Manufacturing is an industry built around deadlines. Planners and procurement specialists, production managers and shipping clerks are all constantly under a time constraint and wondering if they’ll meet their goals.
However, plant maintenance is a huge part of the equation when it comes to ensuring that production is smooth and continuous. Machines that don’t run well, or aren’t operational at all, don’t meet goals. Without facility maintenance, it’s simply a matter of time before fillers aren’t filling and conveyor belts aren’t conveying. A strong maintenance program is vital in a production facility, and CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) is the key to maximizing your facility maintenance program.
Improving Interdepartmental Communication
In the not so distant past, a maintenance manager’s desk had 57 sticky notes, and his voicemail light was always flashing. His inbox was always on the verge of refusing any new mail until at least 25 emails were deleted to make room, and he had written notes on his coffee cup from a request that was given to him on his way back to the shop. Any production manager that has interacted with a mechanic at a manufacturing facility knows that the scheduled end time for that tech is merely a suggestion, and a laughable one at that.
These days, though, CMMS have changed the way information is conveyed to maintenance departments, and have allowed for work order tracking to be a simple report that can be run by the department manager needing to forecast that product line. The production associate doesn’t need to track down the technician and badger them into a rough estimate of the downtime; simply pull up the work order, and check the estimated return to service time, along with any notes the mechanic has made during the course of the repair.
Organization Plus Efficiency = Productivity
When your information is well organized and easily accessed, you are able to efficiently perform the tasks necessary to your role in the facility. This allows for maximum productivity, instead of countless wasted hours hunting down information that wasn’t keyed into a spreadsheet, or has been misfiled. A CMMS gives you the entire life of the asset with a few keystrokes, lending you the ability to simply pull one report, gather the necessary information, then move on with your day.
Marry Production And Maintenance With Ease
Trying to put together a schedule that placed a machine on preventative maintenance downtime and the department mechanic scheduled with all of the necessary parts on hand used to be what kept maintenance managers up late at night. Planners and production managers would lock horns with technicians and plant engineers regularly, although the end result was that everyone wanted the machine to run on spec, and the product to make it to the customer on time.
A CMMS acts as a great uniter of the departments. It can schedule the labor, order and receive the necessary parts, and also schedule the machine to be in maintenance downtime for the estimated duration of the task based on the average time of the last 3 repairs. Even the best production planner and maintenance manager can’t get the details as neatly tied up as the CMMS can do.
Extend The Asset Life And Maximize Uptime
Regularly maintained machines run better and run longer. It’s a well-known fact in the manufacturing world. The longer you allow a machine to run while it is off spec and running hard, without lubrication, or with a worn belt, the bigger the repair is going to be by the time you finally tear the machine down. It’s the basis for preventative maintenance, in a nutshell.
Yet, in facility after facility, there are machines running on their last o-ring with no oil in the gearbox, and practically wheezing every time it makes a full rotation. The reason for these assets to be run in this abusive fashion? The preventative maintenance scheduling has not been sufficient, and probably not for lack of trying. This is where a CMMS can shine in your manufacturing facility.
By scheduling the proper preventative and predictive maintenance to be performed, the asset is kept in factory maintained condition, and its output will be on spec. The possibility of incurring unplanned downtime is greatly decreased, and the percentage of scrap and rework product is also reduced.
You Can Have A Snapshot Of The Facilities Overall Health
A CMMS is a quick and simple way to take an overall glimpse at the status of every asset, see when they are due for maintenance, view any open work orders on an asset, view upcoming scheduled maintenance, and a wealth of other information. The easiest way to say it is that the CMMS will give you an accurate snapshot of any asset in your facility, or every asset, if you would like to view the manufacturing facility as a whole.
By viewing accurate and real time information on every machine in the facility, production can be adjusted accordingly in the case of unplanned downtime. Emergency repairs can be initiated by opening a work order and assigning it to a mechanic. All relevant information can be conveyed to the maintenance department without ever picking up a phone, or jotting anything on a sticky note.
In addition, the CMMS can notify the appropriate staff members once the repair has been completed and the machine is back online. This ensures that the moment the asset is returned to production status, it can do exactly that; produce.
Co-Founder and CEO of REDLIST. Raised in a construction environment, Talmage has been involved in heavy equipment since he was a toddler. He has degrees and extensive experience in civil, mechanical and industrial engineering. Talmage worked for several years as a field engineer with ExxonMobil servicing many of the largest industrial production facilities in the Country.