MRO Magazine

MAINTRAIN TORONTO: PEMAC and PEM recognize excellence at MainTrain 2009


December 6, 2009
By PEM Magazine

From left: FLIR president Greg Bork presents a new FLIR infrared camera to the CN Tower's Andre Saker and the entire team to use on the job.TORONTO — The Plant Engineering and Maintenance Association of Canada PEMAC) and PEM handed out awards at the recent MainTrain 2009 conference held here. MainTrain 2009 gathered North America’s leading experts, suppliers and practitioners to create knowledge transfer, hands-on training and networking opportunities.

The winner of this year’s PEMAC Sergio Guy Memorial Award is Todd Phillips, director of product and business development, CLB Media Inc. (the official media sponsor of MainTrain 2009). Phillips is a former PEM editor. In 1997, Phillips and PEM earned a prestigious Jesse Neal Award (presented for editorial excellence by the American Business Press) for his "Labour Pains" article.

Phillips also was instrumental in the creation and development of the MainTrain conferences. He continues to work with PEMAC, ensuring that MainTrain is Canada’s premier asset management event. The Sergio Guy Memorial Award is presented during MainTrain’s awards gala evening to an engineering and maintenance practitioner or industry stakeholder who has made a significant contribution to the profession and PEMAC.

This year’s winner of the PEM 2009 Maintenance Award is the CN Tower, which has an active environmental committee that’s dedicated to waste reduction and energy conservation. As a result, the CN Tower has achieved many outstanding accomplishments, including BOMA BESt Certification (citing energy and environmental performance of existing buildings) that’s based on accurate, independently verified information), hydro reduction and water conservation and waste diversion.


For example, the CN Tower has implemented various projects to reduce electrical power consumption. These include T8 upgrades, removal and installation of compact fluorescents and turning off unnecessary lighting. The CN Tower’s most important project has been the installation of an exterior LED lighting system.

The CN Tower has many critical systems that can’t fail. Due to this reason, the engineering and facilities team achieves zero-breakdown performance. This is accomplished through the use of engineering initiatives and preventive maintenance (PM) and predictive maintenance. A web-based computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) system coordinates all maintenance schedules and tasks. As well, 100-percent completion on all PM tasks is achieved monthly.

"Our team at the CN Tower is a highly skilled and extremely dedicated group of individuals," said Andre Saker, P.Eng., CPMM, and the CN Tower’s director, facilities and engineering. "We can all celebrate this great achievement."

FLIR is the official sponsor of the PEM 2009 Maintenance Award. During the gala dinner held at MainTrain 2009 in Toronto, Greg Bork, president of FLIR, presented the CN Tower’s Saker and his engineering and facilities team with a new FLIR infrared camera for winning the award.

"We’re once again excited to be a part of the PEM 2009 Maintenance Award program," said Greg Bork. "We’re happy to see award winners take on new technology to save money and lives, as well as make the country greener."

FLIR has infrared cameras that meet the needs of those just learning about infrared technology and the most seasoned thermal-imaging professional. The company also offers hands-on training through its Infrared Training Centre (ITC).

Learn new skills
The MainTrain 2009 Toronto conference started with the Technical Training Day. Moderated by John Lambert of Benchmark Maintenance Services, the Training Day included sessions on: predictive maintenance tools and thermography (Colin Plastow, Fluke); oil analysis program overview (Darren German, Bosch Rexroth Canada); and ultrasonic testing (Sean Miller, UE Systems). Benchmark Maintenance Services’ Lambert also explained the importance of machinery installation and commissioning.

"In order to determine how an inspector ‘hears’ ultrasound, it’s necessary to understand the technology and how an ultrasonic translator works," said UE Systems Miller. "Ultrasound offers a variety of benefits, such as versatility, simple to use, assists all types of energy and condition-based monitoring (CBM) programs, supports other technologies and is highly cost effective."

During a panel that focused on improving computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) systems, which was moderated by David Berger of Western Management Consultants, speakers offered solid advice to CMMS users. According to Kim Hunt, MMP, CMRP, reliability manager for Domtar Espanola Mill, it’s important to communicate and have a clear vision with CMMS systems.

"You have to know what the benefits and changes are. The most important question is: What’s in it for me (how will the CMMS system make my life easier)? Operations must also be formally part of the process," said Hunt. "You need to engage the input of as many employees as possible, as well as understand the importance of the use of information entered (value of the data) It’s crucial to establish and set short and long-term goals. You also have to develop business processes that the CMMS ‘tool’ supports and applies metrics (KPIs) to measure effectiveness of use."

Hunt offered more solid advice, in terms of CMMS system "alligators" that lurk and can impact related implementation success. "There can’t be a lack of management support and understanding. You need to be visible (walk the talk and be visible). It’s also important to engage supervisors and not to let your efforts become a standalone program after implementation. You also will require a person to drive the program after implementation.

During the same CMMS panel, Shelley Moffat, PMP, Regional Municipality of Halton, outlined key lessons learned from past CMMS implementation projects. "Some of the traps include accepting unrealistic project timelines. This equals to constantly moving targets and missed milestones," said Hunt. "Also watch out for taking ownership of too many deliverables in the spirit of ‘wanting to make it work.’ You also want to avoid ‘fast-tracking’ development to meet deadlines (development starts before the design is completed). Don’t miss status meetings or detour from your communication plan."

According to Ben Stephens of OMDEC Inc. (Optimal Maintenance Decisions Inc.), maintenance professionals have to speak the language of management to be heard in the boardroom. This includes factors, such as return on investment (ROI), cash flow, cost of failure, project proposals, the aspect of financial risk and smart budgeting. "A key point involves finding out how long does it take to get our money back," said Stephens. "Cash flow is all about actual money in and actual money out. You want to be maintaining with a view to maximizing the value of the asset and the organization."

For more information about MainTrain 2010 conferences, contact PEMAC by tel: (905) 823-7255; email: or visit: