CMMS and the 4 Phases of Unscheduled Repair
The classic model of unscheduled repair is divided into four sequential phases: Request, Execution, Analysis and Monitoring. The process is simple but many maintenance departments to not see the process through to its conclusion. This is due to a number of reasons including organizational culture, resource constraints and the lack of an effective repair management system.
The system breaks down and the unscheduled repair process begins with a work request. As a maintenance manager, you have to service a highly variable workload, and since you can’t always predict when equipment is going to break down or need attention, you need employ a system that can track work requests for you. Configure your CMMS application to track the requests and notify you when the work is due. It is important to ensure the horse is not left at the gate.
Repair execution can be defined as maintenance performed to identify, isolate, and rectify a fault so that the failed equipment, machine, or system can be returned to production within its operational specifications. Quick recovery of the system is of utmost importance, which means that capital goods are typically restored by repair by replacement of a component. The repair execution phase includes the repair itself, replacement of defective parts, system recovery and consolidation of defective parts. If repairs cannot be performed immediately, extended downtime can result in production loss. Equipment put back in service without repair requires constant monitoring to prevent field failures, further equipment damage, production downtime, injury of personnel, and perhaps even loss of life. Record all the pertinent details in your CMMS such the repair date, meter reading, and description of work performed, as well as a detailed breakdown of the repairs, labor, and parts involved.
The mirror of hindsight can be painful, which is why many organizations do not advance to this point. Complex processes like failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA), repair or replace analysis etc can yield valuable data to make informed decisions that can reduce the risk of future similar occurrences. This takes time and a considerable amount of money so larger organizations may hire reliability engineers to calculate this data and interpret the results. Smaller organizations don’t have this luxury, however, a wealth of history reports within your CMMS allows small maintenance units to generate detailed cost analyses, monitor trends in neglect and abuse, track aging equipment, and establish the cost effectiveness of equipment. For example, using your CMMS to calculate the Mean Time Between Failure (MBTF) can help predict failures so checks can be put in place in advance to help mitigate future downtime. The MTBF is an important system parameter in systems where failure rate needs to be managed, in particular for safety systems. Other simple analysis processes like technical post mortems can identify organizational and management failures leading to the failure.
After the repair takes place, monitor the system to ensure the repair is successful and the equipment is producing output within the correct specs. This involves deciding on some inspection intervals to running some simple system checks. Manual inspection usually requires equipment to be taken off line, and as a result, is not a cost effective maintenance procedure so increase the interval of these inspections as confidence in the repair grows. For repeat issues, adding additional inspection steps to PM’s schedules in your CMMS can help avoid future similar failures and unnecessary production loss.
Keeping track of your maintenance can be a challenging and daunting task. Following the repair process through to its completion can help build up the knowledge base and expertise to reduce the risk of the failure happening again. The repair process can be managed easily within your CMMS.
Request – Work Order Request form
Execution – Work Order
Analysis – Reporting function
Monitoring – Scheduled inspections using the PM scheduler
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