Industrial Maintenance Best Practices
The main goal of industrial maintenance is to keep all plant’s assets in good condition and this at the lowest possible cost. The capacity and the production quality of an organization depend on the availability and reliability of the equipment. There are several essential maintenance categories and they should all be considered as equally important in order to establish a valuable maintenance plan. These are the maintenance of equipment and materials, the maintenance of buildings with paintings, various repairs, amenities, the maintenance of exteriors, electrical maintenance including light, water, steam, energy generation, fire prevention and the cleaning floor maintenance.
The whole range of necessary industrial maintenance routines can be far more easily controlled and managed if standards, measurements and specific techniques get established. This will guarantee the quality level of every single performed task by ensuring that every action is performed in the safest, most efficient and most effective way.
Establishing and deploying maintenance standards can be long and messy. Here are some proven techniques where to start and how to initiate the integration of standard maintenance procedures (SMPs).
Get to Know the Team
Very often the maintenance staff is organized by specialty as mechanics, electricians etc. However, nowadays the techniques are evolving and the sector demands professionals as electro mechanics, automation specialists, hydraulics-pneumatics specialists, etc. Since all these processes get more and more intertwined on the same machines, generalists with knowledge in all these areas are highly appreciated.
These can be the “neighborhood” generalists whose skills cover mechanics, electricity, hydraulics or computers. The second group is the one of the real specialists who possess enough knowledge to intervene everywhere but who are still dedicated to only one specific area.
Both groups of maintenance professionals can work alone or in a multidisciplinary team, in close cooperation with the manufacturers on a single production sector or on a single line or even on a single production island.
Another very valuable asset are the researchers and organizers who prepare the work, subcontract, plan and manage all activities in order to improve maintenance routines and equipment performance.
Management is permanently assisted by the secretariat and the operational management of the group or of a subsidiary can be assisted by profiles as project managers, creators and translators. These functions can be provided by a member of the group but also by a member of the network.
Gather and Analyze Data to Define the Needs and the Problems of the Plant
The first and the most crucial step leading to the establishment of best practices is to gather as much data as possible on machine downtime, asset behavior, intervention history, spare parts, in order to make diagnoses and propose the best method of maintenance according to its cost. Analyses play an essential role in the choice of equipment. In particular the study of the new machines is a source of improvement for the old ones. The so collected data should be used in the creation of the equipment fact sheets with operational documents, toolkits, instructions, operating modes and diagrams.
Create a Maintenance Plan
An established industrial maintenance plan helps managers to distribute the daily tasks between the teams, to plan and control the machine stops and to gather all necessary material means as tools, equipment and spare parts. The final goal of a maintenance plan is to ensure that:
- a piece of equipment is able to operate at an acceptable level (performance and quality)
- best possible conditions of work are available
- damage to other assets is avoided
- a maintenance routine with standard tasks and predictable times is established.
The maintenance plan encompasses the schedule and organization of curative, corrective, preventive and predictive maintenance interventions whereas the transition from reactive to preventive actions should be of a main concern.
Mobility Work’s calendar feature allows you to schedule all your preventive and predictive maintenance tasks.
Develop Routine Standard Maintenance Procedures (SMPs)
The well-known Universal Maintenance Standards (UMS) are some of the essential principles for a high-productivity maintenance program. Established in the 50s, they are based on the range-of-time (recognizing the fact that different maintenance tasks cover different time ranges) and work-content-comparison techniques (stating that two completely different maintenance tasks can finally require the same time to be performed). UMS are also known as Comparative Estimating.
Universal maintenance standards are focused on estimating, measuring and managing the time required for maintenance actions to be performed while SMP or standard maintenance procedures are rather there to standardize simple tasks performed on a regular basis or complicated ones resulting from a critical unplanned failure. Defining and listing all these tasks is essential for the creation of an SMP which goal is to ensure the consistent quality of the action no matter who is performing it.
There are many different ways and variables to measure the different steps of a maintenance intervention as for example MTTR (mean-time-to-repair) or MTBF (mean-time-between-failures). But you can also estimate the average cost of one hour of downtime and then measure the impact of maintenance on production and assets.
Trust a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System)
After you have defined and analyzed all involved variables, more opportunities will start to get shape and become visible. This is the right moment to adopt a CMMS and streamline your entire maintenance process.
Discover the benefits of CMMS:
All news related to ongoing interventions are available from Mobility Work mobile application's newsfeed, available on iOS and Android.
Dare to Make a Step Toward Predictive Maintenance
Adopting a CMMS is the most important move that a business owner should undertake to pass from reactive to scheduled proactive maintenance routines. The more you dare to rely on automation and latest digital trends, the more results you will see. Next step would be to integrate sensors on your most critical assets and start analyzing the delivered condition-monitoring data. This will reveal new opportunities and will help you realize that predicting failure is now possible and totally worth it.
Manage Spare Parts
The management of your spare parts is an essential part of a completed quality maintenance program. The most important factors to consider here are:
- consumption history
- equipment criticality
- spare part delivery times
- spare part costs
- risks of obsolescence
Read more about Spare Parts Management:
Put It All Together and Welcome Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)
Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) is a valuable strategy encompassing lean industrial maintenance techniques for smart factories relying on preventive and predictive actions. RCM ensures that all company’s assets are fully optimized with cost-effective maintenance techniques to guarantee the maximized productivity of the plant.
A successful industrial maintenance strategy relies on specific maintenance standards, including various best practices, measurements, planning decisions and quality characteristics. Mobility Work is a SaaS CMMS and an entire maintenance management platform that can help you to establish a quality industrial maintenance strategy for an optimized plant performance.