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.
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.
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.
Equipment is described as reliable when it functions as designed without failure. Admittedly, equipment failure of any kind is quite inconvenient especially in fast-paced environments like the manufacturing sector. However, the consequences of failure – if it were to occur – go just beyond the usual inconveniences of unplanned downtime, lost productivity, lost revenue, etc. All these are bad enough, but should equipment failure cause injury or fatality, recovering from the consequences could become an uphill task.
Equipment maintenance is a requisite for companies that seek high-performance from their physical assets. If they can leverage a well-executed maintenance strategy, such organizations should gain the expected advantages that reliable assets will deliver such as reductions in operational costs and unplanned shutdowns.
In many manufacturing plants, managing equipment breakdowns and can seem like an overwhelming task. Machine failures occur without warning, production lines go down, managers and supervisors point fingers, and maintenance personnel continually chase parts and problems.
It’s often the case that these plants do not use a CMMS to gather data, plan preventative maintenance, or schedule repairs. This lack of planning contributes to a reactive maintenance environment where personnel is constantly trying to ‘keep up’ with production line problems.
As more and more organizations seek to improve their maintenance, many are shifting from the reactive ‘repair-focused’ maintenance models to more proactive ‘reliability-focused’ maintenance which includes things like tracking, identifying, and eliminating failure, maintenance planning and scheduling, reduced downtime, reduced costs, continuous improvement, and similar.