Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Need software package to track machine part usage history and schedule repairs ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   7 Comments )
Subject: Need software package to track machine part usage history and schedule repairs
Category: Computers
Asked by: fredzeppelin-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 25 Mar 2003 18:04 PST
Expires: 24 Apr 2003 19:04 PDT
Question ID: 180965
I am looking for a software product which will enable me to track
historical usage of machine parts and predict/schedule future
requirements.  At present I'd prefer a 'canned' program, as we
currently are in the process of a couple of custom software projects

My employer, an electric utility company owns and operates 12
identical combustion turbine electrical generators.

Each turbine has 4 rows of blades and vanes.  Each blade and vane has
a unique serial number.  Within in a given row the blades and vanes
are interchangeable within each turbine and with blades from the same
row in the other 11 turbines.  There are approximately 150 blades and
vanes(total, not each) in each row.   12 turbines x 4 rows/turbine x
150 blades/row = 7200 blades and vanes.  I need to track each part

Each part has finite life.  After a given amount of operating time,
the parts are disassembled and inspected.  A large percentage are
scrapped.  The remaining portion, (20-50%) are refurbished for reuse. 
New parts and previously refurbished parts are used to reassemble the
turbine.  And the cycle begins again.  No part is refurbished twice.

The parts are extremely! expensive, new part lead times are 18-24
months, refurbish times are around 100 days.
I need to track several parameters concerning the parts, e.g.
material, special coatings, number of start/stop cycles, operating
hours, order date, install date, refurbishment history and similar
variables.  For each of the thousands of parts.  I need to be able to
project remaining life to schedule repairs/replacement and to place
orders for long leadtime parts.

Current status:  I have located a program called 'Turbo Trace' by M&M
Consulting in Texas, and marketed by BWD Turbines Ltd in Canada.  This
will perform most of the historical tracking, but the scheduling
component is 'lame'.  I have done a search at EPRI, the Electric Power
Research Institute, a member supported research consortium of electric
utility companies, with no significant result.  I've done web
searches, using Google (yay!), Dogpile and AllTheWeb using various
combinations of turbine blade schedule keywords.  No joy there either.

Where can I find such a program?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 27 Mar 2003 13:03 PST
Hello FredZepplin.

KEMA Gas Turbines has a software product called BladeLife that *may*
meet your requirements...I could not be 100% sure from the description
on their website at:

Please have a look and let me know if this fits your needs.



Clarification of Question by fredzeppelin-ga on 31 Mar 2003 06:43 PST
to pafalafa-ga:  and nintenduh-ga
No, wrong direction. The fact that the parts in question are turbine
blades is not particularly germane to my request.  The software you
guys/gals have pointed to is concerned with predicting remaining life.
 And I understand how you read that in my request (darn it, read what
I mean, not what I say :).

My problem begins with an assumption for remaining life, and becomes
an exercise in inventory tracking/projection.  The solution pointed to
by pintovega-ga may or may not handle the problem, but it's a far
over-qualified and expensive approach.

Let me re-summarize.  let's say 
1.  I have 10 machines.
2.  Each machine has 100 identical parts, interchangeable within each
and across all machines.
3.  I will disassemble each machine at some time in the future
scheduled for a target of 25000 operating (fairly predictable)
operating hours (approx 4 years)
4.  When I disassemble each machine (in turn, only one at a time) I
expect to find 20% of the parts reusable after refurbishment, and 80%
of the parts to be scrap.
5.  My 20% refurbished parts will not be turned around in time for
reuse on the machine they came out of.  Indeed, turnaround may span
the next one or two machine inspection/overhauls as well.  Therefore:
     a.  the first machine will need all new parts, as no refurbished
spares are back from the shop yet.
     b.  refurbished spares are returned to some sort of holding
     c.  subsequent machines are rebuilt with a combination of new
parts and refurbished spares from holding inventory.
6.  Refurbishment times are 100 days, new parts 2 years leadtime.
7.  In addition to predicting/calculating future needs, I also need to
track current and historical usage.

My problem is one of inventory management, not metallurgy (which has
been fairly well characterized from past operations.)

My real-life problem is further compounded by having many more parts
categories, with varying cycle drop-out rates.  Each individual part
may cost from $1000's to $10,000s.  Down-time (oh, let's say, for lack
of parts) could cost $1,000,000s.

Sufficient clarification?  If not, let me know.

I *sincerely* appreciate responses so far...


Clarification of Question by fredzeppelin-ga on 07 Apr 2003 07:23 PDT
followup to hammer-ga:

Yes, indeed I have spoken to the Turbo-Trace folks.  We have asked
them to prepare a proposal.

Thanks for the input ....brad

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 08 Apr 2003 10:35 PDT
I know you mentioned EPRI products already, but I just want to double
check:  are you familiar with their GTOP (Gas Turbine Overhaul Plan)
software and related packages, which can be found at:

Once again, they sound like possibilities, but it's hard to know for
sure until you check them yourself.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 11 Apr 2003 10:45 PDT
In addition, my ongoing research on this keeps pointing back to MAXIMO
5 software as the tool of choice for maintenance management in the
utilities industry, and I have confirmed its capabilities for blade
and vane parts management.

Is there a particular reason you have rejected this as a potential

Clarification of Question by fredzeppelin-ga on 21 Apr 2003 08:01 PDT
Responses to pafalafa-ga

1.  KEMA reference:  this product provides on-going life prediction of
turbine elements 'in-situ' and while it matches my need from a
'keyword' perspective, this is not the phase of the technology I'm
looking for.

2.  EPRI GTOP:  This product is intended to provide detailed minute by
minute, hour by hour person-power activity, material staging and
planning for the extremely tight turn-around schedule of the
maintenance outage.  In fact, my company was a prime contributor to
this EPRI project under a previous corporate identity (Delmarva Power
& Light).  It's basically a short-term 'tactical' approach, where I'm
looking for a long-term 'strategic' approach.

3.  Maximo 5 does in fact *seem*  to offer the answer as you suggest. 
My impression is that it is monstrous overkill (price and
infrastructure), particularly since I have systems in place already to
handle *most* of the maintenance management aspects that Maximo
provides. (But, of course, not the ones I need:)

Now, I have questions about Google Answers because I'm not sure how to
proceed here:

Several folks have offered applicable, but not fully satisfactory
advice as comments and clarifications.  I'd classify these answers as
well-intended, and appropriate, yet not on-target; typical of the
normal give and take in a well behaved Usenet newsgroup or similar

I guess the pointers to Maximo come closest to what I'm looking for. 
What're the rules or etiquette here.  Maximo may technically answer my
question, but it down't solve my problem.  The other
comments/clarifications aren't a lot of help.  I don't particularly
want to pay $100 for the Maximo answer, but on the other hand I'm not
a total disgrace to humanity, and I feel as if I'm freeloading, when
that's not my intent.

I seems that pintovega-ga provided the first pointer to Maximo and was
seconded by pafalafa-ga.

How do I indicate my lack of satisfaction, but not totally stiff the
contributors?  Is this a FAQ somewhere I can read up on?

Sincere thanks for input thus far..... brad

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 21 Apr 2003 08:42 PDT
Hello fredzepplin-ga,

Thanks for the feedback and for, well...being a gentleman.  It's

There is no obligation or established etiquette for you to provide
compensation to me or to anyone who offered comments here.  We get
paid for answers...period.

However, there have been folks in your position that have directed
follow-up "questions" to specific researchers as a means of saying
"thanks for the effort".  An example of such a question is:

Such questions are, of course, appreciated, but by no means required
or expected.

Hope you're able to work our your software situation.


Clarification of Question by fredzeppelin-ga on 23 Apr 2003 07:33 PDT
For pafalafa-ga only:

Thanks for your efforts; I didn't get the answer I wanted, but I want
to compensate you for your effort.  I changed the price to $25, and
the question changes to "Is that OK with you?"

Subject: Re: Need software package to track machine part usage history and schedule repairs
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 23 Apr 2003 07:56 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello again, Fredzepplin,

Thanks.  Thanks.  Thanks.

Your generosity is much appreciated.  While I wish I could have
provided some more targeted information, I hope that the information
that was uncovered is of use to you.  Let us know if we can be of
additional service in any way.

And my thanks as well, to my fellow Researchers who contributed their
information and suggestions here.

fredzeppelin-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
I rated this researcher/answer at 5 stars, because (s)he was able to
provide a reference that clearly met all of the detailed
specifications I was able to provide.  Unfortunately for my project,
the answer wasn't much help, because of the high expense of the
solution.  However, that wasn't due to any fault of the researcher.  I
was provided with some reassurance that the true answer I was looking
for didn't exist, and that I wasn't trying to reinvent an existing
wheel.  I'm a Google Answers neophyte, and based on my present
experience, I'll likely be back as the need arises ..... brad

Much thanks to the 'clarification/comment' contributors as well .....b

Subject: Re: Need software package to track machine part usage history and schedule repairs
From: travelagent-ga on 26 Mar 2003 10:29 PST
Microsoft Project may work well, and is not expensive.
It is very fixable in tracking multible items over a period of time.
Subject: Re: Need software package to track machine part usage history and schedule repairs
From: nintenduh-ga on 26 Mar 2003 13:57 PST
Combustion Turbine Part Assessment seems to offer a solution.
Creep-FatiguePro for Windows seems to be (from my assesnent of what
you wrote) their best product for the scenario. However, htey do offer
a few other other products that you should review as well.
Subject: Re: Need software package to track machine part usage history and schedule repairs
From: nintenduh-ga on 26 Mar 2003 13:59 PST
Their URL is by the way :)
Subject: Re: Need software package to track machine part usage history and schedule repairs
From: pintovega-ga on 26 Mar 2003 20:52 PST
Have a look at
Click on Maximo5, Service Industries, Utilities.
Subject: Re: Need software package to track machine part usage history and schedule repai
From: hammer-ga on 04 Apr 2003 11:43 PST
Turbo Trace mentions a willingness to accept custom requirements. Have
you considered getting them to beef up their scheduling module to meet
your needs?

- Hammer
Subject: Re: Need software package to track machine part usage history and schedule repai
From: hammer-ga on 21 Apr 2003 12:31 PDT

Just my two cents here...

Of the people who contributed on your question, only Pafalafa and
myself are actually Researchers who can be paid. I don't consider my
comment to be pay-worthy, so that leaves Pafalafa. Since your question
has not yet been officially answered, you have the option of reducing
the question price (Using the Modify button) to whatever you think is
fair for Pafalafa's work and allowing him to answer.

This is just another option. If you did not get a satisfactory answer,
you are under no obligation to pay.

- Hammer
Subject: Re: Need software package to track machine part usage history and schedule repairs
From: pafalafa-ga on 24 Apr 2003 07:39 PDT
Thanks, FredZepplin.

Hope to see you here again one of these days, and best of luck with your project.


Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy