Maintenance Management Systems
In recent years organisations have come to recognise the value of developing a system that can operate as a maintenance and performance improvement tool. Such tools are known as Maintenance Management Systems (MMS) and are used to control planned maintenance carried out across plant and facilities. MMS assure that assets (i.e. production equipment) are properly maintained and operating within specifications. These systems also help to prevent breakdowns, save on downtime and are generally designed to support the document control requirements of ISO 9002.
So what is maintenance? Maintenance is the work performed on assets to ensure their day-to-day functionality. In general, maintenance can be classified into the following categories:
Routine: Ongoing maintenance.
Preventive: Calibrations, lubrication and inspection of assets and equipment facilities to ensure continuing working condition.
Major projects: i.e. floor replacement or complete re-painting.
Emergency: Unexpected breakdowns of assets or equipment.
Maintenance management systems (MMS)
There are two types of MMS:
These systems can be either time based or usage based. Time based systems allow maintenance departments to carry out routine maintenance. As some items require more attention than others it may be appropriate to set up different frequencies i.e. weekly, monthly, six-monthly, annually etc. Usage based systems are somewhat different. Some organisation do not require the frequent use of their assist, therefore routine maintenance may lead to assets being over maintained that can be just as detrimental to a machine then under maintaining them. In this instance usage based systems are more suitable. Usage based systems work by keeping track of how often a machine is used. They could be recorded via logbook, clock or computer. Once a machine has been operating for a predetermined time a job card is generated and maintenance is carried out. Usage based systems save on downtime time and unnecessary scheduled maintenance.
Manual (Paper based) Preventative Maintenance Systems have been around for many years. These systems are little more than paper records of scheduled maintenance. In a typical manual system, each piece of plant equipment will have a history card or file. A file will detail a plant item's description, along with information on maintenance procedures to be used, trades required, last maintenance dates, breakdowns etc. To decide what maintenance are due requires someone to look through every file and card to determine when maintenance was last done. A maintenance procedure is then selected from the file and issued to the relevant engineer/technician. Once maintenance has been completed the plant file must be manually updated and replaced back in its slot. Many man-hours are involved in running such...