Simple Preventive Maintenance Can Boost PM Effectiveness

5 Questions CMMS Data Can Help Answer

One reason companies implement a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is to more efficiently handle unplanned maintenance. But there’s an equally important ancillary benefit. The CMMS data on unplanned repairs accumulates over time, creating a treasure trove of valuable information.

Proactive maintenance managers use this data to identify and solve recurring problems not easily fixed through preventive maintenance alone. They avoid repeating the same unplanned maintenance scenarios, and generate significant savings in the process.

Here’s a quick way to identify these “invisible”problems – and to make the repairs needed before they result in more expensive unplanned repairs and production downtime.

Start by asking five questions after each unplanned maintenance event, in this order:

  • Has this happened before?
  • Has this happened often?
  • Was the same repair done each time?
  • Were the circumstances the same each time?
  • What is the impact on our operation?

Has this happened before?

This is your first clue that you might have additional problems to identify for a specific make and model of equipment. Just be careful you don’t chase your tail. Make sure to match key pieces of information between past incidents that appear the same. Pay close attention to recorded meter readings or equipment alerts.

Are these the same? What about the equipment involved? Is it the same manufacturer and model? If so, you might have an unidentified problem to find and repair.

Has this happened often?

If you find that the same equipment repeatedly has issues, you might have a deeper root problem. It might be worth additional exploration to seek it out. If you decide not to invest the time and/or money to investigate further, then at least put in place procedures for efficient repair actions should the issue reoccur.

Was the same repair done each time?

This is an essential question for uncovering a deeper problem. If you find matching incidents where identical equipment models were fixed by the same repair part, it might be time to call the supplier. Your equipment model might have a defective part series or quality issue.

Were the circumstances the same each time?

When you uncover repeated incidents for the same type equipment, investigate the conditions and events accompanying each occurrence. If similar, these can help you find a hidden problem quicker.

What is the impact on our operation?

Is downtime infrequent with low impact to operations? You may decide to simply live with the problem, opting instead for an expedient repair procedure.

Use Unplanned Maintenance Data When PM Doesn’t Fix It

Preventive maintenance won’t fix a recurring problem if it’s not identified. But you don’t have to wait for someone else to find it. You’ve accumulated a wealth of CMMS data to identify problem trends. These trends may be worthy of deeper investigation with suppliers, manufacturers, and your own operations.

Consider how the data you collect making routine repairs can enhance your preventive maintenance program. Dig into your CMMS treasure trove for answers you didn’t even know you had. Your CMMS data can provide the answers to these questions and more.