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How to improve the life of an asset through maintenance management?

Garima Bharadwaj
Garima Bharadwaj

2nd September 2022

Introduction

Asset maintenance takes a lot of time and effort, so it makes sense that the more effectively you can accomplish it, the better. You can get assistance with that from maintenance management. It is the process of planning and managing your maintenance tasks to maximize the efficiency of your assets while minimizing time and expense. In addition, every company that has physical assets will sometimes deal with the physical side-effects of regular operations. As tools and machines deteriorate and break down, asset maintenance enables a business to keep running. 

Without asset maintenance, an asset’s lifespan is significantly shortened, and machinery and equipment have more operational restrictions. Therefore, what constitutes effective maintenance management, what are the various maintenance management approaches, and what function may computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) technology plays are discussed in this blog.

What is Maintenance Management?

The process of efficiently managing your resources and assets is known as maintenance management. The basic goal is to make your maintenance procedures run more efficiently while reducing the costs, labor, and resources involved. When implemented properly, your maintenance management programme will assist you in preventing resource wastage and equipment downtime. You’ll be able to manage all maintenance activities without undesired failures rather than being caught off guard by unforeseen incidents that disrupt your operation. The procedure of managing maintenance used to be disorganized and involved handwritten notes. 

Today, you can maintain the functionality of your assets by combining CMMS software, best practices, and skilled staff. Furthermore, there is no one solution that works for everyone. Instead, whether you adopt a condition-based approach like predictive maintenance or a time-based strategy like preventive maintenance, your maintenance management programme should be extensively customized to meet the maintenance needs at your facility.

Types of Maintenance Management

There are four essential maintenance management techniques that can be combined or applied separately. The assets you depend on, their age, their repair and upkeep histories, and how crucial they are to your operations will determine the best type of maintenance management for your company.

1. Run-to-failure Approach (Reactive Maintenance)

For assets with few safety issues and little effect on output, using one of your assets till it breaks down and then repairing it makes sense. With this approach, your techs won’t need to undertake any maintenance unless a failure happens. When that happens, though, you must be prepared with replacement parts and qualified technicians to repair the damaged components immediately. This method can assist you in getting the maximum benefit at the lowest cost from specific assets. However, a company should only employ this tactic if they have the necessary resources, or you risk having to cope with a great deal of unplanned downtime and costly repairs.

2. Preventive Maintenance

The maxim “prevention is better than cure” serves as the foundation for this proactive maintenance plan. You may take care of the smaller jobs like modifications, washing, lubricating, and continuous maintenance to keep your assets in good working condition and lower the possibility of unplanned downtime by scheduling inspections of your assets and carrying out routine maintenance. It could be appropriate to base your initial maintenance routine on the manufacturer’s suggestions. However, as your assets get older, your techs will learn about any typical issues and the modifications they need to make to keep them functioning at their best. The effectiveness of a preventative maintenance strategy is one of its key benefits. Everything is planned out in advance so that you are aware of the tasks your maintenance staff will complete each day, the parts they will require, and the most effective times to complete them. One drawback is that you can end up performing more maintenance than is essential, which would result in waste and risk.

3. Predictive Maintenance (Condition-based Maintenance)

The ideal time to do maintenance on your assets will be determined using monitoring technologies based on their condition with this technique. The aim is to constantly be on the lookout for warning signs of a problem and to act before it gets out of hand. Vibration analysis, for instance, could be used by your maintenance staff to monitor when conditions drop below or rise beyond predetermined parameters. Once they do, you will take the apparatus offline, examine it, and make any necessary repairs. Predictive maintenance has the benefit of allowing the asset to be inspected while it is still in use; you are only notified of issues. By doing so, you may ensure that you only carry out maintenance procedures when absolutely essential and lower the frequency of inspections. The expense of the monitoring technology and any extra training your techs might need to set it up and maintain it are its drawbacks.

4. Reliability-focused maintenance

In this type of approach, you design a unique maintenance strategy for every asset that is optimized to preserve production while utilizing the most economical maintenance procedures. Since you have to examine each asset separately, reliability-centered maintenance can be a challenging and time-consuming technique to apply. You might also wind up with as many distinct maintenance strategies as you do assets, so you’ll need a skilled, adaptable, and well-versed group of technicians to put them into action. This maintenance management strategy has various advantages, especially when it comes to the dependability and accessibility of your equipment. However, some businesses find it to be overkill due to its complexity and expensive upfront expenses.

Why is Maintenance Management Essential for Businesses?

The effectiveness of your maintenance plays a significant role in your company’s success. By keeping your assets and machinery in good condition, you can maintain steady output, lower the possibility of unscheduled downtime, increase productivity and availability, and improve product quality. Failure to control your maintenance management can result in higher repair costs, complete machine failures, postponed client shipments, and lost income. Both productivity and worker safety may be harmed. 

70% of businesses, according to ServiceMax, are unaware of when to maintain their equipment. That greatly raises the chance of unplanned downtime, which can be extremely costly. According to Aberdeen, the average cost of unplanned equipment downtime is $260,000 per hour. If it’s a critical machine, it might affect the entire lifecycle of your product or your supply chain. Even on a lesser scale, a single unplanned vehicle breakdown results in a whole load of delayed shipments, potentially leading to damaged goods and wasted money. A trustworthy maintenance plan can assist with regulatory requirements and avoid fines in addition to the cost savings. Depending on the sort of maintenance management you select, the actual advantages and cost reductions can vary. 

Maintaining operational effectiveness, monitoring quality assurance, and keeping assets in top working condition are all important components of maintenance management, which is essential to the long-term success of any maintenance programme. Your production is stable and the likelihood of unplanned downtime is considerably reduced with properly managed assets and resources. Unplanned downtime has a cascading impact that raises unanticipated expenses for things like repairs (overtime personnel, spare parts, etc.), delayed shipments, missed revenue, or entire machine malfunctions.

Key Objectives of Maintenance Management for Assets

The ultimate maintenance objective for a facilities leader is to reduce expenses while fostering a stress-free, efficient maintenance system. You should start at the beginning by developing small short-term objectives and building upon them until you attain full maintenance optimization in order to achieve this large, long-term maintenance goal. Make a plan after evaluating your existing position and the location of your desired facilities. Whatever you decide to do, keep track of your execution plans and steps since, according to research, doing so increases your chances of success by 42%. 

Several goals are established in maintenance management, including increasing performance, doing routine maintenance, and replacing specific machine parts in order to improve machine performance, boost productivity, and improve availability and dependability. Below, we’ve gone into great detail about the goal of maintenance management and its functions.

1. Developing Reliable Assets

Everyone is aware that maintained assets are more reliable than unmaintained ones. When maintenance is performed on assets on schedule, their performance increases. Maintenance is crucial because it guarantees that assets are kept in good condition and that their performance can be increased through calibration and adjustment. Machines last longer when maintenance activities are appropriately assigned, prioritized, and finished swiftly. Reliability, scalability, and maintainability are all enhanced over time by a sound maintenance strategy. Proactive maintenance work, such as preventive, predictive, and condition-based maintenance, is used to achieve this. 

2. Lower Maintenance Costs

Organizations have long struggled with maintenance costs! Also, the likelihood of a breakdown rises when assets are not maintained. It leads to expensive maintenance because numerous tasks, such as replacing the broken item, must be completed. Additionally, the maintenance team works to get the asset back up and operating as soon as feasible. When planning a budget for maintenance work, keep in mind that if a large asset entirely fails, it will probably be replaced at any cost. Naturally, a choice must be made on whether to fix the asset, replace it, or buy a different model of machine. The responsibility of staying within the maintenance budget falls on the maintenance managers. When selecting components, suppliers, and new or replacement machinery, they must make prudent, cost-effective judgments. 

3. Reducing failure rates and Decreasing downtime 

Increased equipment accessibility is a goal of asset maintenance systems or solutions, and they are better able to accomplish this goal when preventative support tasks are well managed. In order to keep machinery operating and reduce failure rates, maintenance specialists should have the option to choose constant maintenance over preventive maintenance. Therefore, when fixing machinery is necessary, it should be done quickly and effectively. 

4. Increased Productivity

When tasks are accomplished correctly, including maintenance tasks are prioritized and issues are immediately fixed, the machine operates for several hours without any problems. With this approach, the work is more effective and productive, and the return on investment rises when productive labor is delivered. Additionally, it implies that the bottom line has improved.

5. Create better standards, guidelines, and policies

The final maintenance management goal is to continuously develop and enhance standards, guidelines, and policies that result in better-maintained equipment and cost savings. Planning, controlling, and directing maintenance activities requires cooperation between maintenance as well as other departments if this is to be successful. This covers practices such as understanding how to submit maintenance problems to the maintenance team, what platform to use to share the production and repair schedules, and how to inform others of the progress of asset repairs.

How Does Maintenance Management Benefit Business Assets?

A software solution called a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) was created to make maintenance management easier. Such user-friendly software can provide status reports and in-depth summaries of maintenance activities and maintain a computer database of data on a company’s asset maintenance operations. Once reviewed, this data should help maintenance staff perform their duties more successfully and help maintenance managers make wise decisions that will help them control expenses and allocate resources.

With a CMMS, businesses can eliminate manual data tracking and manage and organize various aspects of their operations in a single, digital location. The ability to incorporate components like equipment information management, predictive and preventive maintenance job management, work order systems, planning and scheduling, supplier relationships, inventory control, and more is made possible by the great degree of customization offered by CMMS software.

1. Work Order Management

Each stage in the asset maintenance work order process is significantly streamlined by a CMMS with work order management features. Operators can submit work requests, and maintenance managers can design, prioritize, review, allocate, and track work orders from their desktop or mobile device. Utilizing time-, usage-, or condition-based triggers to notify the software automatically when a scheduled job has to be completed is another way to implement preventive maintenance. This enables the scheduling of work orders automatically and can even notify inventories to ensure that parts are available. 

2. Asset Performance Reporting

A business-wide CMMS provides the organization with a wonderful tool to gather and analyze data from each asset, making it easier for maintenance managers to identify areas where productivity and efficiency need to be increased. Monitoring how your assets are being used and how they’re performing is a key element of maintenance management. This entails examining things like mileage, time-based gauge readings, and operating hours. Using this data, a CMMS automatically creates asset profiles that contain information particular to each asset, such as maintenance schedules, failure codes, safety data, and single-point lessons. By developing custom reports on topics like asset downtime and the way each asset influences the cost of inventory, you can create reports from these profiles that give you a complete picture of your maintenance operation.

3.Inventory Management

 The chore of managing spare parts is difficult. A CMMS helps you become and maintain an organization by automating inventory purchases, so you have the right parts in the right quantity when you need them. Many CMMS systems allow you to keep track of all spare parts, including where they are kept, when they were bought, how to utilize them, and whether they are available across the organization’s many sites. In this manner, professionals are able to locate and use the parts they require for repairs and preventive maintenance tasks. Finally, using a CMMS to track inventory costs, consult order histories, cycle counts, usage statistics, and first-in/first-out information can assist you in maintaining an optimal inventory.

4. Seamless Auditing Capabilities

Having a continuous record of every task and the ability to search it makes getting ready for audits much easier. This makes it possible for the maintenance management group to examine an asset’s maintenance records. Creating personal profiles that automatically track certification expiration dates and renewal requirements as well as incorporate standardized training videos for people who must renew their certificates to remain compliant is a feature of many CMMS software systems. For whatever proof you may require to secure ISO certification, all work orders, job lists, and images are maintained.

5. Mobile Capabilities 

The ability to remotely access the CMMS via a tablet or smartphone is a feature that almost all modern, cloud-based CMMS software provides. This is crucial because maintenance staff spend the majority of their time outside of the office, on the factory floor. Maintenance technicians can record their work while they are conducting it thanks to mobile capabilities. This covers taking images and asking for assistance on-site. These types of updates can be made even when there is no Wi-Fi connection using a CMMS that has a mobile app with offline functionality.

6. Integrating Capabilities

The ability to combine current CMMS software with various internal systems of your business is one of its strongest features. For instance, integrating your marketing software with your CMMS allows the sales team access to data that they otherwise wouldn’t have. With the help of a reliable CMMS provider’s range of integration options, you can create the ideal set-up for your business.

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Conclusion

An extremely important aspect of the business is maintenance. The financial success of the company depends on it. Not all maintenance entails repair; occasionally, it also entails service and calibration. Additionally, it improves the effectiveness of machinery and equipment. The maintenance management plan will be insufficient without asset management software. Large corporations perform maintenance to keep their machinery and equipment operating effectively and prevent unexpected breakdowns. The work of the maintenance crew is greatly simplified by the use of maintenance management software, which offers a checklist for each maintenance work order.  The importance of maintenance management cannot be overstated, and you cannot ignore maintenance without consequences for your organization. As a result, maintenance is essential, but to optimize its operations, maintenance management needs strong technology. Utilizing CMMS software as part of your regular maintenance procedures will reduce equipment downtime and production hiccups. Production runs more smoothly and efficiently, which increases output value and improves product quality. Finally, you may organize your maintenance process better by including the regular usage of CMMS software in your maintenance routines.


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