THE foam factory had started its twice-daily pour and the injecting valves malfunctioned. The consequences: extra labour costs, raw materials, waste charges and delayed customer delivery. A computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) could have prevented the incident and brought continuous improvement.
A CMMS records equipment maintenance plans and equipment history. With the example above, your spreadsheet could be transferred into the CMMS. You could set up services with different frequencies: a monthly service for cleaning; and a two-monthly service including cleaning and seal replacement.
Defining the two-monthly service is simple using the maintenance policy function in MEX. There are only a few fields to complete as shown in Fig. 1. The frequency “every 2 months” can be seen in the middle of the form. Users can be more specific defining trades, spares and tasks.
Just before each service is due, the CMMS prints a work order with the pre-defined tasks. When two services fall around the same time, the two-monthly takes priority. If a service is done late, the system adjusts the next occurrence automatically so that the next services are prompted only after the defined time. This optimises PM because it is done just when needed and not earlier. By using an integrated spares inventory management module, spare parts are ordered only when needed, further controlling costs.
When services are completed, the equipment records are automatically updated with details of work. Management can review complete history for all equipment to identify any emerging issues. The information is available immediately without the need to sift through paper records. Critical management decisions about future repair or replacement can then be made based on facts.
A work history is like an insurance policy. It will show, if needed, the plan, how it was followed and whether maintenance recommended by manufacturers, or reasonably expected maintenance, has been done.
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