TPC Sugar sweetens maintenance processes with OptiRUN

TPC Sugar factory at Moshi Kilimanjaro
TPC Sugar has rolled out OptiRUN to improve maintenance processes and maximise equipment efficiency at the company, which is responsible for more than 30 per cent of country's sugar production.

Designed and implemented by ApplyIT, South African software solution provider to the process manufacturing industry, OptiRUN, a full-featured maintenance management system, enables effective online management of maintenance activities, improved equipment reliability, and better management of maintenance scheduling and costs.

The solution replaced an Excel-based scheduling system using multiple databases. The old system did not allow restricted security access, so information was often replicated and data integrity was unreliable.

OptiRUN was selected for its user-friendly design, its ability to integrate with TPC's ERP system, Tranquillity, and proven track record in the process industry as a simple and effective maintenance management tool.

The solution went live in February 2011 after a three-week implementation. The implementation was performed together with Adapt IT Solutions, a sister company in the Adapt IT Group which also provided specialised expertise relating to the Tanzanian sugar industry.

OptiRUN provides a central database for work orders, equipment management, tracking costs and identifying key performance indicators for constant improvement of service management. It allows efficient processing and prioritisation of day-to-day maintenance tasks as well as the scheduling of planned maintenance schedules.

TPC factory executive officer Pascal Petiot says OptiRUN's easy, simple-to-use interface has been relatively well received by employees at TPC, despite the low level of computer literacy on-site. The system also enables data input in Swahili, broadening usage to those artisans who speak only basic English.

The second phase of implementation in July 2011 saw the integration of OptiRUN with TPC's ERP system, Tranquillity, supplied by Adapt IT Solutions. This allows the spares being withdrawn from stock to be debited correctly, bypassing the hand-written issue note and manual capturing of data. It also allows the engineer at the time of creating the issue note to assess the stock holding of each stock item to be used.

“The integration of OptiRUN with our ERP system enables the automation of stores issuing and compells the capture of jobs on work orders, which is a major step forward in our work and planning processes,” says Petiot. “A complex process plant like ours requires a reliable system like OptiRUN to schedule work and keep secure records”
The difference between guessing and making a good decision is based purely on the quality of information available. OptiRUN stores information on its database, making it easily available whenever we need it.

The system enables us to identify equipment that is uneconomical and to plan for its replacement, identify training needs for our employees, and generate accurate, up-to-date reports ready for analysis at any time.
Source:, press release issued by Predictive Communications of South Africa

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