When companies approach ManagerPlus about streamlining their maintenance operations, the conversation often centers around preventive maintenance. In general, companies want to find a better way to track all of their PM schedules in order to stay ahead on their work and keep their vehicles, facilities, and equipment in optimal condition.
ManagerPlus is, of course, the premier solution available to handle all of your PM schedules (just check out our rave reviews), but what about companies that approach maintenance differently?
According to Maintenance and Reliability Best Practices, there is an approach to maintenance that can save 7-15% over traditional preventive maintenance alone. The savings are even more jaw-dropping for companies that do not already have a robust PM program in place, topping 40% overall, with up to 40% less downtime and a corresponding increase in production of up to 25%.
So how are companies achieving such outstanding levels of optimization? The answer is Condition Based Maintenance (CBM).
CBM, also called predictive maintenance, has at its core the same basic philosophy as preventive maintenance: perform minor fixes more often in order to prevent bigger, more costly failures that take longer to repair and often involve the replacement of major components. The difference is that preventive maintenance is typically driven by pre-defined, static measures of asset use, such as time intervals, or log values like miles or hours of operation.
CBM, on the other hand, is driven by measures of asset condition like temperature, vibration, oil quality, electrical amperage, etc. The idea is to use these ever-changing diagnostic measures to perform preventive maintenance when an asset indicates that it is needed, rather than at set intervals of time or usage.
Think of a vehicle in a fleet. That vehicle may be scheduled for basic preventive maintenance every 3,000 miles, but suppose temperatures were unusually high over the summer months. The environmental conditions may be accelerating wear and tear on that vehicle, which may cause it to break down long before it has reached the 3,000 mile mark. Under this scenario, CBM would be better suited to prevent major breakdowns than would traditional preventive maintenance.
So can a maintenance software system like ManagerPlus handle CBM as well as PM? Absolutely–here are two ways it can not only handle CBM, but make it easier than ever to implement:
1. Track condition metrics as log values to trigger automatic work orders. With more and more equipment, vehicles, machinery, and facilities entering the “smart” age with built-in computers, it is now possible for these assets to communicate directly with ManagerPlus.
In the example below, we have created a maintenance schedule that uses as its cycle a log reading of engine temperature. We have configured this maintenance schedule to generate a work order every time the temperature exceeds 240 degrees. When/if a log reading comes through over this temperature level, a work order containing the service items to change the oil, change the oil filter, and to clean the air filter will be generated (we can also add any associated parts, notes, and attachments we may need to perform these tasks).
Using this functionality, we can easily create logs for vibration, electrical amperage, and virtually any other measure of asset condition. We can even configure the system so that it will calculate an average of the log values over a specified period of time. To use our vehicle example, this would be a good way to avoid triggering a work order any time the outside temperature spikes temporarily. Instead, the system would wait until the overall average exceeded the normal range before generating a work order.
2. Use the inspections module to perform diagnostics manually. While “smart” technology continues to take hold, full adoption is still a ways off. Most maintenance operations will still need to perform at least some diagnostic checks of asset condition manually.
Since manual checks are not up to the minute, it is imperative they be performed in a consistent and timely manner. This is where ManagerPlus comes in.
In ManagerPlus, you can create and schedule all of your inspections, and receive alerts when they come due so you don’t fall behind. As the inspections are performed, a work order can be generated when a given asset fails an inspection.
Returning to our vehicle example, an inspection can be set up to test engine temperature manually, generating the same work order as the one we configured above if the temperature exceeds 240 degrees.
Thus, using the inspections module to handle asset diagnostic tests is a simple way to start incorporating CBM into your maintenance regimen. All you have to do is round up your diagnostic equipment and determine how often you’d like the tests to be run.
Most importantly, ManagerPlus is a perfect solution for implementing CBM methodology into your operations.
Questions? Comments? Send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org, and be sure to check back here for all of the latest tips, insights, and news from the world of maintenance management from ManagerPlus.