Your facility asset and equipment are first and foremost a significant organizational investment. Performing routine maintenance on them is a key aspect of maintaining them in functioning order. Nothing will risk derailing production like an unexpected catastrophic failure of critical equipment – and one of the best ways to prevent that is to develop a robust routine maintenance strategy for your assets.
What is Routine Maintenance?
Routine maintenance refers to any maintenance task that is done on a planned, schedule, or an ongoing basis to proactively identify and address issues that can lead to equipment failure. It does not involve corrective or deficient maintenance, which are traditionally reactive in nature.
Some common types of routine maintenance include regular inspections or service work. They can be carried out either on a fixed interval or time-based schedule, on a service life or usage-based schedule, or based on operating conditions of the asset. Some specific examples include:
- Lubricating rotating equipment or cleaning vents and filters.
- Inspecting equipment to ensure operation within safety parameters.
- Replacing wear parts on critical components.
- Checking, testing, and maintaining facility safety equipment, such as safety barriers, fire suppression, or alarm systems.
As you can see, routine maintenance tasks are generally fairly straightforward and not considered first of a kind. They are generally recommended by the OEMs and typically do not require specialized training or skills. As a result, routine maintenance can even be carried out by machine operators.
Advantages of CMMS in the context of routine maintenance
A CMMS is designed to simplify routine maintenance management by centralizing the maintenance information and processes. It allows users to create scheduled events for all kinds of maintenance work including routine maintenance occurring on a repeat basis. You can set tasks months in advance and include the necessary maintenance checklists on your routine maintenance work orders to ensure nothing is missed by plant operators, mechanics, and technicians.
Routine maintenance, as the name suggests, is really meant to be a repetitive process that should run like a well-oiled machine, and that is precisely what a CMMS facilitates.
#1) Decrease Downtime by Improving Equipment Reliability
Routine maintenance, such as preventive maintenance, is key to preventing unexpected asset downtime caused by equipment functional failure. We all know the problems associated with u unexpected downtime. First off, it puts a dent in your bottom line. Second, functional failure of critical equipment can potentially result in explosions, leaks, fires, other safety hazards or even regulatory infarctions.
Routine maintenance helps keep the equipment in better overall condition; optimized performance reduces wear and tear and planned maintenance means that the majority of downtime is planned ahead of time and can be accounted for in budgeting or through other contingency planning. A CMMS helps you plan and look ahead to those activities in a centralized platform and help you improve OEE and TEEP and those hit those production targets year over year.
#2) Protect Assets through Proactive Preventive Maintenance
Routine maintenance also extends the service life of equipment and assets when used in conjunction with a well-planned routine or preventive maintenance program. This ensures that your assets last as long as possible and return you healthy a ROI. Keeping a very close eye on the state of your equipment will also help prepare you to budget for asset replacement before its predicted end of life, protecting you from large unplanned expenses.
A CMMS stores, retrieves, and shares asset information such as previous maintenance records, downtime statistics, OEM documents, maintenance procedures, spare parts cost, which is what helps make informed decisions in your overall asset protection and management plans.
#3) Plan Ahead with Resource Outlook
Creating a long-term routine maintenance plan puts important tasks on the maintenance calendar in a more tangible way, reducing the probabilities of them slipping through the cracks. By planning a reasonable timeline well in advance, it also prevents maintenance technicians from becoming overwhelmed with unexpected repairs at the last minute (that is, if you’re not overly reactive in the first place).
CMMS also helps resource allocation to specific crew or technician level, which is essential in specialized industries where the qualified staff is required for certain activities due to inherent regulations within the industry. In addition to physical labor resources, CMMS also helps plan for and optimize the use and availability of tools, consumables, and spare parts.
Routine maintenance is a straightforward strategy for increasing asset reliability. While there are plenty of ways to orchestrate routine operations and maintenance tasks, a CMMS facilitates all of that from a single, centralized platform.