Mobile manufacturing maintenance on the rise

Mobile apps are becoming a part of the manufacturing experience by providing users with a natural extension of the browser-based CMMS that workers on the plant floor use on a day-by-day basis.


Mobile apps are becoming a part of the manufacturing experience by providing users with a natural extension of the browser-based CMMS that workers on the plant floor use on a day-by-day basis. Courtesy: Chris Vavra, CFE MediaSmartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous in people's everyday lives, and manufacturing is no exception from this new status quo. These devices are a valuable window into data that can empower workers who are on the go. Organizations that haven't embraced smartphones and tables won't have much choice in the future. They will become a requirement for conducting business.

It's not just the devices themselves that empower companies, but rather then access they supply to well-design apps. Cloud-based CMMS apps, for example, enable devices to become part of a seamless network of real-time updates and valuable analytics. And this is only the beginning.

The app extension

The mobile experience's simplicity has been a notable advantage since day one. Good CMMS apps don't deviate from this model. These mobile apps are designed to act as an extension of the browser-based CMMS and deliver a sense of consistency with the same "look and feel" and core functionality wherever the user is located. The native features of mobile devices such as cameras, QR codes, and mapping, can become part of the CMMS experience. They can be used for faster item lookup or entry and clearer communication of asset issues or locations.

The combination of a powerful CMMS app with today's mobile devices can lead to greater maintenance efficiency and organization. Benefits from these developments include enhancing industrial capabilities and improving the overall effectiveness of the processes that are performed on the plant floor. Workers having all the data while on the plan floor eliminate cumbersome steps in the day-to-day work process and helps improve efficiency. Also, being able to see specific data and make rapid decisions in the moment reduces potential maintenance downtime.

Making mobile devices part of the predictive maintenance (PdM) process will improve a plant's overall efficiency if the apps that are part of the CMMS experience act as a natural extension of the plant worker's duty.

Mobility is the present, not the future

Forward-thinking companies are adding mobility to their maintenance operations and laggards will be moved to a mobile app strategy either by design or by necessity. After all, it's hard for maintenance engineers to turn away from the promise of better efficiency on the table. Some companies have already jumped on board and the others will inevitably follow.

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

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