What are ways to improve my equipment uptime? cmms
Enhance the reliability of your equipment by establishing effective maintenance plans, optimizing workflow integration, and actively monitoring equipment to identify and address the underlying reasons for breakdowns. While these actions might vary based on your industry, market, or company, there are overarching principles to consider.
If your technicians primarily handle emergency or reactive maintenance to sustain your shop’s operations, it’s time to shift towards implementing preventive maintenance for specific assets.
Certainly, there are assets that don’t necessitate preventive maintenance. A prime example is the lightbulb. Given that a burnt-out lightbulb typically poses no safety, environmental, or production risks, it’s logical to replace it only when necessary. Imposing a schedule for replacement or inspecting lightbulbs needlessly consumes time and resources.
However, there are crucial assets that can significantly benefit from straightforward preventive maintenance tasks. For instance, HVAC filters can be regularly replaced every three or six months. This task can be automated within a schedule, and a computerized system can ensure timely purchase of filters and completion of the task. Executing this maintenance may amplify the uptime of an HVAC system, bolster its energy efficiency, and extend its operational lifespan.
If you have an existing preventive maintenance plan, explore ways to enhance it for greater asset uptime. Reliable Plant notes that approximately 30 percent of preventive maintenance tasks yield limited results. Various studies have indicated that schedule-based preventive maintenance programs typically only cut down on failures by about 10 to 30 percent. However, this highlights numerous opportunities for enhancing preventive maintenance strategies.
Moving beyond routine scheduled maintenance and focusing on the behavior of crucial assets and triggers for failures leads us toward predictive maintenance approaches.
Predictive maintenance initiatives utilize sensors and diverse tools to continuously monitor equipment and ascertain maintenance needs based on the condition of assets. This approach ensures that maintenance tasks are carried out only as required, rather than strictly following a predetermined schedule. Employing predictive maintenance strategies enables companies to allocate resources effectively toward addressing tasks that can prevent or reduce the likelihood of critical asset failures, ultimately boosting equipment uptime.
Enhancing asset uptime presents a significant challenge due to the integration of a diverse array of technologies, monitoring devices, and the implementation of computer systems.
Consider that computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) emerged shortly after personal computers, predating the widespread availability of many condition monitoring tools and sensor technologies. While these evolving tools offer remarkable data capabilities today, their impact on uptime or a company’s bottom line falters if the data isn’t easily accessible or usable.
Transitioning from schedule-based preventive maintenance to reliability-centered maintenance marked an effort by companies to address previously overlooked potential failures. Presently, an extensive range of methods and tools for condition monitoring exists. Examples include infrared technology, oil analysis, vibration sensors, and some assets even integrate analog or digital centers into their design.
Sensors are becoming more sophisticated and cost-effective. They adeptly measure various indicators like vibration, gas leaks, temperature, humidity, air leaks, and other signs of potential equipment malfunction. Investing in predictive maintenance technology necessitates seamless integration of sensor-generated data into a centralized computer system.
For instance, setting an acceptable temperature range for a refrigeration unit allows sensors to trigger an alert within the CMMS when readings fall outside this range. Consequently, the centralized system can autonomously generate a work order complete with instructions, necessary parts, and tools. This empowers the maintenance manager to prioritize the task and assign it to a suitably skilled technician or service provider.
Technology continues evolving, paving the way for future tools like artificial intelligence and robotics, promising even more precise diagnostics. However, their usefulness hinges on integration into a system capable of driving actionable insights from the data they produce.
Develop Solid Checklists
Let’s acknowledge that some individuals thrive on checklists while others don’t. Yet, in maintenance, certain situations warrant mandatory checklist usage. Incorporating checklists within work orders through a CMMS mobile solution can be straightforward. Even seasoned maintenance technicians can occasionally forget tasks, and these integrated checklists on handheld devices act as visual prompts, ensuring all crucial tasks are completed. This simple measure can significantly enhance asset uptime.
However, it’s crucial to recognize that checklists aren’t the primary step in building a reliability or maintenance program, nor can they substitute formal training. Nevertheless, they serve as effective visual aids and reminders for day-to-day operations.
Initiate by crafting checklists for assets where failures can lead to substantial consequences. For instance, if human errors pose safety hazards or cause significant production losses, prioritizing checklists for your maintenance team becomes imperative.
Effective checklists encompass details like required parts and tools for specific jobs and work orders, sequences of activities, or even initials of assigned technicians for equipment worked on by multiple maintenance personnel. Additionally, checklists serve as valuable records of completed tasks or future considerations.
Centralizing this information within a computerized system empowers companies with the data necessary for informed future business decisions.
Implement Problem-Failure-Action Codes
Even with a preventive or predictive maintenance program in place, there will inevitably arise instances requiring emergency or reactive maintenance. The implementation of problem-failure-action codes presents a valuable opportunity in such scenarios.
While most organizations recognize the costly nature of emergency maintenance tasks, they serve as invaluable learning experiences, aiding businesses in developing more robust proactive programs in the long term. Providing training for maintenance technicians to comprehend and input failure codes accurately, along with action codes, facilitates smarter decision-making for your company.
Problem codes outline issues afflicting equipment, such as leaks or overheating, while failure codes pinpoint specific faults, like a leaking gasket or a worn valve. Action codes detail the performed work and completion times.
When these codes are well-defined and consistently utilized, they offer crucial insights into a company’s asset failures. Over time, management gains access to detailed failure and maintenance histories for specific assets. Reports generated by a centralized computer system, like a CMMS, unveil opportunities for future preventive and predictive maintenance based on this accumulated data.
Service Relationship Management
In numerous larger organizations, both internal and external stakeholders require and contribute data related to specific assets or procedures. Historically, this process was highly inefficient, involving extensive paperwork and often outdated information.
Despite the current availability of advanced technology and accessible cloud-based solutions, streamlining this process remains a challenge. Despite the widespread adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) by many companies, a report by McKinsey & Company suggests that much of the collected data often remains unused.
To leverage the available technology and data effectively, companies should adopt service relationship management (SRM) processes. SRM focuses on ensuring that internal and external parties involved in a company have access to all necessary information to carry out their tasks efficiently and productively.
For instance, companies managing vehicle fleets often use technology to monitor their vehicles’ condition. Various sensors today measure mileage, vibrations, and potential leakages. When certain thresholds are surpassed, an alert triggers a service order in a centralized computer system.
However, this might require bringing the vehicle back to a central location for maintenance, incurring unnecessary time and expenses. Conversely, when multiple service providers operate across a broad geographical area to service a company’s fleet, there might be limited accessible information for technicians regarding the vehicle’s history.
An effective SRM system ensures that maintenance records for a vehicle are accessible to any service providers who have previously worked on or might be engaged to work on the vehicle in the future. Consequently, technicians have the necessary information to offer a higher level of service and identify potential systemic issues.
SRM systems utilizing cloud platforms to provide and gather data from both internal and external service parties ultimately aid companies in enhancing the uptime of their equipment and assets.
An Electromechanical Reliability Example
Improving asset uptime involves varied tasks, contingent on your industry. For instance, in the electromechanical sector, Cook Consultants suggest focusing on better management of fasteners, alignments, balance, and publications.
In this field, it’s crucial for companies to ensure the suitability of fasteners’ grade, material, and size for critical assets. Regular audits, twice yearly, to replace loose or damaged fasteners are advisable. Additionally, belt tension checks, ultrasonic analysis for pressure leaks, inspections for liquid leaks, vibration issues, and rectifying electrical connections are essential procedures.
Proper lubrication is pivotal for numerous assets; using the right viscosity grade is imperative. Maintenance technicians need to grasp the presence of additives and thickeners in lubricants, preventing cross-contamination. Machines needing routine oil level checks should be easily accessible. Establishing limits on particle and water contamination, conducting regular oil quality tests, are also vital.
Clear alignment instructions, employing laser tools for precision, and minimizing movement and strain in pipe installations, especially at joints, are important for alignment procedures. Vibration analysis or similar inspections can detect misalignment.
Equipment requiring balancing should undergo checks before installation or during rebuilding. Vibration analysis helps identify mechanical imbalances, while monitoring electrical voltage and current imbalances can prolong motor life.
Crucially, management should actively lead and adopt all aspects of this program. Adequately trained maintenance technicians or expert third-party contractors should conduct maintenance to ensure proper execution.
According to the RAM Review, the primary aim of precision maintenance is to ensure assets run smoothly, quietly, and at lower temperatures. Successfully executing maintenance activities that tackle underlying causes leads to more efficient energy use, reduced friction and wear, decreased noise levels, and minimized heat generation. These combined factors ultimately result in increased uptime and prolonged lifespans for a company’s assets.
Consider that a 20 percent reduction in mechanical vibration can potentially double the lifespan of a piece of equipment. Similarly, cutting the water intrusion into lubricating oil by half can extend an asset’s life by over 30 percent. Reducing particle contamination in oil by half can further extend an asset’s lifespan, likely improving it by at least an additional 20 percent.
Excessive heat can accelerate the degradation of components like insulation and elastomers. Remarkably, this degradation rate decreases by half for every 10°C reduction in temperature. Moreover, a mere 3 percent voltage imbalance negatively impacts motor performance, leading to an 18 percent increase in operating temperature.
Another method to enhance equipment uptime extends beyond maintenance planning and monitoring. Often, workflow inefficiencies can restrict the number of preventive tasks completed in a workday and prolong unplanned downtime. A beneficial solution to address these inefficiencies involves employing a CMMS equipped with mobile capabilities.
This system enables data tracking, work order planning, swift assignment of tasks to appropriate technicians, and remote access to equipment schematics and instructions. Additionally, a CMMS streamlines parts requisitions, inventory management, and enhances procedural efficiency.
Each of these features collectively aims to streamline maintenance processes and optimize time utilization. This results in improved adherence to scheduled tasks, increased effectiveness in task execution, and faster resolution of unplanned downtimes.
Workflow streamlining also entails standardization and defect eradication. Instead of solely relying on the knowledge of experienced technicians, companies should establish and communicate standardized operating procedures, particularly for critical assets.
Clear and detailed instructions, checklists, and procedures ensure comprehensibility for anyone assuming a specific role. Consequently, increased efficiency, reduced errors, and the ability to address issues by any competent individual become achievable.
Moreover, it’s crucial to empower technicians appropriately. Often, technicians and operators possess frontline knowledge of specific assets or processes but lack the authority to address arising issues.
Consider forming small action teams capable of promptly resolving and reporting problems, as well as suggesting long-term solutions. This approach not only grants solutions to those directly engaged with critical assets but also fosters a culture focused on downtime reduction.