Why can adopting a CMMS software allow companies to decide what type of maintenance they need to implement?
Companies (SMEs as well as large groups) know how their productivity partly depends on their industrial maintenance processes. Five types of maintenance are in fact recurrent in the industry: corrective, preventive, condition-based, predictive and predetermined. These concepts are not always easy to understand or are not well-known by certain people, that’s why they need to be cleared up. Each company has very precise needs and therefore has to implement a specific type of maintenance. In order to help you make the right decision and deploy the perfect strategy thanks to an next-gen CMMS, we want to explain to you what exactly are the different types of industrial maintenance listed above and maybe to shed light on these matters.
Why is industrial maintenance so important for your business?
Many industries can confirm how maintenance costs represent a high share of operating costs. Figures obviously vary from one company to another but they can still sometimes represent up to 50% of the global production costs, without even taking into account planned or unplanned downtime, stock and tools management, purchasing… These are as many unforeseen events which can lead to additional costs that a company often struggles to estimate but that are nonetheless closely linked to the maintenance teams’ activity. It goes without saying that an organization’s profitability and productivity partly depend on the maintenance processes that have been implemented; plants therefore should adopt a well-thought and optimized strategy in order to make sure all equipment work in the most reliable way possible.
If maintenance technicians and managers are given the possibility to check on their equipment’s status and to enter information in a tool that is helping them to anticipate potential breakdowns, they can become way more efficient and perform well-organized interventions. The final aim of course is to reduce a whole plant’s useless spendings as well as to enhance productivity and profitability.
1 - Corrective maintenance
Corrective maintenance is implemented right after a defect has been detected on a piece of equipment or a production line: its objective is to make the piece of equipment work normally again, so that it can perform its assigned function. Corrective maintenance can either be planned or unplanned depending on whether or not a maintenance plan has been created.
Technicians apply unplanned corrective maintenance to react as soon as a failure couldn’t be anticipated with preventive maintenance processes has been detected. Corrective maintenance gives technicians the possibility to perform their interventions without delay, even if they can choose whether they want to maintain the piece of equipment on the spot, right when a problem has been detected or later. Unplanned corrective maintenance can quickly become more costly than planned one because it can lead to costs which couldn’t have been anticipated. Even if preventive maintenance doesn’t always allow maintenance teams to anticipate each breakdown or failure as it remains very difficult to know exactly which components are about to fail, it still helps them reduce their scope of errors.
2 - Predetermined maintenance
Predetermined maintenance, probably the less known one of all the maintenance types presented in this article, doesn’t rely on the actual equipment’s state but rather on the programs delivered by manufacturers. They elaborate these programs based on their knowledge of failure mechanisms as well as on MTTF (mean time to failure) statistics which they observed on a piece of equipment and its various components in the past.
Based on the assumption that this type of maintenance is only applied according to programs elaborated by manufacturers, failure risks are higher or lower whether the piece of equipment or part is new or old. Maintenance teams have no choice but to rely on these programs so they might not be able to anticipate failures (there’s a risk for downtimes to occur and to have a direct consequence on productivity) and they also might proceed to completely useless parts replacement (which leads to additional costs that could have been avoided).
This type of maintenance, just like others, is imperfect. It doesn’t guarantee that a piece of equipment won’t break down since all programs are based on failure statistics but they don’t take the equipment’s actual state into account. Each piece of equipment can have several maintenance programs multiplied by the number of existing pieces of equipment.
3 - Condition-based maintenance
Among all types of maintenance cited above, the condition-based maintenance is the most complicated to implement. It aims to prevent failures and requires regular check-ups of the state, the efficiency as well as other indicators of the system. All this data can be gathered automatically on the field or remotely thanks to a direct network connection to the equipment, in order to make sure that it is constantly controlled. Maintenance teams can decide whether they want to operate constant or regular interval control: they read counters, check parts’ wear, control motors’ temperatures… These are all actions the teams can undertake to ensure that no piece will cause a breakdown that would damage the whole production line.
Even if condition-based maintenance can seem difficult to implement, it is particularly economical. Since maintenance technicians proceed to very regular check ups of their parts and equipment, they will only take in charge the ones that need to be repaired or replaced. As a consequence, the purchasing department won’t have to manage dozens of parts orders that will be stored and won’t really be useful to ensure the proper functioning of the production line. In a nutshell, this type of maintenance allows companies to save money.
4 - Preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance is applied by technicians teams and managers before any breakdown or failure occurs. Its aim is to reduce the probability of breakdown or degradation of a piece of equipment, component or spare part. In order to implement such maintenance, teams have to take the part’s history into consideration and keep track of the past failures. They are therefore able to identify the time ranges during which a piece of equipment might break down.
This type of maintenance is described as planned because it’s based on well-established maintenance programs and hard facts. It is possible to apply preventive maintenance thanks to a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), an essential tool for any company wishing to organize its maintenance department and therefore to ensure long-lasting productivity. A CMMS is a truly useful tool for maintenance teams as they enter every detail of their interventions and exchange with colleagues in order to keep track of all the operations, maintenance plans, etc. Technicians, thanks to their work and the information they give in, progressively build a whole history of past breakdowns and failures.
Once all the information has been analyzed by the CMMS, maintenance teams are able to visualize all the interventions, to see how frequently a maintenance operation has been undertaken and to anticipate unplanned downtime in order to react accordingly. The different equipment parts are ordered in advance to always have stock.
Towards predictive maintenance?
A next-gen CMMS like Mobility Work, a solution that offers a performing analytics tool able to gather all the data entered by maintenance teams themselves, aims to progressively help plants evolve towards predictive maintenance. It allows technicians to anticipate breakdowns: they generate reports directly in their CMMS, they know when a piece of equipment might break down and therefore proceed to industrial maintenance operations. Once again, the most important thing is anticipation because any failure could slow down the production and become extremely costly. Predictive maintenance can be implemented thanks to an intuitive and easy to use CMMS, which will ease industrial maintenance technicians’ lives and generate tables and graphs for them thanks to all the data entered by all their colleagues.
To conclude, the type of industrial maintenance that is to be implemented depends on the company’s strategy. No matter what decision it makes, it has to provide the maintenance teams with a CMMS in order to ensure proper interventions monitoring as well as smooth communication between technicians and other professionals. This is exactly what innovative solutions such as user-friendly next-gen CMMS Mobility Work. Thanks to its analytics tool, this CMMS helps technicians visualize all their breakdowns, failures, operations and interventions and analyzes data in order to help plants figure out what type of maintenance to deploy.
CMMS help companies analyze all the maintenance operations’ costs, follow ongoing interventions, manage spare parts stock, plan their maintenance, save documentation… Using the example of Mobility Work CMMS again, the solution works just like today’s social media as it gives the possibility to industrial professionals from the same teams, plants, networks or groups to communicate and exchange. As soon as they encounter an issue on a piece of equipment, they can rely on a huge community composed 10,000 users that will help them solve their problem or give them advice. Ultimately, adopting the right tool and implementing a type of maintenance that fits a company’s needs allows it to distinguish itself from its competitors and to benefit from a significant competitive advantage.