What’s a CMMS and Why Should Your Factory be Using One?
Just about every facet of manufacturing is going digital in some capacity ― maintenance operations most of all. With more digital data streaming in real time and a focus on total asset maintenance, we’ve entered the age of computerized maintenance management. For factories big and small, it’s time to think seriously about investing in a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).
What is a CMMS?
A CMMS is a centralized platform that ties all facets of maintenance together. It’s the dashboard for maintenance, collecting real-time data, housing historical records, and providing a top-down, comprehensive view of specific assets under management. In simpler terms, it provides maintenance techs with all the information they need to do their jobs. The pillars of most CMMS platforms include:
- Resource and labor management tools
- Asset registry and profiles
- Work order management system
- Maintenance logs and records
- Materials and inventory management
- Reporting, analysis, and auditing
Together, these resources pull together a complete picture of maintenance. Moreover, they digitize everything, allowing for better maintenance results. A tech with a tablet can access a CMMS for quick reference on the jobsite, just as easily as a data analyst can break down historical asset data to understand chronic problems with a piece of equipment.
The benefits of digitizing maintenance
Total asset management has a number of inherent benefits that make it a smart philosophy to implement. Overseeing total asset maintenance through a CMMS enhances these benefits. The accessibility and organization of asset data is instrumental in ensuring maintenance is being performed with maximum efficiency, to the fullest capacity possible. Some of the many benefits unlocked by a CMMS solution include:
- Lower repair costs through better, more targeted maintenance
- Reduced or eliminated downtime, due to efficient maintenance
- Better planning and logistics within the maintenance department
- Better allocation of resources and delegation of manpower
- Streamlined inventory and ordering practices
- Ability to design proactive and predictive maintenance programs
- Ease of implementation for future smart sensors and network devices
Because the CMMS platform acts as a centralized repository for all maintenance information and actions, it grounds the entire maintenance approach. Everything goes through the CMMS and decisions are based on the information provided by it, ensuring smarter, more effective approaches to equipment service, maintenance, and repair.
Integration takes time, but it’s worth it
For manufacturers with years of historical data on their machines and equipment, the idea of porting everything over to a CMMS is daunting. Loss of information, complexity of integration, and adoption of new processes are all real concerns. But they need to be surmounted to gain the many benefits of having a robust CMMS at the helm of maintenance operations.
There are ways to make the transition to a CMMS platform gradual. Incorporate it into simpler areas of maintenance first, then scale up as processes become clear and staff become comfortable using the software. Slowly phase out older methods of documentation as the CMMS becomes more relevant. And don’t worry about syncing records back more than a few years ― instead, create a historical cutoff for data integration, save older records in their current form, and port relevant data over to the CMMS.
Factory maintenance operations of the future are digital and demand a digital foundation. A CMMS solution is that foundation. The sooner it’s adopted and learned, the easier and more efficient maintenance operations of the future will be.