Optimised industrial maintenance using CMMS

CMMS centralises industrial maintenance data from client request to follow-up. This not only simplifies maintenance management, it also delivers added value by capitalising on and analysing the data collected to develop scenarios for improving equipment maintenance.

“To ensure proper maintenance operations, three things are crucial: the machine must be available, the technician must have the skills required to service it and replacement parts must be in inventory,” says Actemium Maintenance Dauphiné sales and marketing manager Pierre Ménard.

These three elements are central to the CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management System) software tool, which centralises maintenance data ranging from personnel to technical particulars in order to facilitate maintenance operations.

For those clients who do not have their own CMMS, Actemium offers the use of its own system to more efficiently manage its maintenance work and follow-up.

Organising maintenance operations with the CMMS database

Full information concerning service technicians is centrally held in the CMMS and can be cross-referenced to schedule maintenance work. Each technician, for example, has specific certifications. These were formerly held in a file contained in the business unit server, with limited access. With CMMS, “we can now list the certifications with renewal dates. This provides advance notice (indicator) when the renewal date is approaching,” says Actemium maintenance engineer Sophie Caron. When the database is accessed to prepare a maintenance operation, the technician with the relevant certifications is identified.

Using the same software across the board, from scheduling to follow-up

The CMMS also simplifies and speeds up maintenance scheduling. “The system gives dispatchers a comprehensive, clear overview of all technicians. Technicians receive upcoming work orders on their smartphone or tablet in real time as work is scheduled,” says Lucas Romagnoli, methods engineer at Actemium Maintenance Rhône-Alpes.

To supplement work order notifications, the system provides additional information such as the relevant health and safety plan and the safety procedures applying at the client’s premises to enable the technician to prepare the appropriate safety equipment.

“All of us – from the project manager to the sales manager and the business unit manager – use the same software. From the IT point of view, client relations and machines are tracked the same way. Traceability is provided via the software CRM, in which I record all meetings, follow-up operations and reports, so that I don’t need to open a separate software package for each,” says Pierre Ménard.

Working remotely while staying in close touch with the business unit

Actemium has opted for a CMMS that supports remote operations. The technician working on a piece of equipment can use a tablet or smartphone to access technical documentation and procedures, index photos, etc. “CMMS offers outstanding working methods. Technicians can access the right diagram or the right procedure remotely and in real time, and therefore do not need to carry hard copy documentation or return to the office to retrieve it,” says Lucas Romagnoli. The technician uses the tablet to draft the maintenance report on the spot, so that information can be accessed in real time rather than waiting for the technician to come into the office at the end of the week to file his reports.

Real-time reporting speeds up report processing. Lucas Romagnoli estimates that the CMMS system has saved between three and five days of work per month per assistant.

Configuring the CMMS system in advance

This first step is to properly configure the CMMS to ensure that the necessary indicators can be easily retrieved and functional analysis can be carried out, among other things. “When we install the CMMS, we define the equipment tree structure. It can be geographical and/or functional (by type of equipment, for example all the welding stations),” says Sophie Caron. This enables the technician to directly locate a piece of equipment in the tree structure and to access full information concerning it.

CMMS configuration also involves defining a wide variety of elements, ranging from servicing processes to preventive maintenance plans. “For example, we use QR codes to manage inventories,” says Sophie Caron. “When a technician takes an item from inventory, he scans the corresponding QR code. The removal of the item from inventory is automatically recorded and re-supply is automatic.”

In our business, just-in-time maintenance is the goal – a minimum amount of maintenance for maximum machine efficiency

Making the most of equipment logs with CMMS

CMMS is not limited to facilitating maintenance operations. The report filed by the technician following each servicing operation is recorded in the CMMS system to provide a log of breakdowns.

“We extract data to identify the machine that takes the most maintenance time or costs the most to maintain, so as to optimise it. We compare it with identical machines, note the critical issues reported, etc. The log provides past experience to go on when working on a similar machine at a different site. It provides a way to track expertise,” says Pierre Ménard. “In our business, just-in-time maintenance is the goal – a minimum amount of maintenance for maximum machine efficiency.”

The system gives the client a broader overview of the equipment, enabling more to be done than the servicing covered by the initial work order, says Lucas Romagnoli. “For example, we had a case in which we performed an emergency lighting system check for a client once a month. Our brief was to check 1,000 safety points and analyse faults. We exceeded it by placing QR codes on each fixture that the technician can scan to make sure all the light points have been inspected and tested and to certify the day and time of maintenance work.”

“Offering our own CMMS to our clients enables us to proactively make suggestions and easily draw up our own summaries and logs. It gives us a way to optimise equipment and propose improvements. It enables us to serve the client as a partner rather than a simple service provider,” says Pierre Ménard by way of conclusion.