MRO Magazine

Feature

How the CMMS impacts production line maintenance


Engineer Operating Computer Controlled Lathe

Computerized Maintenance Management System or CMMS is a software solution that helps the maintenance team keep a record of all the assets in the company that they are responsible for. With the CMMS system, one can track and schedule maintenance tasks and keep a record of the work performed by the assets. It helps the maintenance and facility managers in ensuring their equipment is functioning as expected. Computerized maintenance programs are trending due to the efficiency they bring to the table by identifying bottlenecks of any process quickly and preventing problems before they even occur.

Maintenance on the production line
The production line of any manufacturing unit consists of several processes and equipment. Maintenance is crucial in any production line as it:
–    Reduces the downtime and repairs
–    Improves the lifecycle of equipment and forecasts replacement
–    Reduces rework and manufacturing scrap

Maintenance extends beyond fixing the equipment or ensuring the smooth running of various processes. Trying to perform maintenance manually will be time-consuming and it will leave some gaps where there is a possibility of missing out crucial aspects. Software tools such as performance management software and asset management systems eliminate such instances and they support the entire operation in a seamless manner. Moreover, CMMS solutions help manufacturing plants in justifying the need for quality equipment by helping maintenance teams prolong an asset’s lifecycle.

Benefits of CMMS software for production line maintenance:

Scheduling and Tracking Preventive Maintenance System
Tracking potential maintenance problems beforehand will not only save time but also reduce the chance of equipment failure. The CMMS provides a preventive maintenance system, which enables its users to reduce repair costs and track potential problems that may arise due to damage or lack of maintenance. Additionally, it will extend the life of equipment.

Reduced Downtime and Repair work
Preventive maintenance helps in predicting potential repairs that the assets might need. This ensures that preventive maintenance is carried out regularly or as and when the issues get flagged. This decreases the chances of equipment failure, which further reduces the downtime. As a result, you can save money that would otherwise be spent on getting the damage control done or making necessary repairs after its too late.

Reduced Costs
When the downtime and the extent of repair work goes down, it reflects in the amount of money you save. CMMS gives a comprehensive report of which assets need repair and with the help of the preventive maintenance report, plant managers can make better decisions pertaining to asset management, scheduling and repairs.

Optimized Inventory Management
Inventory management is a crucial aspect but keeping the inventory stocked with assets you won’t need in the near future is a waste of space as well as money. If the plant isn’t aware of the assets’ location, personnel end up wasting a lot of time just on searching them. If a spare is urgently needed and there’s now way of knowing where the assets are kept, downtime will increase. With CMMS in place, managers can search throughout the company to find the parts they need, place shipment orders when they need the required parts and get it delivered overnight.

Improved scheduling and planning
CMMS greatly helps with scheduling in advance, which ensures that maintenance plans do not coincide with production or repair time. There are calendar and predictive maintenance tools that assist in planning and scheduling in an efficient manner. With the power to foresee potential threats to the maintenance system or the processes, maintenance and operations teams can plan and schedule tasks to increase the productivity, reduce downtime and dodge unnecessary expenses.

Provides Crucial Data
Maintenance management software provides all of the required maintenance-related information, such as machine repair history, labour utilization rates and other important metrics. This data aids maintenance managers in taking informed decisions that would  eventually benefit various manufacturing processes.

Achieve Regulatory Compliance
The CMMS automates all the processes of defining, scheduling and implementing preventive maintenance to comply with environmental and safety regulations. It also includes compliance with work orders and equipment insurance policy. Additionally, it contains most of the information needed for compliance, which eliminates the need to have redundant records.

Industrial plants can expect to observe significant process changes after a CMMS and performance management system implementation. To summarize, productivity will rise, breakdowns will go down, repair and maintenance work reduce and the overall performance will improve.

Lindsey Walker is the marketing manager at NEXGEN Asset Management, a provider of asset management software solutions. Reach her at lwalker@nexgenam.com.