CMMS implementation and common pitfalls!

by Glenn Maxwell

A new computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a transformative event for a plant, offering efficient asset utilization and greater reliability as new technologies advance. As a result, it necessitates a thorough examination of the current maintenance process and operational culture. Four of the many pitfalls associated with CMMS implementation are the most common.

1. Adding existing maintenance flaws

Maintenance systems must be constantly improved and evolved, but inefficiencies and redundancies can build up over time. Inputting an imperfect maintenance program into a CMMS results in an obfuscated abstraction that gives the appearance of control but with suboptimal gains. As part of the CMMS investment, a maintenance program review should be performed at the strategic, tactical, and operational levels prior to implementation.

Strategically, the operation’s maintenance objectives should be examined in light of the new opportunities presented by technology. A senior team should investigate the original premise underlying plant reliability, capital intensity, and maintenance expectations. Future infrastructure changes required to allow system scale and adaptation should be recognized.

Tactically, assumptions about failure modes and criticality analysis should be audited. Because of new plant introductions and revised layouts, the original criticality and failure effects may produce suboptimal results. Similarly, the business may require new processes, including the elimination or modification of existing ones to accommodate the new paradigm.

Maintenance managers should review planned maintenance tasks for duplication, obsolescence, detail, and effectiveness on an operational level. It’s also critical to know whether work-hour estimates are correct. A full spares inventory should be created, and supplier registers should be cleansed to ensure currency and completeness.

2. Failure to prioritize workplace communication

The implementation of a CMMS is a significant change for maintenance departments, but it also has an impact on the people and processes in production, warehousing, and finance. Failure to implement a formal change management process jeopardizes the rollout’s integrity and effectiveness. All departments’ cooperation and support are critical for trouble-free integration and the success of an optimized solution. The key is frequent and meaningful communication, backed up by a willingness to hear and respond to concerns and proposed changes.

It is critical to communicate with dedicated representatives from affected departments and explain the benefits of CMMS to them. People will not support process refinement and data integrity initiatives if they do not understand the strategic importance of the change.

A comprehensive training program that is implemented creates familiarity with the new system. Important factors are announced, and any staff concerns or process changes that are required are addressed. Technicians and operators should notice a difference with fewer mundane tasks and more time to devote to more impactful and interesting roles.

3. Failure to consider inventory optimization

The emphasis of CMMS implementation is frequently on planned maintenance tasks and scheduling. However, inventory and warehousing departments provide opportunities to free up capital, streamline operations, and increase equipment availability. A modern CMMS’s inventory feature allows for optimized inventory and restocking levels, as well as improved spare parts and tooling availability.

Inventory adjustments can be made with a clear understanding of component mean-time-between-failure and mean-time-to-repair. Inventory optimization frees up idle capital while identifying issues with supplier performance, component reliability, and plant failure trends.

The store department can pre-prepare service and spare-part kits to support the planned maintenance tasks as the CMMS schedules maintenance. They can also ensure the calibration of specialized equipment and tooling to ensure availability on maintenance days. By preparing the resources required for each PM task, these tasks allow maintenance technicians to focus on their role. Improving technician effectiveness reduces maintenance shutdown duration, which has a direct impact on equipment availability.

4. Failure to foresee the future

As technology advances, the rate of industrial change accelerates. Many articles today refer to Industry 4.0 as something new, despite the fact that we are more than halfway through Industry 4.0, with Industry 5.0 on the horizon. The current topic of discussion is what Industry 6.0 will look like.

Businesses in asset-intensive industries will lose competitiveness if they fail to recognize the speed and significance of this technological shift. If a company is looking to implement a CMMS for the first time, it must ensure that it will be able to capitalize on emerging technologies.

The industrial internet of things, big data, the low latency of 5G connectivity, advancements in wireless sensors, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are all coming together. These various technologies have enabled predictive maintenance for small to medium-sized businesses, with prescriptive maintenance already being implemented in large industries such as aviation and oil and gas.

Prescriptive maintenance must be adaptable; the time and disruption invested in a new CMMS implementation should not be repeated in a few years.

Purchasing a CMMS is more than just digitizing a paper-based maintenance program. It ushers in predictive and prescriptive maintenance potential when combined with Industry 5.0 technologies, machine learning, and artificial intelligence algorithms. Such a revolutionary opportunity precludes delegating or treating the new CMMS rollout as transactional. Rather, it should be viewed as transformational, necessitating a comprehensive change program supported at the highest level and entailing a careful review of maintenance strategy and tactical implementation.

A poorly managed new CMMS implementation can result in costly mistakes, increased administrative burden, and failure to provide a suitable ROI. A CMMS, when approached strategically and managed correctly, will increase reliability and productivity, improve worker safety, reduce maintenance costs, and positively redirect capital spending. MRO

Shaon Shahnewz

is a seasoned digital marketer, tech enthusiast, and blogger who enjoys reading and spending time with his kid. 

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