The new plant maintenance module Datatex

Curated by guest author Paolo De Gobbi, Technical Programmer at Datatex

NOW is the ERP management software owned by Datatex, and is the best-selling vertical IT solution for textile inudstry in the world today.

In one of the latest releases of NOW, an important new feature has been introduced: the module for the management of plant maintenance.

The purpose of this module is simple: to be able to record the activities and the deadlines related to the maintenance of the machines, thus being able to schedule at best the available resources and always keep under control what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.

The prompt recording of activities and related costs makes it possible to obtain an assessment of the efficiency and reactivity of the interventions, and is able to offer a vision of the actual situation compared to the planned, thus giving the possibility to assess whether the planned budgets have been adapted to the needs. As the new plant maintenance module is fully integrated with the ERP, you have the possibility to see the situation of the spare parts in the warehouse in realtime, you can immediately unload the necessary parts, and you can start the purchases of the material at the same moment in which one notices that a part is missing. In the requested purchases, as well as in the discharges of material, it is always possible to know in relation to which maintenance intervention these purchases have been made and by which user.

  1. Extraordinary maintenance (the maintenance requests are entered by the users, are taken over by the scheduling manager, are converted into maintenance order and are then assigned to the maintenance technician).
  2. Preventive Maintenance (maintenance activities are defined within indicated deadlines, the system automatically creates a schedule of maintenance activities, and the activities are finally transformed into maintenance order and assigned to the maintenance technicians)
  3. Inspections (the measurements to be made are defined, specifying the frequency and the reference values and then giving the possibility to enter the measured values)

In defining the activities it is possible to link the spare parts and the type of maintenance technicians that will be involved.

Furthermore, the planned costs of spare parts and maintenance personnel can also be defined. (Fig. 2)

The definition of the machines has been structured so as to give the possibility to choose whether to build a hierarchy between the machine and its components (Fig. 3)

or define its components in a hierarchy set at three levels (Fig. 4).

With a hierarchical definition of the machine – components the maintenance will be promptly linked to a specific part of the machine, while with the three level hierarchical definition the maintenance will be assigned to the generic machine and the interested part can be specified in a non-obligatory way.

The maintenance requests and the scheduling of the interventions must be approved by the managers and this takes place through the activities carried out on maintenance orders.

We tried to show the management in a simple way by creating a dashboard (Fig. 5) in which:

  • The manager has the possibility to assign activities and change priorities
  • The maintenance technician can always see the activities assigned to him and can indicate the information relevant to the intervention (when it started, when it is finished, any notes, etc …)
  • You can enter the real costs of the interventions, so you can then compare them with the planned.
  • Both warehouse discharges of the spare parts and the purchase requests for missing pieces can be generated in case of lack.

Meeting the needs of the market, we in the Datatex laboratory are developing also the mobile version for use on mobile devices (Tablet), with specific functions for recording data and progress status by maintainers. In doing so, we try to simplify the functions involved as much as possible, with the aim of increasing productivity and improving the usability of functions on devices with smaller screens.


To facilitate data control and to provide an overall picture of the situation, the new NOW module also contains analysis and summary printouts, which are used to assess the workload of maintenance personnel and their efficiency. A comparison between the planned data, both of duration and cost, with those actually registered in the system, is very useful for monitoring the situation and allows the appropriate measures to be taken to achieve better results in terms of productivity and cost reduction.