4 Tips For Streamlining the Diagnose and Repair Process
The ability to detect anomalies, establish equipment defects, pinpoint the root cause of failure, and implement timely repairs directly affects equipment uptime, maintenance workloads, and production schedules. Maintenance teams rely on equipment operation data and regular inspections to perform corrective measures and streamline workflows.
Once a problem is identified, maintenance teams begin troubleshooting the equipment , reviews its maintenance history, identifies and applies the most appropriate solution. This process can be expedited by using critical information about the equipment. Below are tips that companies can adopt to improve the diagnosis and repair process.
1) Implementing a suitable CMMS program
Maintaining multiple assets within an organization can be a tiresome task, especially when relying on manual methods. A lot of paperwork is required to store maintenance checklists, asset manuals, and inspection logs. Accessing this information will take time as maintenance teams need to find the right paper records if they are even available.
These challenges can be solved using a modern computerized maintenance management system. CMMS systems hold huge amounts of data for multiple pieces of equipment and can be referenced at the touch of a finger. Having quick access to an O&M manual , maintenance history, and work request(er) information can significantly speed up the diagnose and repair process.
Anomalies identified during routine physical inspections and diagnoses are fed into the system, providing visibility across the maintenance department. Technicians can collectively analyze a problem and come up with a solid solution remotely. This information is utilized to schedule repairs, check inventory for the availability of spare parts and tools, assign technicians, and update work orders.
2) Introduce condition monitoring techniques
Smart sensors are altering the way organizations manage their assets. They enable maintenance teams to monitor minute deviations in critical parameters, evaluate the health of an asset and predict possible failures. The sensors capture the performance of equipment under different production schedules, generating alerts when performance drops.
The condition-monitoring sensors allow the technician to gain a broader view into the actual operating conditions of the assets by collecting information on vibrations, temperature, lubrication conditions, noise, etc. Alerts are generated by specific sensors making it easier for technicians to identify the actual source of a defect, thus reducing the diagnosis time.
The analyzed data is used to conduct a thorough failure mode and cause analysis, by extension allowing technicians to eliminate the root causes of an error and prevent reoccurrence of the same.
3) Utilize preventive maintenance checklists and equipment manuals
Original equipment manufacturers can provide a checklist of preventive maintenance activities to be performed regularly. When these activities are performed, the reasons for breakdown or equipment failure are limited. There can’t be a lubrication problem if lubrication is routinely performed. This way, technicians have a narrower scope for diagnosing arising problems.
Checklists can be a part of equipment manuals which also contain lists of probable errors that may occur over the equipment’s service life. Quick fixes and solutions to these errors are outlined. Relying on the manufacturer’s information improves equipment diagnosis and assists the technicians in implementing specific repairs. This implies that less time will be spent on repairs, reducing overall equipment downtime.
4) Continuous staff training
Maintenance operations evolve by the day. These changes demand that technicians gain multiple skills to enable them to carry out diagnoses and repairs autonomously. Companies can improve maintenance operations on the shop floors with fewer technicians by equipping them with new skills.
As the training proceeds, technicians attain new skills for troubleshooting anomalies and performing timely repairs. This reduces the need for a company to hire new maintenance staff or outsource work to a maintenance vendor. Training sessions provide an opportunity for a company to introduce the technicians to new tools, technologies, and strategies for performing diagnosis and repair tasks.
Equipment operators can also be trained to spot technical hitches and apply quick fixes. At the very least, they should know what to include in the emergency work request form. Properly describing the problem and circumstances in which it happened can save technicians a lot of time on setting up the failure cause diagnosis.
Streamlining diagnosis and repair processes enhances a facility’s safety standards, providing optimum availability of assets. Improving these processes involves a series of small changes performed over an extended period of time. Adopting some technology solutions is vital for streamlining these processes as they speed up data collection, decision making, and improve record keeping.
Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS . Limble is a modern, easy to use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations.
During my 16-year career with the Royal Netherlands Air Force, I learned and experienced that having the right spare parts available or not affects the availability of technical systems. Aircraft stood still at Volkel Air Base due to a shortage of spare parts, while those in Kleine-Brogel in Belgium (68 km south) were in stock. For so-called consumables, I exchanged parts monthly with my Belgian colleagues. As a result, we solved each other's shortages and improved the availability of spare parts and thus the deployability of the aircraft.
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