Why is Plant Maintenance Management So Important?
Published on : Thursday 13-05-2021
Having a regular maintenance schedule ensures that every component within the plant is inspected and performing at optimal levels.
Maintenance management of a plant refers to the maintenance of building, machinery and equipment. It plays a crucial role in defining the life expectancy of physical assets. Having an effective plant maintenance strategy in place determines the smooth functioning of the plant, ensuring that all the machines should be in working condition and safe to operate. Plant maintenance essentially involves time-based and condition-based maintenance. It also may be preventive or corrective in nature.
While preventive maintenance entails frequent inspection to spot defects and the early correction of them, corrective maintenance implies that action is taken only when the need for it becomes obvious and gives no assurance that a major breakdown will not occur. The majority of industrial plants take advantage of both maintenance strategies where a major defect in one of the buildings, or a piece of equipment, would be seriously reduced or completely stop production, or a preventive maintenance program is indicated.
Why maintenance management?
Maintenance management is the repair, replacement and service of equipment in a manufacturing plant. This results in the steadiness of machines to operate at a specified availability for a specified period. Its main objective is the minimisation of machine breakdowns and downtime. But the strategies adopted by maintenance management to accomplish this aim have experienced great changes in the past several years.
In general, maintenance has been deliberated as the restoration of the faulty equipment and putting them back in working condition in minimum possible time. Considering the use of most general-purpose/conventional machines with low production output, the demands on maintenance function were not prevalent. However, the rapid developments in the design, development and mechanisms of controls such as electronic, NC and CNC in machine tools have entirely changed the manufacturing scenario.
Today, most manufacturing plants are capitalising on digital technologies in the process of digitisation. In this regard, many technology companies claim to offer software using artificial intelligence for predictive maintenance. These companies mainly offer software for use in two applications: Asset Performance and CMMS Systems. GE, for instance, offers Asset Performance Management (APM), a suite of software and service solutions designed to help optimise the performance of your assets. The company claims its Predix Asset Performance Management software is intended to help automotive companies determine what parts may need to be fixed or replaced on planes, trains and cars.
eMaint, one of the first CMMS providers to develop a completely web-based SaaS model, offers predictive maintenance and task management software that similarly uses sensor information to determine when an item should be fixed. As per the company, after connecting machine sensors to the software, a maintenance technician can log into the software and detect the anomalies the software found in the machine. eMaint CMMS software is an award-winning solution for managing work orders, plant maintenance schedules and parts inventory.
Objectives and importance of plant maintenance
The major objectives of plant maintenance include:
1. It helps minimise the loss of production time due to any equipment failure.
2. It helps improve quality and product.
3. It helps keep all the machines, assets or equipment in optimum operating conditions.
4. It helps maintain and improve the operational efficiency of the plant facilities.
5. It contributes toward revenue by minimising the operating cost and improving the quality and quantity of the product being manufactured.
The importance of plant maintenance relies heavily on the type of plant and its production. However, it plays a pivotal role in production management as plant breakdown creates a varied range of problems. These include production loss, production rescheduling, and materials wastage due to the sudden slowdown of process damages in process materials. Need for overtimes and work subcontracting, and demand for maximum manpower due to temporary work shortages are also crucial problems.
Thus, if planned maintenance management is not implemented, a plant can face massive cost. To run a plant efficiently, a plant manager and operator should be aware of different types of maintenance.
Successful maintenance management plan
There is no denying that effective maintenance management strategies allow businesses to cut down maintenance costs and minimise downtime. Operating with a successful maintenance management plan is key to improving the performance and efficiency of physical assets as well as generating higher RoI. But how to get started with an effective maintenance management plan?
At the heart of asset management and maintenance software tools, most notably a CMMS, is the planning and scheduling of maintenance. By leveraging features like work order management and maintenance management, industrial enterprises will be able to optimise the efficiency of their physical assets, particularly the assets that generate high revenue. A successful maintenance management plan enables businesses to maintain their assets while controlling time and costs.
With a better and effective maintenance strategy, businesses have a better chance of controlling costs, scheduling work orders, assigning technicians, minimising downtime of essential assets, extending the life of assets and staying compliant with regulatory standards.
Before designing and implementing a perfect maintenance management plan, it is vital to know and choose which maintenance program is best suited for your business. After that, you can devise an effective maintenance management plan by following these steps:
a. Comprehending the reasons behind downtime.
b. Adopt a personalised maintenance strategy.
c. Invest in CMMS software that is more accessible, user-friendly, and affordable than ever before.
d. Embrace a digital maintenance schedule planning to maximise effectiveness.
e. Synchronise work orders, technicians, spare parts, and maintenance programmes.
f. Track short-term KPIs and create long-term maintenance programmes.
You can leverage maintenance management software that helps automate the tracking and scheduling of maintenance activities. The software also enables service organisations to operate proactively and reduces downtime, and increases operating efficiency. Some of the best maintenance management software are Modal Software's ActionRev, The DSolve International BulkdataPro, Asset Panda, mHelpDesk, Verizon Connect, Rockwell Automation's Fiix and more.
For the smooth functioning of your plant, it is necessary to implement a routine maintenance plan. Having a regular maintenance schedule ensures that every component within the plant is inspected and performing at optimal levels. You as a maintenance manager or operator must remember that your plant maintenance team is well organised and have adequate expertise that helps facilitate corrective and timely maintenance to minimise breakdowns.