Barclay Chemicals

Case Study 1 – Preventive Maintenance

Key Challenges

One of Barclay Chemicals’ employees identified that there was no tracking system to identify preventive maintenance task lists.  In addition, this employee identified that time was being wasted trying to organise the workloads.  For instance, team members were transferred from administration to maintenance and project work.

Their objective was to create a system to record preventive maintenance tasks.  Furthermore, they wanted a filing system for service reports and preventive maintenance reports.

Our strategy is to focus on understanding and fulfilling the needs of our customers on a local and European level using the highest quality standards and dedicated service.

8-Step Problem-Solving Process

In trying to solve a particular problem, we advise using the 8-Step Problem-Solving Process:

  1. Problem
  2. Current State
  3. Target
  4. Root Cause Analysis
  5. Select Countermeasures
  6. Implementation
  7. Evaluation
  8. Standardisation & Learnings
Barclay Chemicals Products

“The 5.5 hours spent on admin before any maintenance is carried out could be greatly reduced.  This would free up time to carry out more maintenance which, in turn, would reduce the number of breakdowns”

Key Actions

First of all, we introduced a “silent” brainstorming session.  So, we treated all ideas equally.  No one person’s voice was heard over another’s.  To clarify, a Kaizen event is a team brainstorming workshop.  It has a specific goal for improving a business process and minimising waste within a department or company.  Through “silent sharing”, we encourage all participants to think, reflect and share their ideas.

Secondly, we put all these ideas on an Impact/Ease Chart to assess the potential impact or benefits they will have on the company.  Therefore, the result is a visual representation of where best to assign time and resources.  We don’t discard any issues as their assessment may change over time as other problems are resolved.  So, we can summarise these four activities as follows:

  1. Just Do It – these ideas have high impact and are easy to do now.
  2. Why Not? – these issues have low impact and are easy to address.
  3. Projects – ideas that have high impact but are difficult to address.
  4. Not Now – issues that have low impact and are also difficult to address.


1. No Tracking System.  First of all, the team identified that there was no tracking system.  They wanted to streamline a system to record completion and due dates per task.  In addition, they wanted to record the equipment history.

2. Increased Requirements. Secondly, they wanted to manage tasks per area showing detailed standards, checks and results

3. Time.  Next, Barclay Chemicals wanted to design new reports on due tasks.

4. Hard copy recording & filing.  Finally, the team wanted to be able to key data into the new system from any location and scan reports to a reports library.

“This system makes planning, reviewing and recording PMS easier and more reliable.  It will ensure that we don't overlook  equipment preventive maintenance and calibration”

Barclay Chemicals Brainstorming Event

Key Outcomes

The key outcome of this project was a labour saving in terms of redeployment.  The company has maintained all machines by improving the reporting system.

Barclay Chemicals developed a streamlined tracking system.  As a result, this manages tasks per area showing detailed standards, checks and results.  The team implemented this project by having weekly team meetings and training users on the new system.  In addition, they are now able to input the data on tasks in the maintenance schedule.  Reports due and overdue create a new library for manuals at the user’s request.


  1. It is critical to have user input to ensure that the finished system is suitable for all.
  2. Our communication was not very clear in the beginning.  We all had a different understanding of how the system would look (terminology).
  3. It is very important to have all team members at regular meetings to ensure we are all on the same page.
  4. Keeping minutes of each meeting with the agreed actions and decisions was important.
  5. Everyone on the team brought something different to the project.  For example, IT systems expertise, ideas, history, practical use, organisational skills, questioning current practise and ways of thinking.
  6. We had to try things more than once, for example, setting up the library, naming the files.
  7. It was challenging to get the project completed while getting our daily job done.
  8. Team members priorities can be changed from week to week.  So, management support is crucial.
  9. Once users are involved from the beginning, they take ownership and keep improving the system.  For example, manuals library, P&ID tag numbers added.  We have plans to incorporate spare parts.
Barclay Chemicals Factory

“This is a massive improvement from where we were.  Using Sharepoint is simple and easy to understand.  Also the fact that we will be able to add to this with all our areas and lines will give us good reporting.”


We firmly believe that the expertise to develop business process improvements already exist in every organisation.  This has clearly been the case in Barclay Chemicals.  Through their employees’ Lean projects, the company has made significant continuous improvements to their business.

ETAC has worked with Barclay Chemicals to streamline their business and improve their processes.  We hope you enjoyed reading about his case study on Preventive Maintenance.  You may be interested in reading the two other case studies featured here.  Case Study 2 – Continuous Improvement and Case Study 3 – Waste Elimination.  All our case studies are available here.