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8 Tips for Reducing the Cost of Assets

Tips for Reducing the Cost of Assets

In any asset-intensive business, it’s crucial to take the best care of assets as possible. It’s also vital to avoid downtime, which can have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line. The following initiatives can help your organization improve asset utilization rates  and operational performance while reducing long-term capital costs.

  1. Purchase EAM software. If you are not already using EAM software in your organization, it is worthwhile to consider. Enterprise asset management software automatically reminds maintenance technicians of maintenance needs and helps them follow best maintenance practices.
  2. Standardize routine maintenance tasks. Many assets fail before their lifespan should be over due to a pattern of poor maintenance, resulting in preventable major repairs or fatal failures. Following a standardized preventive maintenance program will extend the life of your assets and save money.
  3. Warranty recovery. Tracking asset warranty information with EAM software can help you process warranty claims and recover the cost of repairs.
  4. Consider eliminating redundant equipment. Redundant equipment costs money to maintain and depreciates, so it may be more cost effective to maximize the use of a single piece of equipment instead of running two at half-capacity.
  5. Capture as much data as possible. If you are already using EAM software, maximize its use by capturing as many data points as possible about all your assets. This will give you the freedom to run more detailed analyses to inform future business decisions.
  6. Keep aging assets running. Keeping aging assets running for as long as possible is key to the financial performance of any organization. Regularly planned maintenance is crucial to keeping assets online.
  7. Analyze key performance indicators and make the necessary adjustments. You can improve your operations by analyzing equipment breakdown data, maintenance costs, work order backlog, equipment downtime, etc. An analytics dashboard will enable you to quickly evaluate key performance indicators and identify opportunities to lower asset costs.
  8. Effectively track and control spare parts. Effective tracking and controlling equipment can help you increase your profitability by ensuring that you don’t order duplicate or excess parts. Reducing spare part inventory levels will enable you to cut costs, and by securing parts just in time, you can prevent costly downtime.

DPSI’s iMaint EAM software provides you with the information and tools you need to maximize the performance of your assets, control maintenance costs, and improve your operations. DPSI has been in business since 1986 and has over 50,000 satisfied users in 50 countries around the world.  Contact DPSI for more information, or sign up for a free trial.

Taking on Root Cause Analysis with Preventive Maintenance Software

Preventive Maintenance Software Analysis

Whenever an organization has a major failure of any sort, the top priority is to recover from the immediate damage or problems. From there, the next step is to keep it from ever happening again. Root cause analysis is a vital corrective step, allowing you to identify where losses are taking place and how they can be mitigated to improve equipment reliability and performance.

Root cause analysis is a maintenance troubleshooting method that helps organizations identify and control the systemic causes of a maintenance problem. When you experience a problem, you have to start by asking why the problem occurred. You repeat this process until you uncover the underlying cause. Toyota made the “5 Whys” method of root cause analysis famous. This method involves asking, “Why did this happen?” repeatedly until the cause is determined. Then you can come up with a long-term corrective action that will fix the underlying issue.

It’s important to go beyond the lowest level root cause because you could experience similar breakdowns again in the future. A string of failures usually leads to the problem, so it’s necessary to find a solution at each level of a root cause analysis.

Data is the Key

In order to conduct an effective root cause analysis, data is vital. Indeed, the more data that is available from an unbiased source, the better the chances of identifying the appropriate root cause of any failure. Unfortunately, finding an unbiased source of data can be problematic, as all people are by definition biased from their experiences and perspective.

In the context of asset failure, this is where preventive maintenance software becomes invaluable. All the relevant data for a given asset or class of assets is an ad hoc report away. If it has been utilized properly, the preventive maintenance software will contain a complete history of the asset, as well as detail the maintenance that should have been completed on the asset, according to both industry standards and/or manufacturer suggestions. The information contained in a CMMS system can be leveraged to carry out a root cause analysis. The solution that results can then form part of the equipment knowledge base.

Providing a Platform for Informed Decision Making

The end goal of any root cause analysis is to identify the changes that need to be made. These changes generally flow into one or more of the following categories: people, processes, and technology.

  • People: It is possible that the appropriate processes were established to prevent this type of failure, and that the technology was correctly identifying steps to prevent the failure, but that one or more individuals did not follow through on the correct actions.
  • Processes: Conversely, the data provided from the preventive maintenance software could point out a flaw in the processes associated with preventive maintenance. For example, the software could exclude the maintenance profiles for certain asset classes, or maintenance technicians may be instructed to only follow the maintenance processes identified by the software instead of also applying their expertise.
  • Technology: While any CMMS software is only as good as the data entered into it, it is also possible that the preventive maintenance software was not functioning properly. Perhaps integration across the various systems was incorrectly applied, or your organization has simply outgrown the software.

The effectiveness of root cause analysis largely depends on the amount of time spent preparing for it by carrying out a thorough investigation, collecting sufficient evidence, identifying the correct team members, and properly planning a root cause analysis meeting with the right people involved. It is of utmost importance to gather and analyze all relevant data in order to determine which of these factors played a part in the failure.

Perform Root Cause Analysis with the Help of Preventive Maintenance Software

If you are looking to implement maintenance software in your organization, DPSI can help. We have been in the industry for nearly 30 years and have over 50,000 satisfied users in 50 countries.

How to Create and Implement an Asset Management Strategy

According to the Institute of Asset Management, an asset management strategy is a “long-term optimized approach to management of the assets, derived from, and consistent with, the organizational strategic plan and the asset management policy.” Stated differently, an asset management strategy is a high-level but very important document that guides asset management activities within an organization.

Asset Management Software

An Overview of the Strategy Development Process

Implementing an asset management strategy is typically considered a six-step process, as indicated below:

  1. Review the organization’s structure.
  2. Conduct an asset management self-assessment.
  3. Identify the asset management policies and goals to be achieved.
  4. Prepare and implement an asset management action plan.
  5. Review and monitor progress.
  6. Solicit feedback from stakeholders.

The Role of Maintenance Management Software

Perhaps the key component of an asset management strategy is maintenance management software. Without effective computerized maintenance management system software, it is nearly impossible to develop an asset management strategy. By utilizing computerized maintenance management system software, an organization can save both time and money in a variety of different ways:

  • Labor costs can be reduced as staff efficiency is maximized.
  • Delays in asset downtime are minimized, as replacement parts and inventory are available ahead of scheduled maintenance work orders.
  • Work order feedback loops are available to create a more granular view of the history of specific assets, allowing for both analysis of similar assets and more accurate maintenance records.

Thinking Beyond Simple Life Cycles

Several considerations should be made in conjunction with the establishment of an asset management strategy, all of which move beyond a simple assumption of maintenance work order scheduling based on suggested life cycles.

  • As part of the implementation of an asset management strategy, examine the preventive maintenance requirements for each asset. This will inform the development of a cohesive plan, which can subsequently be programmed into the computerized maintenance management system software.
  • Using the feedback loop discussed above, include condition-based maintenance concepts into your preventive maintenance. On a more detailed level, this means allowing for adjustments to future work orders contained in the maintenance management software. This will allow personnel to account for unexpected deterioration.
  • Carefully considering optimal preventive maintenance times is one additional component to keep in mind. Since maintenance, whether planned or otherwise, removes an asset from production, the goal should be to eliminate the impact of this downtime on the business. This often means taking into account any seasonal business patterns, as well as knowing which days in a typical week are slower.

7 Preventive Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

Over the last few decades, advancements in technology have dramatically changed the maintenance and reliability industry. Organizations have invested heavily in automation and technology to reduce staff overhead, improve product quality, increase safety, etc.

Not only does technology automate a good portion of maintenance tasks, maintenance software can be used to detect defects and prevent equipment failure. Equipment failure has many negative consequences, including an adverse effect on profitability, lost production, and poor customer service. Some types of equipment failure can even affect an organization’s financial stability or force it out of business.

PMC Maintenance Software

One thing that hasn’t changed much in the last few decades is preventive maintenance, or PM. PM is all about performing routine maintenance to improve equipment reliability, performance, and cost-effectiveness. If applied correctly, PM has the capacity to transform an organization’s maintenance approach and lead to significant improvements in equipment reliability. However, there are many mistakes that can ruin an organization’s PM program. Here are 7 preventive maintenance mistakes to avoid.

 1.     Not setting standard intervals for maintenance
Not setting standard intervals for maintenance is a problem because going too long in between PM tasks can lead to equipment damage. The repairs may end up costing you more than ongoing maintenance would have. Establishing appropriate frequencies for your scheduled maintenance is essential for optimizing equipment performance, reliability and longevity.

2.   Not capturing enough data
Regular PM inspections and other maintenance activities can provide you with insight into problems that are occurring. You can mine the data to determine what you need to do in your PM program. You can also identify systems or sub-systems that are experiencing failure and then come up with a game plan to address those issues in your PM program. Maintenance software enables you to measure performance by helping you keep track of data, such as the percentage of completed PM tasks, the number of breakdowns occurring, or the number of times you’ve had to repair specific equipment.

3.     Not Applying PM to all of your equipment
Omitting key equipment in your PM program can leave a company vulnerable to failure.  PM should be scheduled for not only process-critical equipment, but also all support and infrastructure items. Failing to maintain facilities support equipment can lead to major downtime events. Regular preventive maintenance will reduce many, but not all, failures. Emergency maintenance may be needed to handle random failures, and this data needs to be captured and preventive measures included in future PMs.

4.     Vague instructions
PM tasks should clearly explain what the maintenance technician has to measure, what condition they have to look for, and what they should do if they find an unsatisfactory condition while performing a PM task. If you want the job to be done right, you need to be as specific as possible, including attaching needed drawings, pass/fail criteria, condition monitoring, etc.

 5.     Not allowing maintenance technicians to provide comments when performing a PM task

 When you have someone perform a PM task, give him or her the opportunity to provide comments about what they found when performing the inspection. It’s important to collect feedback from maintenance technicians if you want to optimize your PM program. This data can be used to correct instructions and refine scheduling.

6.     Poor schedule compliance
Companies complaining that their PM programs are ineffective often don’t complete PM tasks on time. In order to develop a successful PM program, it’s essential to complete the right tasks at the right time. PMs are often assigned the lowest priority when in fact they should be considered high priority work. Companies should build scheduled downtime into their equipment operational schedules to provide adequate time for completing PMs.

7.     Not knowing the difference between failure finding tasks and PM tasks
Many organizations lump failure finding tasks with PM tasks as if they were one in the same but they are not. Failure finding tasks are time-based inspections of equipment that are performed to determine whether a failure has already occurred, while PM tasks are intended to prevent an item from failing. Failure finding tasks deserve to be in a category of their own.

Preventive maintenance tasks enable you to spot problems early on and repair equipment rather than be required to replace it down the line. The full replacement of equipment is often an unnecessary expense that can be avoided if you have an effective PM program in place.