Using CMMS to Make Equipment Last Longer

By now, you probably know about the benefits of having a good Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) in place in your operation, especially if the system includes Preventive Maintenance software.  When used correctly and on a regular basis, those scheduled checks and service to equipment help to prolong the life of the equipment, leading to less breakdowns and downtime.

But what if you could predict when equipment will need to be replaced?  And when a vital piece of your day-to-day operation suddenly—and inevitably—breaks down, wouldn’t it be great if you had anticipated the failure, and already had the necessary replacement on standby, decreasing the time the facility would be without it?

Through the use of predictive maintenance techniques, a company can determine the condition of a part or piece of equipment to predict an estimated time of failure.  Knowing which piece of equipment needs maintenance or replacement ahead of time means the parts, replacement equipment and necessary technicians can be scheduled ahead of time, translating into a smoother transition.

Sounds a lot like preventive maintenance, doesn’t it?  Here’s an example of the differences between the two techniques.  An air conditioning condenser was installed in a facility some years ago, and from the data you have on this piece of equipment, you know it has about a year left before it breaks down.  You schedule a replacement sometime before that year is up.  This is preventive maintenance.

However, through routine inspection, you have some indication that the unit won’t last as long as you thought, so you decide to replace it next month, rather than waiting another year.  You have predicted the unit’s failure, using predictive maintenance.

Most CMMS software can be used to take advantage of predictive maintenance, through the use of these features:

  1. Quality Inspections:  Using mobile technology, your inspector can access a probable breakdown, predict the time of failure and enter it into the system.
  2. Corrective Action:  When a breakdown is predicted, Corrective Action Work Requests are automatically generated, giving your staff ample time to access the situation and schedule the necessary replacement.
  3. Preventive Maintenance: Before the imminent breakdown, preventive maintenance measures can be adjusted and refined to make sure the equipment is safe and running while it’s replacement has been researched and purchased.

As you see, using predictive maintenance with preventive maintenance ensures that breakdowns are kept to a minimum.  And when equipment inevitably fails, the replacement is made quickly, leading to less downtime, and a happier customer.