Do you really need a CMMS to achieve better manufacturing machine performance?
The right computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) will help you make sustainable improvements in your management and maintenance of industrial assets. It takes time to implement such a system and produce those outcomes. If a CMMS will not help you address the maintenance challenges you need to deal with today, what will?
The challenges of CMMS implementation and deployment
CMMS deployments are similar to ERP and other big software projects. They can be lengthy, expensive, and disruptive. They sometimes fail when companies don’t achieve the results they hoped for. Multiple factors can contribute to that.
Organizational hierarchy, for instance, can get in the way of the best CMMS choice. The people who will use the system and who are responsible for maintaining machinery and equipment, are sometimes not involved until late in the process, when vendors and products have been evaluated or a solution has been chosen.
These employees are often in low-level roles and might not even know their colleagues who decide about high-ticket software purchases. In consequence, the functionality may not be exactly what the company needs, or user adoption will be hesitant.
Other companies do not clearly define their goals when they commit to a CMMS deployment. They know they want to streamline and automate maintenance processes, but without clear metrics and success criteria, it’s hard to know if you actually improved anything or just added a layer of technology to the status quo.
The long road to CMMS benefits and ROI
Past the implementation and start-up phases, common errors and omissions can still delay the realization of CMMS benefits.
If you don’t define where you start from, how can you improve maintenance? Some CMMS deployments go off-track because the right data are not in hand. Without intelligence, a CMMS can’t be effective.
That’s what happens when production companies don’t gather essential data until after the CMMS implementation. The system is already operational, but maintenance managers lack the evidence that helps them understand the real costs of poor performance and machine downtime. Without that data, it’s also very difficult to decide which potential failures and which industrial assets should be treated as a top priority.
In other CMMS projects, companies compromise the outcomes when they set aside their own proven best maintenance practices because the software can’t easily accommodate them without customizations, which take time and bite into the budget. Typically, customizations also become costly and complicated to manage in future system upgrades and day-to-day operations.
Even if your CMMS deployment goes well, it may take months to complete and fine-tune, and then even longer to train the intended users and get them to be proficient with their new tools. Years could pass before you realize any ROI on your CMMS investment.
No need to wait: Improve maintenance now
Your CMMS is a valuable, strategic investment that can pay off in the long run. But if you need to show results right now, there’s an easier, more affordable way to go.
If you connect your machines, or even the most critical industrial assets, to the industrial internet of things (IIoT), you immediately generate data that tell you how well the equipment is working. With live data, you can perform condition-based monitoring that lets you pinpoint potential failures or performance issues before they disrupt production. You can even set alerts for your maintenance team, so they see when a machine is heading into the danger zone.
You can analyze your real-time machine data and apply metrics that matter in your production, such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), which measures the quality, throughput, and uptime of your machines. You can take maintenance and asset management a step further. Instead of preventing machine failures and unwanted downtime, you can also track the performance and output quality of your machines. Companies’ experience shows that improving OEE can yield substantial bottom-line improvements, whereas not doing so is like giving away cash.
If you want a smart CMMS, you can connect your condition-monitoring data to the system. You can use your asset intelligence to analyze in depth the histories and patterns in the performance, quality, and uptime of your machines. Armed with that insight, you can perform better long-range planning for industrial assets and fully transition to enterprise-wide, predictive maintenance.
If, before, you assessed and managed slow performance at the level of a machine or production line, you are now in a better position to understand and remedy the upstream and downstream causes and consequences as well.
What’s more, the real-time condition-monitoring you performed and the actions you took in response to your findings can accelerate and augment the ROI from your CMMS.