Did you know that manufacturers spend as much as 40% of their operating costs on maintenance? That doesn’t include downtime either. Most companies have a system in place to carry out short-term demand maintenance strategies, but to truly reduce downtime and maintenance expenses, a preventive maintenance strategy must be factored into the overall maintenance strategy. Performing maintenance strategy tasks such as data entry, work orders and alerts, has been simplified by advances in technology such as CMMS software. CMMS software helps plant managers keep machines in top performing condition through preventive maintenance scheduling, so that managers can meet delivery commitments and execute capacity planning.

In order to reduce downtime, experts agree that a preventive maintenance strategy has to be established. Preventive maintenance decreases downtime and equipment failures through proper and periodic maintenance. Proper maintenance is conducted through visual inspections at regular intervals, which is usually discovered during demand maintenance procedures. For example, if a machine has a specific part that keeps breaking, management knows to inspect that part and look for damages or performance issues. This is a simple concept when thinking of a singular machine, but most manufacturers have to think about demands and production through capacity planning. CMMS software acts as a data repository so elements such as downtime can be examined, which is a part of capacity planning.

Good CMMS software products integrate with PLCs and SCADA systems to auto generate work orders upon alerts, alarms, and events. CMMS software retains all of the information including: downtime, work order history, and inventory used. This fits into overall capacity planning because the data will reveal patterns that lead to decisions. For instance, if a factory has 10 machines and needs to deliver 1500 parts a month, how is downtime taken into consideration? By looking at where the data reveals problems, and then executing a solid preventive maintenance plan.

A large part of implementing a preventive maintenance plan using a CMMS solution involves data entry for important assets. An initial step involves allocating a Unique Identifying Number (UINs) to each piece of equipment and parts that are associated with it. After the data has been entered, a CMMS solution can be programmed to automate work orders focused around a preventive maintenance schedule. Eagle Technology’s Proteus CMMS software does this best, by giving users the ability to create a master record for preventive maintenance. Use Proteus software to set up a preventive maintenance schedule at daily, weekly, and monthly intervals. Work orders are generated automatically, which can record the technician name, time, and parts that were used. Over time, the data comes together and shows that downtime has been reduced and machines are operating better, or ideally at peak performance.

CMMS software is probably the most important tool to integrate into a preventive maintenance strategy. Through diligent data entry, patterns come to light that show plant managers where their maintenance efforts should be fine-tuned. As a result, machines operate at peak performance, reducing overall costs and downtime, making it easier for plant managers to meet delivery requirements on a grand scale.