In this post, we will focus on maintenance as an additional driver in reaching business objectives.
Today’s manufacturers are looking for ways to increase top line revenue, decrease bottom line costs, and align operations with strategic objectives. To accomplish this, there is a need for deep visibility into asset portfolios. The old days of overstocking backup supplies, extra equipment or resources are no longer economically viable nor acceptable. Efficiency is paramount to survival.
Manufacturing is one of the most asset-intensive industries; in fact, tracking and monitoring assets along the entire supply chain is essential. However, many companies do not see asset tracking as an absolute priority and they end up with operational inefficiencies caused by service failures and delivery delays. To add to the complexity, manufacturers often have to monitor operations at multiple plant locations.
Advances in technology with IIoT solutions (sensors, controls, wireless communications, distributed intelligence) offer new capabilities to sense and respond, and to send real-time information back to operations. This presents a great opportunity to optimize asset service and performance while adopting an integrated approach to achieving business results.
Gaining visibility of your assets for improved lifecycle management
Through greater visibility of asset performance, manufacturers can improve their overall control and management of assets. Modern automation tools and best practices provide several benefits:
Increase operational agility
Achieve safety goals
Reach business objectives
Optimize capital expenditures
Meet cost reduction targets
The most challenging aspect of asset management is understanding how to manage diverse assets without creating a large administrative workload that negatively impacts the bottom line. Underperforming and poorly managed assets can result in significant issues:
Disrupted production caused by equipment downtime
Dissatisfied customers due to delivery delays and unfulfilled orders
Unbudgeted expenditures to repair or replace failing equipment
Strategic asset management and maintenance planning
In order to achieve effective asset management, you need to be able to locate any asset in its lifecycle, at any given time, and determine if it is providing the value it should to your business. With real-time knowledge of the state of your assets, you can plan and budget for repair, replacement, or upgrade. This can result in real economic benefits, such as extending asset life, improved productivity, reduced equipment breakdowns, and reduced staffing needs – just to name a few.
How do you deploy a more effective maintenance strategy? Move away from reactive and emergency maintenance to a more proactive approach. The installation of sensors, meters, counters, and other tools will enable you to accurately report on and track asset operating conditions and conduct failure analysis. Data for failure history and metrics should be defined, organized and set up to track. These steps can help simplify maintenance planning – especially in a complex production environment – while maximizing asset availability.
The difference between preventive and proactive maintenance
Preventive maintenance aims to eliminate asset failure, while proactive maintenance is designed to eliminate the root causes of failure. A proactive maintenance approach can include aspects such as environmental factors, employee training, parts provisioning from reliable suppliers, and much more. It can be very successful at reducing costs and improving asset reliability and availability.
The journey to achieving top notch asset performance is a never-ending process. With a clear roadmap and the right tools, you will realize tangible results and optimal business value.