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Industrial Maintenance | The Backbone Of Any Successful Industry

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    For any industrial organization, the primary reason behind asset failure, thereby disrupting operations, is the absence of an adequate maintenance strategy. No industrial organization can sustain itself without a proper industrial maintenance and inspection protocol. A meticulously planned industrial maintenance plan is essential to keep the organization’s critical assets from breaking down.

    As the backbone of your organization’s asset management, industrial maintenance reduces breakdowns, increases uptime, and promotes overall reliability, ultimately enhancing your operational efficacy and meeting compliance standards. In fact, the industrial maintenance market is expected to grow to $701.3 billion by 2026, thanks to the population’s burgeon and ever-increasing consumer demand.

    This guide has touched on all the essential pointers your company must know about industrial maintenance and its importance. Let’s dive right in!

    What is an Industrial Maintenance Program?

    The industrial world is rapidly changing, and the importance of monitoring your factory’s equipment cannot be overstated. Industrial maintenance, or plant maintenance, is the process of implementing strategies to prevent sudden haphazardness and enhance functionality. This ensures the smooth running of your organizational assets and equipment.

    A strategically designed industrial maintenance program keeps your critical assets functional by covering the following bases:

    • Prevent machine failures.
    • Minimum asset downtime.
    • Improve safety standards.
    • Quick fixation of any breaks.
    • Operational readiness of backup equipment.
    • Critical maintenance and inspection data tracking.
    • Enhance the operational efficacy of assets and the quality of products.

    Who Needs Industrial Maintenance?

    Fundamentally, all companies operating heavy machinery must employ industrial maintenance programs. To name a few, enlisted below are five industrial sectors that require vigilant monitoring and a comprehensive industrial maintenance plan:

    1.   Healthcare:

    The advent of new medical techniques and instruments has made it compulsory for the healthcare industry to ensure quality control and maintenance. This is to provide sterile equipment for good patient care and decrease morbidity and mortality. Due to its criticality, the medical maintenance market is expected to reach 49.20 billion dollars by 2026.

    2.   Food Manufacturing Plants:

    Food processing comprises several intricate levels like sorting, baking, cooking, and refrigerating. All these manufacturing stages require close evaluation to avoid any health code violation. Consequently, it is elementary to deploy a well-thought industrial maintenance program.

    3.   Refineries:

    Refineries operate on extremes of conditions, both temperature, and pressure, at all times. The equipment here is susceptible to damage and corrosion. Hence, it is recommended that the refinery companies remain heedful and circumspect about the maintenance of machines. Only in this way can the companies avert equipment breakdown that affects operational efficiency.

    4.   Energy:

    The 24/7 availability of energy is of utmost importance to facilitate uninterrupted operations in both commercial and residential areas. This excessive need imposes tremendous responsibility and pressure on the energy sector to ensure maximum reliability. A carefully planned industrial maintenance program must be employed to prevent major breakdowns, covering all the stages of energy harnessing, production, and distribution.

    5.   Construction:

    Construction companies work around heavy-duty machineries, such as dragline excavators, conveyors, backhoes, bulldozers, graders, and scrapers. A slight lapse in asset management and performance can significantly risk workers’ safety and compliance in your construction factory.

    Importance of Industrial Maintenance

    Quality control failures and infrequent audits, inspections, and maintenance can lead to long-term tribulations for your company. Industrial maintenance can reverse this catastrophe by enabling these benefits for your company:

    • Minimizing the risk of workplace injuries, fatalities, and, therefore, liability.
    • Increasing workers’ safety compliance and standards.
    • Preventing recurring maintenance issues that disrupt the production process.
    • Increasing the equipment’s lifetime and manufacturing process reliability.
    • Reducing the corrective maintenance costs.

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    Industrial Maintenance Strategies

    As an industrialist, your company can choose from a multitude of industrial maintenance strategies to incorporate into your setup:

    1.   Reactive Maintenance Strategy

    Reactive maintenance, also known as unplanned maintenance, focuses on rectifying any malfunction or outage that occurs after the asset failure. The maintenance tasks are executed only when the equipment starts to perform poorly or shows any other visible signs of damage. Employing this maintenance strategy, your company can take advantage of performing maintenance with low initial costs. However, with reactive maintenance, your company may have to bear costly repair expenses that outweigh the short-term benefits.

    2.   Preventive Maintenance Strategies

    Preventive or scheduled maintenance is a wise strategy that includes regularly (usage- or calendar-based scheduled) inspecting and maintaining equipment to mitigate potential causes of equipment failure. The primary objective is to circumvent equipment breakdown, adding to unplanned downtime. Compared to reactive maintenance, the cost incurred on the PM tasks is low, factoring in safety standards, productivity losses, and repair expenditures.

    3.   Reliability Centered Maintenance Strategies

    Reliability-centered maintenance is a more fine-tuned approach to classic preventive maintenance. Unlike PM, which establishes rigid maintenance schedules, RCM assesses the potential causes of failures of each piece of equipment and gives customized maintenance solutions to each of them. However, your facility manager must have the working knowledge of all your equipment and units for them to function. One practical way towards this data study is to deploy a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) or EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) solution like The NonStop Suite.

    4.   Corrective Maintenance Strategy

    As the name suggests, corrective maintenance refers to fixing unexpected malware and breakouts to improve equipment’s working condition for the designated function. Typically, companies operating under a run-to-failure maintenance approach employ corrective maintenance. This maintenance strategy works best if a company intends to run equipment until it breaks down and then replaces it.

    5.   Predictive Maintenance Strategy

    This maintenance approach preempts probable machine failures based on the data at hand. Studies suggest that predictive maintenance decreases machine downtime by 30-50%. Through constant equipment monitoring, data gathering and analysis, industrial organizations predict equipment failure and use this proficiency to take necessary precautionary measures. Consequently, companies can proactively alleviate all the shortcomings resulting in costly repair expenses.

    Types of Industrial Maintenance Professionals

    Industrial maintenance requires a distinctive set of skills for effective results. To serve this purpose, your company must employ a team of skilled and qualified facility managers and maintenance technicians. Your all-star maintenance team for industrial maintenance workers should include the following:

    1.   Maintenance Technicians

    Among all the industrial maintenance professionals, maintenance technicians get the most hands-on. They are designated to provide preventive and corrective maintenance when needed. Maintenance technicians are generally dispatched in groups to perform the assigned work orders entailing detailed inspection and maintenance tasks. Your company’s maintenance technicians must be versatile and capable of handling equipment, replacing faulty parts, and working with CMMS software.

    2.   Maintenance Managers

    In contrast to maintenance technicians, maintenance or facility managers expedite the quality control process. Their job in the industrial maintenance department is to ensure the continuous production of goods and the prevention of potential equipment failure. Providing the correspondence between the higher authorities and maintenance supervisors, maintenance managers keep a bird’s eye view of the industrial maintenance process and ensure the company achieves its maintenance goals.

    3.   Maintenance Engineers

    Maintenance engineers are the brain behind the modifications made during industrial inspections and maintenance. They are required to map out the entire plan and design, which the maintenance crew can execute. With their immense knowledge of organizational assets, maintenance engineers can also suggest maintenance tasks to optimize the functionality of the equipment.

    4.   Maintenance Planner

    Maintenance technicians and mechanics need the right tools at the right time to execute the assigned maintenance tasks efficiently. A maintenance planner ensures the provision of required tools, parts, and materials to the maintenance workers. They use the data from the CMMS software to objectively prioritize maintenance tasks. Sometimes, when the operational activities are small at scale, maintenance planners also take over the role of maintenance scheduler.

    5.   Maintenance Supervisor

    While hiring a team of industrial maintenance technicians, it is best to employ a maintenance supervisor to ensure the successful completion of maintenance tasks. Working under the maintenance managers, the maintenance supervisor monitors, controls, and manages the team of maintenance technicians. They ensure that all the maintenance work is performed accurately within the scheduled time. Furthermore, maintenance supervisors communicate with the maintenance managers and planners to provide workers with the required instructions and resources.

    Industrial Maintenance Costs

    According to research, industrial maintenance can cost companies 15 to 40% of the total production budget. These expenses include energy costs, labor costs, maintenance vendors, spare parts and materials, and overhead expenses. To simplify keeping tabs on the maintenance budget spent, the industrial maintenance costs are broadly divided into two groups:

    1.   Direct Costs

    Direct costs include the expenditures encountered in a maintenance or repair activity. It involves the cost of raw materials, spare parts, labor, contractor, and infrastructure used to fix an error and mitigate the risk of unplanned downtime.

    2.   Indirect Costs

    Contrary to the direct industrial maintenance costs, indirect costs account for the failure or unexpected maintenance activity. The consequences disrupt the production process, which accounts for the loss of customers and revenue, accidents, and demurrages.

    How to Get the Most Out of Industrial Maintenance?

    1.   Define Your Goals

    To define your industrial maintenance objectives, your company must identify the commonly faced difficulties and where they fall short. It could be anything from safety hazards, asset failures, and unplanned downtimes to rising maintenance costs and decreased operational efficiency. By getting a clear picture of the root problem, your company can set industrial maintenance goals that fit your company’s maintenance needs the best.

    2.   Track Your Maintenance History and Costs

    Your industrial organization must maintain a clear-cut history of reactive, preventive, and predictive maintenance to save your company from unwanted outages. Document every maintenance activity and associated cost in an organized and accessible database. This information is highly beneficial in localizing the pitfalls that lead to breakdowns and pinpointing the damage patterns in equipment. Based on this critical maintenance data, facility managers can suggest changes to devise an improved industrial maintenance plan.

    Pro Tip: Utilize The NonStop Suite’s dynamic e-forms to keep track of all the industrial maintenance work performed. Say goodbye to messy paperwork and store your maintenance history and costs in an automated, accessible, and shareable database.

    3.   Adapt New Technology

    Despite recent technological advancements, several industrial companies still rely on traditional data management techniques. This manual work adds up as an unnecessary burden for the staff and wastes valuable time.

    Deploying a CMMS or EAM solution eliminates the legwork and exertion by providing an automated system for all your maintenance needs. From real-time data collection and analysis, and scheduling inspection and maintenance tasks to generating work orders, and maintaining maintenance logs, CMMS streamlines the path to operational efficacy. Due to its advantages, it is estimated that about 50% of industrial organizations use CMMS for their maintenance data management.

    Pro Tip: Facilitate your organization’s industrial maintenance strategy with a user-friendly, scalable, and adaptable EAM solution like The NonStop Suite.

    4.   Create Backup Plans for Emergency

    Suppose every piece of equipment in your company operates at its maximum capacity. However, even with the best maintenance practices in action, your organization can have asset breakdowns and unplanned downtimes that may catch your maintenance facility off-guard.

    An intelligent way to overcome this deteriorating situation is to have preset backup maintenance plans to tackle these uncalled-for situations. It is also crucial that every member of your maintenance crew must have operational knowledge of the devised backup plans.

    5.   Tag Your Assets

    No matter how large your organization may be, you must keep track of your assets along with their maintenance history. For this purpose, asset tags prove to be a functional tool. Asset tags are a great way to decrease human errors and enhance maintenance efficacy. These are scannable barcodes placed on every critical piece of equipment. Upon scanning, all the industrial maintenance data related to that particular equipment becomes available on a mobile device. Consequently, your organization can eliminate communication obstacles and save valuable time.

    Pro Tip: The NonStop Suite offers the smart NFC asset tagging system to help companies like yours level up their asset management game

    Robust CMMS solutions like The NonStop Suite are developed to bridge the gap between operations and maintenance by leveraging a shared dataset and digitizing the traditional forms that make cross-department visibility impossible.

    Wrapping Up!

    An efficient industrial maintenance program is of utmost importance for your company. To simplify the maintenance work and activities and get more granular control over your assets, The NonStop Group presents the NonStop Suite!

    The NonStop Suite is a comprehensive package of smart solutions to cover all bases for your company! Reforming the world of asset management, The NonStop Suite provides features like dynamic e-forms, On-The-Go Asset Management, NFC asset tagging system, GxP & ISO Compliance, and NC-CAPA Capabilities. Simply put, The NonStop Suite helps industrial companies streamline, simplify, and optimize their maintenance efforts.

    If you want to unbolt these advantages for your company while effectively augmenting your workforce, consult with the NonStop Group today or book a free product tour.

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