Most manufacturers opt for computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) to ensure that their equipment remains functioning as expected during critical operating periods. This enables them to increase productivity while lowering costs. However, maintenance management in manufacturing hasn’t always been computerized.
Historically, this work has always been more manual, involving significant human input at every stage. This outdated process generates loads of paperwork that makes it challenging to effectively and efficiently manage maintenance activities.
The more established manufacturing establishments utilized punch cards and 1960s mainframe computer technology. However, since there were only a handful of such computers, smaller manufacturing businesses couldn’t take advantage of the technology.
As the technology evolved and became less costly, smaller and more widespread through the 80s and 90s, businesses adapted digital maintenance management strategies. This digital adoption evolved from pen and paper to spreadsheets and legacy software solutions.
At this point, most manufacturing operations run up-to-date, highly mobile computerized maintenance management systems connected to the cloud.
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What is a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)?
A computerized maintenance management system is a solution utilized by manufacturing businesses to manage their production-centric assets. In other words, a CMMS stores and processes data related to maintenance and repair operations in a manufacturing setting.
This kind of software allows companies to keep track of machine health, ensuring as little machine downtime as possible.
For instance, a typical CMMS keeps track of work orders, maintenance equipment and service personnel, among other use cases.
Examples of CMMS use cases
As earlier stated, businesses use asset management software to stay on top of their maintenance and repair. However, these technological solutions offer plenty more features, covering more aspects of managing manufacturing assets.
Here are some uses of computerized maintenance management system use cases.
Work order management: A CMMS enables an organization to manage the on-ground maintenance activities. For instance, the software allows technicians, operators or service personnel to submit work requests digitally. The software also helps managers to track the progress of the assigned tasks.
In short, a CMMS allows for easy management of scheduled maintenance, repairs and inspections on the factory floor. This decreases downtime and increases efficiency.
Asset management: Technicians, operators and repair personnel require detailed information on the given machinery and tools on the floor. A CMMS readily provides this information.
For example, one can call up machine brands, model and serial numbers, plus manuals and prior maintenance history. In addition, asset and equipment management keeps relevant personnel apprised of each machine’s particulars and working health, making maintenance less challenging.
Preventive maintenance management: Modern maintenance management systems are more than data repositories. Instead, they also have processing and analytics features to track machine health.
As such, they can alert operators or factory managers of preventive maintenance interventions before a given machine breaks down.
Maintenance materials and inventory management: Repairs and maintenance activities require different tools and consumables. A CMMS keeps track of available inventory, providing information regarding reorder points for given tools.
Furthermore, this feature allows businesses to reduce storage and warehousing costs because they don’t have to overstock maintenance-related tools.
Remote and mobile maintenance: The Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing make it possible for technicians and supervisors to monitor and input maintenance information from a mobile device.
The information is accessible from anywhere and doesn’t require technicians and supervisors to work hand-in-hand even when they both aren’t present at the maintenance site.
Maintenance reporting and analytics: A crucial feature of modern CMMS in manufacturing, reports and analytics allow manufacturers to collect and analyze data on maintenance work.
Maintenance and audit logs provide relevant from which supervisors and managers can glean KPIs in real-time and generate reports about the overall maintenance management efforts.
Benefits of CMMS in manufacturing
Many computerized maintenance management systems incorporate several features and functionalities, making maintenance more manageable. As such, a good CMMS provides several benefits to manufacturing businesses.
Reduced machine downtime: This asset management solution allows the relevant departments to carry out effective preventive maintenance, ensuring that machines are always available.
Additionally, a CMMS analyzes machine health, scheduling work orders to ensure that the given equipment doesn’t go out of commission.
Increased productive efficiency: As explained in the CMMS use cases, the software processes work orders, recommends preventive maintenance and manages repair-related inventory. As a whole, this fosters the smooth execution of maintenance activities.
Consequently, the equipment on the factory floor operates at optimal levels, enabling the production line to run at adequate productive efficiency.
Improved maintenance team performance: Because a CMMS has access to work requests, orders, and interventions by the assigned technicians, it can highlight deficiencies in a manufacturing business’s maintenance management strategy.
As such, you can identify problematic areas and bottlenecks that hinder maintenance execution. Addressing these issues ensures that your team performs better, improving efficiency and productivity.
Stricter compliance to health and safety standards: The cloud storage aspect of modern CMMS in manufacturing ensures that all maintenance-related inputs are captured in the system, regardless of point of origin.
In so doing, there’s a verifiable record of the different equipment types on the factory floor and the measures taken to ensure that they comply with health and safety standards.
Not only does your factory pass official inspections, but it also ensures that employees feel comfortable and safe to carry out their duties efficiently.
More insightful data-driven decision making: The analytics CMMS features comb through the maintenance data, creating insightful reports.
Factory supervisors and managers can use these reports to identify areas that need tweaking, making the maintenance strategy more effective at reducing costs and increasing overall equipment effectiveness.
Ensuring the machines stay up and running during critical production periods is essential for ensuring productivity is maximized and goals are met.
Interested in implementing a CMMS in your own facilities? Learn how manufacturers are using Tulip to manage their machine maintenance processes.
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