CMMS can’t change the maintenance culture

CMMS is an answer to a prayer. Finally every piece of equipment, every spare part, every outside maintenance contractor, invoice, leasing agreement…essentially any maintenance-related document finally has a home in CMMS.

05/29/2012



By the time the maintenance department cries uncle from repairing too many machines without a management system in place, CMMS is an answer to a prayer. Finally every piece of equipment, every spare part, every outside maintenance contractor, invoice, leasing agreement…essentially any maintenance-related document finally has a home in CMMS.

Now, instead of dropping everything to fix a malfunctioning machine, a mechanic can calmly turn to his CMMS system, look up the machine, see any pertinent history, generate a work order, make the repairs, enter time and materials, and close the work order. Later on, if that same machine breaks down, not only does he have a record of previous repairs, but he can analyze how often repairs are warranted and whether it’s worth fixing again or buying a new one.

At last CMMS saves the day!

But don’t pop the cork just yet. The organization’s old maintenance “habits” may shorten the CMMS honeymoon. CMMS can automate and manage a whole host of maintenance functions based on equipment data that’s been entered into the system. What it can’t do is change the maintenance culture. That’s up to the plant manager and the team.

Below is a list of the most common gripes about automating maintenance and my recommended “cultural adjustments.” This comes from years of helping customers convert resistors to the new CMMS culture:

I don’t have time to do data entry and generate work orders; the machine needs to be fixed right now or we lose production time.

Culture adjustment: Help your technicians understand that the investment they make in using CMMS will give them much more wrench time and greater reliability in the long run. CMMS will end the firefighting.

My maintenance people cannot be trusted to enter data correctly on work orders, which will compromise the whole CMMS effort.

Culture adjustment: CMMS will make sure that only appropriate staff can enter information in appropriate parts of the system. It may also make sense to appoint a designated CMMS administrator to manage the whole repair process. In the meantime, have IT limit usage to user-authorized CMMS access.

We had a maintenance system before that was so cumbersome no one wanted to use it and it collected dust on a shelf.

Culture adjustment: Unfortunately, since maintenance is viewed by corporate as a cost center, plant managers try to save money by using a combination of spreadsheets and brute force just to get control of repairs. If you decide to take the CMMS plunge, involve your whole team in the project, and set goals and objectives together. Forcing CMMS often fails. Also consider some initial training and possibly implementation consulting.

CMMS cannot conform to how we do our maintenance.

Culture adjustment: You might need to make minor adjustments to your operations, but a decent CMMS system should adhere to your practices and procedures—not the other way around. Find a CMMS—and a sales rep who can show you how the product can adapt to your operations.



The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me