Maintenance 4 signs you’re using an outdated equipment maintenance system
As a mould and die maker, you know that equipment maintenance is a critical aspect of keeping your operations running smoothly. It’s crucial for ensuring optimal performance and extending machinery lifespans. However, if you're still using an outdated equipment maintenance system, you’re missing out on important benefits that can save both time and money and even improve safety.
In this article, we'll reveal four signs that your equipment maintenance system is outdated and the steps to modernise it.
1. Unplanned downtime
Outdated maintenance systems are the usual culprits behind reactive maintenance. Metalwork industries, like mould and die-making, cannot afford much unplanned downtime. Apart from the hours lost during unplanned downtime, the high-temperature processes used by the industries may require additional hours to restart if stopped.
Modern CMMS software can provide a range of benefits to maintenance teams, from streamlining maintenance scheduling to providing real-time data for decision-making. Modern CMMS software enables maintenance teams to transition from reactive maintenance to preventive maintenance and even predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance utilises advanced technologies, such as AI and smart algorithms, to anticipate equipment failures before they occur, minimising downtime and reducing maintenance costs.
Investing in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), data analytics, and smart algorithms can bring significant benefits to equipment maintenance processes. IIoT-enabled sensors can gather real-time data on equipment performance, which can be analysed using data analytics tools to provide valuable insights into equipment health and maintenance needs. Smart algorithms can then be used to develop predictive maintenance models, allowing maintenance teams to schedule maintenance activities in advance and avoid unplanned downtime.
2. Lack of data analysis
Data analysis plays a crucial role in equipment maintenance systems. It helps identify patterns, predict failures, and optimise operations. Without proper data analysis, equipment maintenance can become reactive instead of proactive, leading to unexpected breakdowns and costly downtime. Outdated systems may not be able to gather and analyse data in real time, leaving maintenance managers with limited visibility into equipment health.
Without proper data analysis, it can be difficult to identify areas for improvement in your maintenance process. For example, it may be challenging to detect patterns in machine failure rates, leading to missed opportunities for preventative maintenance. Data analytics software can streamline maintenance processes by providing real-time insights into equipment performance, reducing downtime and increasing productivity.
Predictive analytics can be used to forecast equipment failures, allowing maintenance managers to plan maintenance activities in advance and avoid unplanned downtime. Overall, data analysis is a critical component of modern equipment maintenance systems, providing maintenance teams with a more proactive approach to equipment maintenance.
3. Manual tracking
Paper-based maintenance records are outdated and inefficient in today's digital age. Manual tracking can lead to errors, delays, and loss of critical data, making it challenging to get an accurate picture of your equipment’s overall health and maintenance needs. Manual tracking can also take valuable time away from more important tasks.
Modern CMMS and EAM solutions come with alternative digital record-keeping systems such as cloud-based software and mobile applications. These solutions provide real-time data on all devices for faster response and dynamic planning, enabling maintenance teams to track equipment performance and maintenance needs with greater accuracy and efficiency.
Overall, manual tracking is an outdated approach to equipment maintenance. Transitioning to digital record-keeping systems will significantly improve your maintenance operations.
4. Lack of integration
Modern plants use modern machinery with complex systems, and an outdated equipment maintenance system may not be compatible. Lack of integration between equipment maintenance systems and other business processes can lead to inefficiencies and delays. For example, if equipment maintenance data is not integrated with inventory management systems, it may be challenging to track the availability of replacement parts and ensure that they are ordered in a timely manner.
Integrating equipment maintenance systems with other business systems — such as inventory management, asset tracking, or financial reporting — can provide a fuller view of equipment maintenance needs and simplify maintenance processes.
By integrating maintenance data with inventory management systems, maintenance teams can automatically generate purchase orders for replacement parts based on real-time inventory data, reducing the risk of stockouts and improving maintenance response times.
Overall, a lack of integration in equipment maintenance systems can lead to inefficiencies and missed optimisation opportunities. By integrating equipment maintenance systems with other business systems, maintenance teams can gain better visibility into equipment maintenance needs and take a more proactive approach to equipment maintenance.
In conclusion, modernising equipment maintenance systems is crucial for businesses to remain competitive in the metalworking industry. By investing in modern CMMS software, utilising IIoT, data analytics, and smart algorithms, businesses can improve maintenance processes, reduce downtime, and increase productivity, ultimately resulting in cost savings and improved efficiency.
* Eric Whitley is Director of Smart Manufacturing L2L.