Maintenance Management in Today’s Environment

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Abstract

The paper is dedicated to the practices of maintenance management in today’s environment. The study examines various systems of maintenance management applied by modern factories and enterprises of different. The report also contains information on how recent technological developments influence the maintenance of the organization. More precisely, the digitalization and appearance of cyber technologies and cloud storage make the performance of equipment and employees more widely available, and the process of production becomes more efficient. Besides, the conducted research indicated that modern advanced technologies assist in overcoming some challenges that traditional maintenance management faces. Computerized maintenance management systems create a more efficient schedule according to which machines should be inspected for breakdowns and checked. Nevertheless, another significant conclusion of the paper lies in the fact that any organization should impose order on the assessment and work of the technical equipment and personnel because without it the implementation of digital technologies has no sense.

Introduction

Maintenance management could be defined as the process of control over a company’s resources and assets to avert possible unjustified losses. Implementation of maintenance management guarantees the effectiveness of production and the efficiency of resource allocation. The current paper discusses the key features of maintenance management, its objectives, types, problems, and challenges. The report also provides an overview of practices of this kind of control that are used in the modern environment.

Objectives of Maintenance Management

As it has already been mentioned, maintenance management is aimed at the monitoring of the factors that influence the overall productivity of a company. These elements include the issues of budgeting, optimization of work, control over the safety of the employees and equipment, creation of an optimal schedule. According to Gopalakrishnan and Banerji (2004), maintenance is aimed at ensuring the productive utilization of the equipment and maintaining the machinery “at an economic level of repairs at all times” (p. 15). Other objectives described by the authors are comprised of the provision of optimal operation of services, regulation of data on the costs of maintenance, and implementation of the previously mentioned goals as economically as possible (Gopalakrishnan, and Banerji, 2004). Therefore, it could be inferred that support is aimed at providing a company’s economic well-being.

Talking about the major objectives of this type of organization management, it should be noted that they could not be achieved without some specific aspects. These include the control over the safety of equipment and staff members, a high degree of adaptivity to possible changes, documentation affairs, and the establishment of realistic and feasible plans of production (Gopalakrishnan, and Banerji, 2004). Consequently, maintenance management is an imprescriptible part of any productive and economically efficient company since it assists in escaping losses connected with the waste of time and resources.

Maintenance Systems

Undoubtedly, every company that possesses equipment, machinery, and facilities should use maintenance management strategies to control its well-being and efficiency. Nevertheless, there is no universal maintenance system that could be used by all organizations regardless of their size and specialization. From this, it follows that every company should choose its policy that would be the best choice to ensure maintenance. Gopalakrishnan and Banerji (2004) identified nine kinds of maintenance systems, each of which has its own peculiarities and weak and strong sides. More strictly each order would be discussed below.

Breakdown Maintenance

As the name implies, this type of maintenance system’s main objective is not to undertake any actions until the equipment works properly. This means that the only person who takes care of a machine is a worker responsible for cleaning and greasing it after his or her shift (Gopalakrishnan, and Banerji, 2004). It may seem that the implementation of this system economizes time and spending of a company. Still, it should be admitted that a company tends to lose more when a machine, which was not repaired for a long time, finally breaks down.

Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance means that there are several controlling and repairing operations conducted strictly following a schedule. For instance, on Mondays, all compressors should be checked; all machines that have been working at least 1000 hours should be serviced; on the first Friday of every month, all electrical motors should undergo inspection. This system is easy to follow, and it helps prevent the serious breakdown of the equipment and extend its life.

Planned Maintenance

Planned maintenance, to some extent, is alike with the system mentioned above. In fact, both methods are united by the fact that procedures with machines are performed according to schedule. The difference is that in this case, there is no universal plan in which all devices are treated as one. On the contrary, the maintenance manager pays attention to the suggestions of each manufacturer’s requirements, and every piece of equipment has its own schedule when it should be checked and repaired.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is aimed at the aversion of the possibility of breakdown through periodic inspections of equipment, replacement of details, and control over the total condition of a machine. Besides, the implementation of preventive maintenance requires constant estimation of the legal environment and financial capabilities of an organization. This system of maintenance results in the lower rate of losses and therefore leads to the decreased costs of the whole organization.

Predictive Maintenance

Gopalakrishnan and Banerji (2004) define predictive maintenance as “method used to indicate as to how well machine is, while performing its intended tasks” (p. 41). The main goal of this system is to predict the possibility of failure and take the necessary measures to avoid it (Gopalakrishnan, and Banerji, 2004). As well as in the case of preventive maintenance, the implementation of the actions proposed by this system leads to lower costs through the decrease of equipment breakdown.

Corrective Maintenance

This kind of maintenance system implies the restoration of technical equipment which no longer meets acceptable conditions and could not be used for production (Gopalakrishnan, and Banerji, 2004). A piece of machinery could become outdated, and it should be either replaced or renovated even though it looks and functions well. All equipment, from cars to sophisticated facilities on the factory have their lifespan. Timely replacement of old pieces of equipment serves the interests and the efficiency of a plant, a factory, or a company.

Design Out Maintenance

This system’s main objective is to lower the maintenance costs as much as possible. That is why Gopalakrishnan and Banerji (2004) also claim that this system could be called eliminative maintenance. The examples of this system could be found in the modern car industry. For instance, Gopalakrishnan and Banerji (2004) argue that the Maruti, an Indian car, has some elements like radiators and batteries that are able to replenish and renew automatically.

Total Productive Maintenance

According to Gopalakrishnan and Banerji (2004), this maintenance system is particularly popular among Japanese enterprises. Total productive maintenance (TPM) emphasizes the importance of teamwork and constant improvement of the checked indicators. TPM’s basic assumption is to increase the productivity of the employees through the efficient use of good quality (Gopalakrishnan, and Banerji, 2004). It could be noted that TPM is the first maintenance system out of all mentioned above that pay attention not only to the efficiency of machinery but to the one of the personnel as well.

Contracted Out Maintenance

This type of maintenance system also takes into consideration the effectiveness of employees performance. Contracted out maintenance emphasizes the existence of the following dilemma: on the one hand, there is a shortage of experienced workers who are aware of how to maintain sophisticated equipment. On the other hand, it is immensely expensive for most plants and companies to hire these experts (Gopalakrishnan, and Banerji, 2004). This system suggests that a company should sign a contract with a supplier who would provide trained staff members with the necessary tools that are required for their job.

The current sections briefly described the maintenance systems that are practiced by modern companies, plants, and factories. Nine methods were indicated, each of which is suitable for different types of enterprises with regard to their size, productivity, income, and goals. For instance, small factories could not afford to install expensive, sophisticated equipment, so they have no need to practice contracted out maintenance systems. Below would be discussed some other aspects of maintenance management in the modern environment.

Computerized Maintenance Management

Now people live in the epoch of the fourth industrial revolution connected with numerous breakthroughs in technologies. These developments affect how people live, work, communicate with each other, travel, produce goods, and trade. In other words, all spheres of human’s actions became highly digitalized. This trend towards the implementation of advanced technologies influenced maintenance management as well. It also should be noted that the position of maintenance management has undergone some changes. Now, it is believed that it should not be viewed as a tool to operate to reduce losses in short-term. Instead, it should be considered “in the long-term strategic context, integrating technical and commercial issues in an effective manner” (Macchi, Roda, and Fumagalli, 2017). Therefore, the peculiarity of practicing maintenance management in today’s environment lies in the implementation of the recent technologies not only in production but also in control over it. More precisely, the newly emerged technologies for data analysis make it possible to examine the efficiency of maintenance systems used by an organization as if mathematical engineers have conducted an investigation.

Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) are composed of detailed data on employees shifts, work order system, preventive and predictive maintenance, budget, and purchases. Apart from this, CMMS also includes managerial issues like codes of the existing problems and remedies, work order type, tasks, and materials used. This system could be implemented in consultant services, training, and configuration of a maintenance system. CMMS creates a visible result in the form of reports with details on maintenance activities. The more sophisticated CMMS package provides a more complex analysis.

Nevertheless, exist some hidden dangers with the implementation of cyber and smart technologies into the operation of maintenance management systems. Macchi et al. (2017) reckon that the application of Cyber Physical Systems, for instance, require the development of a maintenance management system used by the factory. A smart and computerized maintenance system would stagnate and become futile without the advancement of technologies and the organization itself. The authors recommend paying attention to the maintenance activities, decision-making process, qualification of the employees before making attempts to succeed from the digitalization of the maintenance process (Macchi et al., 2017). This notion seems to be fair because digital technologies are an additional rather than the core factor of an organization’s success.

Challenges for Maintenance Management

New technologies bring not only the benefits for the operation of a company but also some impediments. For instance, currently, there is a trend for the application of big data in maintenance. Nevertheless, Ravna and Schjolberg (2016) emphasize that, first of all, data should be sorted according to its usefulness. The scholars illustrate their inference on the example of an average plant that saves the parameters of equipment every second and, in some cases, even more often. This means that “31.536.000 values from just one sensor in one year” are generated (Ravna and Schjolberg, 2016). Consequently, it is not efficient to consider each value individually, and instead of this, some common trends and tendencies should be figured out. At the same time, the authors admit that the access to more data enhances changes to create such a maintenance system that would lead to the absence of failures, breakdowns, and losses during the process of manufacturing (Ravna and Schjolberg, 2016). Consequently, it could be inferred that the collection of too much data is a challenge and a benefit of the implementation of smart and digitalized technologies.

Still, it should be noted that the CMMS application helps to overcome even more difficulties that were mentioned in the previous paragraph. Namely, computer packages assist in creating a more efficient schedule for the measures that should be taken in the context of preventive maintenance. Maintenance commonly faces such a challenge as the necessity to access relevant information on tools and procedures that are used to perform tasks on several devices. Technological developments make it possible to obtain information using tablets, laptops, and smartphones. What is more, cloud-based storage of information helps employees to economize time and enhance productivity as they become able to complete some tasks using their gadgets out in the field.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it should be said that there are nine maintenance management systems used to control and enhance the performance of various plants, factories, and organizations in today’s environment. These systems include breakdown, routine, planned, preventive, predictive, and corrective management as well as design out maintenance, total productive, and contracted out one. Besides, in modern times maintenance management became immensely digitalized; however, it could not significantly affect the well-being of an organization unless it is ordered in an efficient manner. Finally, computerization allows managers to collect a large number of values that reflect the performance of employees and equipment. However, this data is useful for making predictions and trace patterns, even though the storage of large amounts of information is unreasonable in some cases. Finally, the modern environment in which all people could use their gadgets to complete working assignments, and control the equipment, make the total performance of the whole organization more productive.

References

  1. Gopalakrishnan, P. & Banerji, A. K. (2004). Maintenance and Spare Parts Management. Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited.
  2. Macchi, M., Roda, I., & Fumagalli, L. (2017). On the advancement of maintenance management towards smart maintenance in manufacturing. IFIP International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems, 513(1), 383-390.
  3. Ravna, R., & Schjolberg, P. (2016). Industry 4.0 and Maintenance. Norsk Forening for Vedlikehold.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Maintenance Management in Today’s Environment." January 21, 2022. https://business-essay.com/maintenance-management-in-todays-environment/.

1. BusinessEssay. "Maintenance Management in Today’s Environment." January 21, 2022. https://business-essay.com/maintenance-management-in-todays-environment/.


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BusinessEssay. "Maintenance Management in Today’s Environment." January 21, 2022. https://business-essay.com/maintenance-management-in-todays-environment/.