Setting up industrial operations is part of the capital expenditure a business has to undertake. Businesses now analyze the lifetime cost of any capital expenditure before making a decision. This includes the inventory cost, labor expenses, maintenance costs, cost incurred due to expected downtime, and expenses for upgrades. This tilts the decision in favor of options that provide long-term machine reliability and reduced maintenance.
CMMS and Reliability
Every CMMS provider likes to yell out how his CMMS „improves maintenance and reliability“ as this is a catchy phrase that sounds relevant to their prospects. While there is inherently nothing wrong with that statement, you have to aggree that knowing „how“ is where the real value lies.
With that in mind, this series will try to cover many different ways in which CMMS, directly or indirectly, improves machine reliability. We will talk about minimizing safety concerns, how to create procedures and make sure technicians follow it, taking advantage of features that allow you to manage preventive and predictive plans, how to take full use of asset history to improve diagnosing, how to monitor work on the go, manage multiple locations at once, cooperate with outside specialists and more.
While many of you might be familiar with many of stated areas, I hope to approach problems from different angles so that even seasoned proffesianals can pick up some useful nuggets of infromation along the way.
Maintenance of different equipment within a facility remains a core enabler of improved productivity and efficiency of plant processes. Poor maintenance practices lead to machine downtime, increased operational costs, and increased maintenance workloads.
Reducing maintenance workload can’t be done overnight, but it is a goal worth pursuing. Less maintenance work performed (without an increase in reactive maintenance work) means less resources spent – fewer spare parts used, less overtime work, and improved employee satisfaction that can actually increase the average quality of performed maintenance work.
Improving the reliability of performed maintenance work helps in the refinement and improvement of policies that shape a cost-effective maintenance strategy that aims to address dominant causes of asset failure.
Before we continue, we have to define how reliable maintenance looks like. In the context of this article, we will define it as consistently performing adequate maintenance in the required time frame. In other words, it means performing good maintenance work while respecting due dates.
At first glance, a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) and Failure Modes And Effects Analysis (FMEA) may appear to be worlds apart. But take a deeper dive, and it’s easy to see that they both share a common component: data. The core of any CMMS is defined by gigabytes of data that guarantee its usefulness and functionality, while the success of the systematic steps in FMEA depends on good quality data.
The biggest change in asset management practices and maintenance models in the coming years will be the shift from corrective and preventive to predictive and condition-based maintenance that is built on real-time as well as historical data.
With emerging new technologies like IoT (Internet of Things) and easy access to the Internet and cloud storage capabilities, accessibility to information and remote monitoring of assets can be done anytime and from any location and device. This calls for a reliable remote monitoring setup accompanied by a robust and proven management system to track and manage all that data. And it is this combination precisely that can elevate your business to a world-class maintenance program.
Emergency maintenance is the maintenance required when an asset suffers an unexpected functional failure. Typically, such failures can halt production lines and disrupt business operations until fixed.
Emergencies almost always happen without prior warning, and hence emergency maintenance is not one that can be preemptively scheduled – but it can definitely be planned for and efforts made to reduce its business impact when they do occur.
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.
Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is a widely implemented metric that characterizes the performance of a plant, and is expressed as a percentage of the total planned or scheduled production time. OEE essentially measures your plant’s performance in terms of equipment reliability and availability. It is calculated as the product of 3 factors – performance, quality, and availability:
Data is the most valuable commodity in today’s world, and it is no different in reliability engineering. As one of the emerging trends in maintenance space, data plays a critical role in implementing an effective RCM strategy. It is powered by an organization’s ability to integrate multiple data sources into one seamless platform designed to disseminate actionable insights from that data to its decision-makers at the right time.
As the owner or maintenance manager at a busy organization, one of your priorities will be to monitor the efficiency of your maintenance team to sustain that level of efficiency (if it’s satisfactory), or improving it (if it’s below an acceptable level). Doing this will require that, among other things, you understand what’s really going on while staff are on the job and then identify any areas for improvement.
Instead of allocating time and resources trying to force the same maintenance method on every asset in your facility, reliability centered maintenance (RCM) offers you a more structured and proven approach where each piece of equipment is allocated a befitting maintenance strategy based on the results of a well-executed RCM analysis.
In all production facilities, the success of most business operations is closely tied to the performance of their maintenance operations. On a busy plant floor, for example, all it takes is for a critical machine to breakdown mid-production and the ripple effects begin; from lost deadlines to stressed staff, wasted materials, and so on.
Identifying exactly when an asset will fail still remains a big priority and “tools” like the p-f curve are here to guide us in the right direction.
As we enter 2020, it’s evident that many of the changes that are sweeping through maintenance management will continue. The major push behind these changes includes the need for improved resource allocation, optimization of capacity, and increased safety performance/compliance.
With that in mind, this is an ideal time to review some of the biggest topics and trends in maintenance that are shaping maintenance practices and consider their relevance for reliability professionals.
With industry statistics like the one from a joint study by the Wall Street Journal and Emerson, it’s no wonder that more manufacturers are looking for ways to proactively handle unplanned machine downtime. Among several issues discussed, the study states that unplanned downtime costs manufacturers about $50 billion per year. Furthermore, it mentions that outdated maintenance programs waste resources and potentially expose staff to higher safety risks.
Equipment failure is a reality that cuts across every industry. And when it occurs, its impact can vary from minimal inconveniences with localized damages that are easily contained and repaired, to significant incidents with damaging effects on the environment accompanied by several health and safety implications.