CMMS adoption enhances maintenance strategies

CMMS enhances maintenance strategies of all types and not enough companies have come to realize the benefits that they offer.

By Smartware Group October 20, 2016

CMMS is designed to help engineers, operators, technicians, coordinators and other workers in manufacturing gain a powerful solution to keep their assets and equipment operating optimally. However, not everyone has gotten the message. Plant Engineering’s 2016 Maintenance Study found that only 51% of plants surveyed are running a CMMS.

While getting past the halfway mark is a turning point for banishing manual processes and spreadsheet usage, the fact that 49% of businesses have not yet adopted CMMS in 2016 represents a significant missed opportunity for many organizations. This is especially pronounced by the three types of strategies outlined within the Plant Engineering study that are the best at cutting failure rates, all three maintenance strategies become better when enhanced with CMMS.

Preventive maintenance and CMMS

CMMS allows manufacturers to make preventive maintenance (PM) programs more effective and efficient. Machine manufacturer’s recommendations, historical performance data, production schedules, labor schedules based on certified expertise and availability—these attributes all feed into a well-balanced PM plan. Trying to manage these details and others can be impossible with pen and paper, as most plants realize, but they can also be drastically difficult to handle with more facility-oriented CMMS.

The difference is that CMMS focused on the square footage and facility aspect of a plant can lack the asset hierarchies and location-based structures that an asset-centric CMMS will have, particularly one specializing in the manufacturing industry. CMMS geared towards asset-intensive manufacturers can excel in offering facility maintenance capabilities, but its concentration lies in improving the capacity of organizations through better utilization of an organization’s assets and resources. CMMS that is geared towards manufacturing and other asset-intensive industries can offer work orders based on location as well as category, with an infinite hierarchical structure.

Reactive maintenance and CMMS

Well-designed CMMS can enable plants to properly manage reactive efforts. CMMS with native mobile apps, for instance, offer a simple way to input maintenance requests, and view work statuses. Note that "mobile-capable" CMMS, in which screens are merely optimized for smaller devices, fall short of providing a similar type of solution because these systems can’t offer pinch-and-zoom, swiping, and other inherent mobile features.

At the same time, CMMS mobile apps can assist with field work performed outside of Internet connectivity or Wi-Fi range. Labor timers in these apps make it easy to track the time associated with the completion of actual work.

With this level of advanced functionality and accessibility so readily available today, innovative CMMS providers can go a long way in helping to transform manufacturers.

Predictive maintenance and CMMS

Predictive maintenance (PdM) approaches incorporate asset condition monitoring to deliver automated notifications to personnel when certain thresholds are met or to trigger an action within the CMMS—or a combination of the two. PdM isn’t possible if the company is still logging maintenance records in journals and it also may not be feasible in smaller-scale CMMS solutions.

Taking care to vet needs now and in the future will help companies save the time and expense of numerous CMMS installations over a relatively short period of time. CMMS is a major investment and should be treated as such through a thorough assessment of an organization’s requirements and goals, and matching them against the capabilities of leading providers.

—This article originally appeared on the Smartware Group blog. Smartware Group is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, CFE Media,