The crux of manufacturing

For today’s manufacturing plants, a key solution may be advanced computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS).
By Smartware Group December 6, 2016

For today’s manufacturing plants, a key solution may be advanced computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS). Courtesy: Smartware GroupNo industry can make a technological leap if a cornerstone system is missing. For today’s manufacturing plants, a key solution may be advanced computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS). As operations grow more automated, digitized, and complex in scale, having central repositories for up-to-date data on every asset and facility site have gone from a value-add and efficiency booster to a requirement. An overview of how digital systems are developing shows just how essential leading CMMS has become.

Connected and empowered

Major changes affecting manufacturing in the years ahead will involve increasing connectivity and improving sensors on machinery. This raises the question of how much value such an evolution will provide. Without a system that can manage all that asset data (think: big data), the answer may be none. Leaders today are dealing with increasing quantities of assets along with higher volumes of data related to asset performance and include everything from temperature readings to vibration analysis to output. Automation is critical to keep all of this data meaningful and actionable.

With fewer engineers capable of monitoring high-level data and more assets producing output, companies will likely turn to center of excellence models. With high-level experts in one location managing data from sensors throughout a whole organizational structure, the strategy will fall apart unless the data is compiled in an understandable way.

Without a centralized way to compile all the content coming from the more advanced sensors, innovations will have a negligible effect on the way equipment is actually maintained or monitored. No matter how competent the experts managing this ecosystem are, they will be unable to operate optimally if they are being pulled in dozens of directions by disconnected systems. Modern CMMS’ value proposition in the new, highly connected manufacturing sector comes from its ability to be the connective tissue between assets and engineers. By acting as the conduit carrying data, well-designed CMMS make everything else function. 

Every number, side by side

A best-of-breed CMMS approach with a single login to manage a whole manufacturing environment is a capability that today’s companies need. The alternatives all lead to compromise and the chance of inaccuracy and human error. Multiple locations, each with their own assets, can all be condensed into one system for individual or roll-up reporting.

While rich data describing the exact condition of every piece of machinery at all times holds obvious appeal, there is a less obvious undercurrent to this type of refresh. Unless there is a system in place to pull that content and provide a means to a predictive maintenance (PdM) strategy, it may prove more overwhelming than useful.

– Smartware Group. This article originally appeared on Bigfoot Blog. Smartware Group is a CFE Media content partner.