More than ever, today’s facility managers are challenged to keep pace with changing industry trends while at the same time being cognizant of profit margins and returns on investments (ROIs). In particular, companies are increasingly finding a need to adapt to new technologies that are now dominating many industry and service sectors. These changes have transformed how businesses do business in terms of production processes as well as how they communicate with and deliver its products to end users. While computer technology is largely responsible for increased business efficiency in terms of resource, material and timing savings, it has also made it necessary for companies to rethink and reconstruct their facility management practices. These changes along with a competitive economic climate has resulted in an increasing number of companies turning toward Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) systems as their facility management solution.
Maintenance management systems have become the solution of choice for overall facility management because of their ability to synthesize thousands of data points which at any given time, can provide a user an overview of a facility’s operation or alternatively, show the status of an individual piece of equipment. Among its many capabilities (i.e., track work orders, quickly generate accurate reports, mobile device accessibility, paperless functionality and secure cloud based interfaces), the major drawing card for many companies is its ability to instantly determine which of their assets requires preventive maintenance or repairs. Being able to automate routine equipment checks with maximum efficiency and customize preventive maintenance schedules offers companies the opportunity to extend equipment lifespans, improve its organization and manage time, resources and labor more efficiently. These benefits ultimately result in reduced operational costs and increased company profits.
Monthly maintenance calendar (current work and planned preventive maintenance)
Setting up a customized preventive maintenance schedule is aimed at achieving the above outcomes. Here are five tips to make this happen:
Since company assets are unique and vary by industry and sector, size of the organization and production activities, there is no “cookie cutter” method to developing an inventory list for the purpose of developing a preventive maintenance schedule. At the outset, determinations need to be made about which assets require routine checks and which do not. In general, company assets that will benefit most from a preventive maintenance schedule are those that have a critical operational function, failure modes that can be prevented with routine maintenance and a likelihood of failure that increases with time or use. Assets less amenable to preventive maintenance scheduling may be better handled using spreadsheet systems.
An architectural drawing is a rendering of an architectural design as plan and/or elevation views of a building or structure. Many CMMS systems have the capability of integrating architectural drawings with preventive maintenance programs. Using these drawings make it possible to view supply levels visually rather than in a spreadsheet format alone. Most important, exact locations of equipment can be highlighted on the drawings. Knowing the locations of critical equipment in need of preventive maintenance can facilitate efficient preventive maintenance scheduling because technicians can be deployed to service several pieces within close proximity in a shorter time frame as opposed to the time required to service items spread throughout a facility. This approach results in better time and resource utilization management.
An important aspect of establishing maintenance schedules is becoming familiar with equipment O&M manuals which among other things, set out recommended maintenance schedules and procedures as well as troubleshooting information. Serial codes are important to ensure that when replacement parts are needed, the correct ones are ordered. An efficient preventive maintenance will benefit from technicians who are knowledgeable about the assets they are servicing as well as having the appropriate parts on hand, when needed.
Apart from setting preventive maintenance schedule based on O&M manual recommendations alone, gaining additional information about asset use and repair histories can be helpful. Since no two operations are identical, O&M manual recommendations are just that – recommendations. They do not replace a thorough review of repair and inspection histories. This added information is beneficial in fine tuning preventive maintenance schedules to reflect the actual usage and performance of a particular piece of equipment. Equally important, a review of the repair histories will provide valuable information about prior downtime and serve as a baseline upon which improvements can be targeted.
The only way to know how well a preventive maintenance is performing is to put it into motion and then review the repair and supply reports after six months. At that time, it may be determined that the schedules in place are operating efficiently as is. Alternatively, it may be determined that some assets require more frequent maintenance while others require less. It may also be determined that an asset is better replaced because repairs have become too frequent and the associated downtimes interfere with company operations. An important benefit of CMMS generated preventive maintenance is that adjustments can be made with little effort.
The introduction of automated CMMS driven Preventive Maintenance Software has streamlined and taken the time consuming work out of earlier “pencil and paper” or spreadsheet approaches. The robust properties of maintenance software make it possible to generate a broad range of data that these other approaches are not able to replicate. By reviewing operational data including supply, work order and preventive maintenance reports, CMMSs assist management in making informed projections and planning for their company. By utilizing and adjusting preventive maintenance schedule as needed, businesses are able to achieve the goals of increased efficiency and profitability.