Maintenance managers face a variety of challenges. Increasingly complex machines and systems, a lack of skilled workers with the associated lack of know-how, as well as dependence on manufacturers make the profession of maintenance manager demanding. The primary goal for maintenance managers is to avoid operational disruptions and thus the unplanned shutdown of machines and plants. But how can this be achieved?
This article offers you 5 tips on how maintenance personnel can perform maintenance efficiently and proactively.
Tip 1) Digitize machine and product data
According to a BearingPoint study on "Digitization in technical service", 40% of the companies surveyed had no or incomplete access to machine and product data in 2019. However, the digitization of machine data is the basis for the digitization of processes in maintenance and technical service. The big goal should be a cross-system linking of information and complete networking of the entire machine and vehicle fleet. This is only possible if information gaps are closed and all information about the machines from the various manufacturers, parts, production lines, processes and equipment is collected and evaluated digitally.
Tip 2) Create a 360° Maintenance View
In order to be able to identify and order the right spare part quickly and precisely in the event of maintenance, maintenance personnel need easy access to all the necessary information. For this purpose, a system into which all relevant data from the various manufacturers flows is recommended. The information system offers a 360° view of the vehicle fleet, machines or plants. As a maintenance technician, you have access to centrally maintained operating and maintenance instructions, circuit diagrams, work values, stock levels and information on spare and wear parts at various locations at any time. Finding and ordering the right parts and documentation becomes child's play - downtimes are reduced to a minimum.
Tip 3) Centralize knowledge and experience
Machines and vehicles from different manufacturers require maintenance staff to have in-depth knowledge of details and interrelationships as well as experience. What was previously only stored in the heads of individual employees can now be permanently documented and made available to all colleagues thanks to a centralized system. This enables high-quality maintenance preparations and deployment planning, which leads to efficient maintenance processes and thus saves costs. The centralized expert knowledge also means that new employees can be trained more quickly.
Tip 4) Enable a simple search for alternative parts
If the warranty period has expired, the purchase of alternative spare parts can save considerable costs compared to expensive original parts. An automatic check of the catalogue system for alternative parts from different manufacturers enables the user to identify them quickly. The alternative parts can then be ordered directly via the Service Information System.
Tip 5) Focus on Predictive Maintenance
Predictive Maintenance is the desired strategy of today's maintenance managers. Permanent monitoring of machines and equipment and evaluation of the data obtained leads to a prediction of future maintenance requirements. This enables maintenance operations to be planned optimally, thereby saving costs and increasing the service life of the machines and systems. That sounds like a dream of the future to you? Possibly - but if you are already moving in the direction of Industry 4.0, you are creating the ideal conditions to be able to benefit from predictive maintenance in the future without too much additional effort. The foundations for this are: Collect and analyze data centrally and calculate the probability of occurrence of specific events.
Looking into the future: The "Digital Information Twin“
Create the foundations for tomorrow today. Build up a goal-oriented, intelligent data model of your machines and plants and thus create a comprehensive, digital understanding of your machines and products – a “Digital Information Twin”. Elementary requirements for this are:
- Integrated data processing
- Consistent master data
- Comprehensive data structures
- Meaningful data models
- Smart networking of all information
Which advantages result from these 5 tips for you as a maintenance manager?
- Increase the productivity of your employees
- Improve internal knowledge
- Reduce maintenance efforts and costs
- Extend the service life of machines and systems
- Satisfy your (internal) customers
Conclusion: Efficient, proactive maintenance succeeds by using an integrated service information system
In order to make your processes in the area of maintenance and repair lean and efficient, the use of an integrated information system is necessary. The central linking of information facilitates the identification of spare parts, the allocation of the correct work values and thus the efficient preparation, planning and execution of maintenance.