In manufacturing, maintenance planning forms the basis for increased throughput and timely product delivery. It is a series of planned activities that prevent equipment failures and ensure there is no lapse in production schedules. It also helps reduce waiting time, timely replenishment of stock, and collection of accurate equipment information for future reference.
Effective maintenance planning consists of four broad steps – information collection, assessment of equipment criticality, involvement of operations group, and measurement of KPIs. Let us look at each of them in detail.
1. Information Collection
The first step in maintenance planning is collecting necessary information about assets. All asset information needs to be collected and stored in a centrally accessible area. Information that needs to be collected on each plant equipment includes:
- Technical information,
- Purchasing information,
- Operating and maintenance manuals,
- Important caution parameters,
- Model number,
- Service duty schedules,
- Individual part drawings,
- Person or team responsible for maintenance, etc.
Copies of maintenance reports, statutory information, and other related information are also included in this knowledge base. It would be ideal to store information in both soft and hard copies. The information that is collated should be made into a manual and handed over to the person or team involved in the actual maintenance activity. Use of Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software helps manage, maintain, and track asset status easily in an organization.
In maintenance planning, nothing is left to chance. Necessary repair items and machinery should be made available for the core maintenance team. It also includes replacement parts, cranes, elevated work platforms, etc. Keeping the sub-contractors informed of the maintenance schedule is also important to be fully prepared for the job.
2. Assessment of Equipment Criticality
When planning for maintenance activities, priority is given to equipment criticality and the number of backlog jobs. If equipment is dangerous to operate, then the plan must involve a high degree of accuracy and multiple quality checks. Visual inspections, daily monitoring, and training maintenance staff must be done on a regular basis to ensure the equipment works in tandem with production schedules.
3. Involvement of Operations Team
Stopping the equipment for maintenance requires the support of the operations team since they have their production schedules sorted out weeks in advance. Therefore, the best way is to let the operations team be involved in creating the maintenance schedule. This way maintenance planning and execution become a part of their plan, as well.
When the maintenance schedule is drawn, it should be shared with all equipment operators and supervisors. It is important to record all maintenance activities and their outcomes. The lessons learnt should be tracked and recorded for future reference to ensure that the maintenance activities take place smoothly without disturbing the on-going production schedule.
4. Measurement of KPIs
Maintenance managers need to monitor KPIs to identify areas for improvement in the planning schedule and execution. It also helps provide insights into the performance of each equipment and guide future organizational decision-making processes.
It’s important to note that proper planning and execution of maintenance activities goes a long way in establishing the manufacturer as a leader in his own space, and remain competitive.
Infoways offers Infor EAM, the best-in-class enterprise solution built on a platform with high uptime. Over 10,000 organizations worldwide use Infor EAM for their asset management needs. We are an Infor channel partner and national reseller across the United States of America and Canada. If you want to explore working with us, send us a line and our experts will get back to you.