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Maintenance Management is the process of maintaining a company's assets and resources while controlling time and costs, ensuring maximum efficiency of the manufacturing process.
Maintenance management is defined as the process of maintaining a company's assets and resources while controlling time and costs, thereby ensuring maximum efficiency of the manufacturing process. Maintenance management has gone from an archaic, tedious, handwritten process to a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) — a software that plans, tracks, measures and optimizes all forms of a maintenance program in one central system.
Maintenance management isn't just a software system — it's a combination of software, best practices and trained personnel, all focused on the same goal. Maintenance management programs are highly customizable and centered around the type(s) of maintenance employed at a plant. Whether you're using a condition-based maintenance program like predictive maintenance or a more time-based maintenance program like preventive maintenance, it's important to focus your program on the type of maintenance used and its role within your organization.
Improving maintenance management should be a continuous goal for any company with machine assets, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. If you need additional support or expertise in the process of shifting your matntenance management practices, bringing in reputable reliability and maintenance experts like those at IDCON could help you idetify opportunities and create an achievable plan for improvement.
Maintenance management is vital in ensuring the long-term success of your maintenance program by monitoring quality assurance, maintaining operational efficiency and keeping assets in optimum running order. Properly maintained assets and resources keep your production stable and greatly minimize the chances for unplanned downtime. Unplanned downtime causes a snowball effect, leading to a spike in unexpected costs associated with things like repairs (overtime labor, spare parts, etc.), delayed shipments, lost revenue or complete breakdowns of machines.
Maintenance management helps improve the operational efficiency of plant facilities, which contributes to revenue by decreasing operating costs and improving the quality (and quantity) of manufactured products. In addition to cost savings, other benefits include improved workplace safety, enhanced productivity and minimized human error.
All forms of maintenance management share the common objective of analyzing production and finding the best practices and processes within a specific field. Analyzing reports from a CMMS, for example, lets you control costs, schedule work properly and efficiently, and ensure failures and breakdowns are kept to a minimum. The main objectives of maintenance management include:
One big component of maintenance management is working with assets to ensure their reliability. There are a few key distinctions between the two.
So, what's the difference? Although they're both technically different, asset management and maintenance management are often integrated together and complement each other nicely. Maintenance management deals more with the physical performance and maintenance of equipment, while asset management analyzes all the data for the work needing to be done on each asset, identifying and prioritizing that work to help with the ROI of each asset.
Most modern CMMS software integrates the two functions so that maintenance personnel can see both sets of data in one centralized location.
A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a software platform designed to simplify maintenance management. This type of intuitive software package keeps a computer database of information about a company's maintenance operations and can produce status reports and detailed summaries of maintenance activities. Once analyzed, this information is meant to allow maintenance personnel to do their jobs more effectively and enable maintenance managers to make informed decisions, helping them manage costs and allocate resources.
A CMMS lets organizations eliminate manual data tracking and allows for the tracking and organization of multiple facets of the business into one centralized, digital location. CMMS software is highly customizable, enabling organizations to add components like equipment data management, preventive and predictive maintenance task management, work order systems, scheduling and planning, vendor management, inventory control, and more.
CMMS packages are either cloud-based (more modern) or on-premise (more traditional) systems. Cloud-based systems are hosted on an outside server, usually by the company selling the software, while on-premise systems require the company buying the software to host the product on its own in-house server. Some of the drawbacks with on-premise servers are higher costs, complex implementation and constant maintenance (backing up and updating hardware and software).
Preventive maintenance can also be incorporated by using time-, usage- or condition-based triggers to automatically alert the software when a scheduled task needs to be done. This allows for automatic scheduling of work orders and can even alert inventory to make sure parts are in stock.
Technicians and managers can all interface with the software and see real-time updates. Technicians can look at their daily tasks, mark jobs as complete and switch the status of an asset from offline to online. Likewise, managers can see when jobs are completed.
A CMMS automatically builds asset profiles with this information and includes asset-specific things like maintenance checklists, failure codes, safety information and single-point lessons. From these profiles, you can get a complete look at your maintenance operation by creating custom reports on things like asset downtime and how each asset affects the cost of inventory.
Many CMMS systems let you log all spare parts and note where they are stored, when they were purchased, how to use them and their availability at all sites across the organization. This way, technicians know what parts they'll need for a repair or preventive maintenance task, where those parts are and how to use them.
Finally, a CMMS helps you maintain an optimal inventory through tracking inventory costs, referencing order history, cycle counts, usage data and first-in/first-out details.
It's often debated who should have access to your CMMS; in some companies, only a few maintenance managers have access. Over time, this can lend itself to a couple of problems. The fewer people using the system, the more work is dumped on the individuals who are using it, making this small group of users responsible for handling everything from logging work orders to running and analyzing reports.
Another issue is the fact that it limits the impact of everyone on the team. Team members who can't see the overall picture of maintenance operations tend to be confused about their jobs, miss work more, make misinformed decisions and eventually have lower morale.
Conversely, giving a variety of team members and departments access to your CMMS can be beneficial by making maintenance management a shared responsibility across your organization. This frees up the maintenance team to improve in other areas. It also lets other departments make data-driven decisions based on analysis from all areas of the company.
Let's take a look at some of the various groups that should have access to your CMMS.
In the past, CMMS and enterprise asset management (EAM) systems were viewed as very different solutions for maintenance management. Modern systems have since blurred the lines between the two, with many software systems including the capabilities of both into one enterprise software package. It's important to note, however, that they are not the same thing.
CMMS software packages include databases with real-time and historical information about the operations of a company. CMMS software is also used to schedule and assign work, improve efficiency, support regulatory compliance and help maintenance management make more informed decisions. CMMS systems are a bit more focused than EAM systems and are specifically designed to deal with functions related to maintenance and materials management. Many organizations fill the gaps by integrating their CMMS with scheduling, purchasing and accounting software, for example.
EAM focuses on optimizing the life cycle of a company's assets. It gives a comprehensive view of the physical assets and infrastructure throughout the entire life cycle. This includes design, implementation and procurement, as well as operation, maintenance, disposal and replacement. EAM software was developed after CMMS and includes maintenance management capabilities, but it considers the total cost of ownership of a company's physical assets.
EAM systems serve every facet of a company that deals with asset management. This includes maintenance and inventory, procurement, engineering, project management, accounting, operations, reliability management and strategic planning.
As you can see, these two systems have very similar capabilities, but what truly sets them apart is their philosophy and scope. A CMMS focuses on maintenance and starts tracking and gathering data once an asset has been purchased and installed. An EAM system is more comprehensive. It starts with design and goes to the end of an asset's life. Below are a few features that you will see in an EAM system but won't in a CMMS: