If only manufacturing plants were like regular plants. Wouldn’t it be nice if all you had to do was put them in sunlight and pour water on them every day? Sadly, there’s a little more work involved in keeping a manufacturing operation running. From organizing maintenance workers to scheduling maintenance and handling work orders, there’s a lot that goes into the maintenance of a manufacturing facility. Luckily for maintenance managers, manufacturing maintenance software makes that job a lot easier.
Benefits of Manufacturing Maintenance Software
Manufacturing maintenance software — a type of computerized maintenance management system (CMMS software) — helps you manage the everyday maintenance tasks necessary in the manufacturing process. As with any good business software, manufacturing maintenance software automates and streamlines your maintenance tasks. With a plethora of features that simplify the lives of maintenance managers, there are plenty of benefits to be had. Some of the biggest benefits of the software include:
Scheduling Preventive Maintenance
Proper asset management starts with a proactive approach, by performing regular preventive maintenance on all of your assets. Manufacturing maintenance software makes creating a preventive maintenance schedule easy. Rather than looking at your maintenance technicians’ individual schedules and manually distributing a paper one, you can do it all in the system.
Based on each asset’s requirements, you can decide how regularly preventive maintenance tasks need to occur and set the times when maintenance will happen. Then you can see which maintenance technicians are available and assign those that are. Those technicians will then be able to see it in their schedule when they view it in the system. This is especially useful for managing the maintenance of your most valuable assets, including facilities maintenance and heavy equipment maintenance.
Managing Work Orders
When failures occur and equipment needs fixing, you make a work order to get the repair done. The problem with old-fashioned work order systems is that they can easily lose or misplace a work order, meaning it doesn’t get done. If the work order contains a fairly serious repair, misplacing it could be costly.
Manufacturing maintenance software manages all of your work orders so every asset in your plant operates to its fullest potential. As soon as any maintenance worker notices an issue, they can create a work order in the system. The maintenance manager can then assign it to specific technicians by tagging them in the work order. Those technicians are notified immediately, so they can start working on it as soon as possible. And once they finish it, they can mark it as complete in the system, ensuring not only that everybody knows it’s done, but also that it isn’t done twice.
This capability speeds up the time from work order request to completion. The work order management features of a manufacturing maintenance software keeps everything digital, limiting the amount of human error involved. Nothing gets lost or lost in translation, and nobody forgets to do anything, because it’s all straightforward to manage within the system.
Having the right parts on hand for repairs is pretty important for regular maintenance. A costly error that manufacturing plants occasionally face is when a repair needs to be made, but the necessary spare parts are out. This means that somebody messed up their inventory management duties.
Manufacturing maintenance software helps you manage your spare parts inventory. It keeps track of how many you have, and notifies you when certain parts get too low. You can then order more, ensuring that you never run out of the spare parts you need.
Ensuring that your manufacturing plant meets regulatory compliance is no small feat. You have a large facility, tons of workers and lots of equipment and other machinery to take care of. Done manually, meeting compliance is extremely difficult. But when automated with software, it’s much more manageable.
Scheduling preventive maintenance helps you keep up to date with your assets so they’re all in safe conditions. Managing work orders helps ensure that any unsafe conditions are dealt with quickly. And keeping enough spare parts on hand at all times helps you take care of any sudden repairs as soon as possible. Whenever there’s a compliance issue, manufacturing maintenance software helps you address it quickly, so you’re always able to meet and exceed the compliance standards.
Last but not least, we have the less technical benefit of saving you lots of time. Manufacturing maintenance software, as we mentioned a few times, automates several maintenance tasks. Doing so takes a lot of tedious manual work off of your plate, opening up more time to take care of more pressing issues, such as optimizing your manufacturing processes.
Recommended Manufacturing Maintenance Software Vendors
If you haven’t yet adopted manufacturing maintenance software — or if you’re looking to upgrade — it’s always a good idea to take a look at the market leaders at the beginning of your search. Taken from our CMMS Leaderboard, these are our top three recommended manufacturing maintenance software vendors:
Oracle’s EAM solution is one of the best manufacturing maintenance software vendors out there, due in no small part to its wide variety of features. Including everything from promoting environmental, health and safety standards to condition-based maintenance strategies, many large manufacturing operations are more than satisfied with the system.
IBM Maximo is a big name in both EAM and manufacturing maintenance software. It’s a versatile system that supports several industries and several types of asset management, as it’s not exclusive to manufacturing. That said, it’s one of the best for manufacturers because of its mobile accessibility (which comes standard) and analytical insight capabilities.
Infor’s EAM system is one of the most flexible vendors on the market. It has several industry-specific editions, so manufacturers can be assured that their needs are addressed by Infor’s features. The system goes beyond just maintenance management, too, as it can help with strategic planning in order to meet performance goals and collecting on warranty-related claims.