology which scientifically identifies those spares which may be disposed of, without exposing organizations to business risk.
Release 7.31 of SOS™ was circulated February 1999. Work on version 7.4 of SOS™. is well advanced. A major feature of version 8.0 (to come later in 1999) will be the ability to optimize holdings levels for large groups of spares.... while maintaining the expert system approach.
SOS™ remains unique among spares optimization tools in that it does not require electronic history in order to scientifically set max/min levels.
In January 1999, Strategic Users will have received the latest version of RCM Turbo™, which will be version 8.0. This time, the software has been released on CD-ROM for your convenience.
RCM Turbo™ becomes an even more powerful tool with enhanced functionality in the area of condition based task optimization.
The latest version also incorporates a number of enhancements as suggested by Users at the February 1999 Conference, as well as ideas proposed in other forums.
Copyright © 2003 Strategic Corporate Assessment Systems Inc.