CMMS contributes to total productive maintenance initiatives

By Paul Lachance, Smartware Group Inc. March 14, 2012

When a manufacturing organization embarks on a total productive maintenance (TPM) project, especially maintenance operations, it is critical to get the feedback from any/all people impacted, down to machine operators. So often we hear about utopian desires from upper management related to maintenance operations.

TPM would be much more successful if people working “in the trenches” are included in the design, implementation and intended outcomes of the project. This stretches way past the maintenance staff to equipment operators themselves who could be “deputized” to handle elementary quality control and preventive maintenance tasks.

CMMS should be the operations management, planning, analysis and audit technology component of any plant TPM strategy. CMMS tracks and analyzes production equipment based on maintenance and repair history, etc. It also identifies and manages the work load of the people involved in the maintenance process.

An example: an asset could be actively “PM’d” by a combination of people – dedicated maintenance technicians as well as equipment operators. CMMS easily identifies and analyzes these efforts – both from an operations management and a historical analysis perspective.

TPM starting point? CMMS

CMMS also makes a good starting point for any TPM project by supporting universal maintenance goals: achieving optimal performance, longevity and safety of production and utility equipment. Start by entering each system into CMMS to automate ongoing monitoring, and corrective, preventive and predictive actions for each system.

CMMS captures asset information, work order history, purchase order and invoice information for outsourced repairs, of all current and new equipment. It “pieces together” the history of equipment failures, and analyzes and reports on what needs servicing, by when, and then populates preventive maintenance schedules with the historical data. CMMS helps identify problem areas in a facility and analyzes the effectiveness of a TPM deployment.

For example, a new building was being added to a large facility in South Carolina. During construction the maintenance operations team entered all new equipment data into its CMMS system vs. adding information once the construction project was completed.

Based on similar equipment being used in its larger facility that CMMS was tracking, the team set up a maintenance forecasting system and future PM schedules for new building equipment. PM alerts were set up in advance to notify maintenance to replace parts, or plan for more maintenance resources. This model should be applied to any TPM project.

Measuring the value of TPM

Being able to measure TPM initiatives is important for making process improvements. CMMS does a good job of measuring asset effectiveness and people effectiveness through monitoring, analysis, auditing and providing related information that is typical for any organization deploying a TPM strategy. CMMS is at the heart of effective maintenance operations – from upper management all the way to asset operators.