Glossary

Common maintenance management terms and their definitions

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API (application programming interface)
An API is a set of routines, protocols, and tools used to build a software application. An API determines how different software components will interact with one another.
CMMS (computerized maintenance management system)
CMMS refers to software that helps maintenance teams keep track of their assets, schedule and track work orders, and keep a record of the work they’ve performed. In other words, a CMMS is the software used to document and manage every aspect of a business’s maintenance operations.
EAM (Enterprise asset management)
While a CMMS is used primarily to manage maintenance during the operational part of an asset’s life, EAM manages the entire lifecycle of an asset, from creation and procurement through to disposal. It allows you to see the big picture of your priorities, and the tools available for you to meet your priorities.
ERP (enterprise resource planning)
Enterprise resource planning is the integrated management of business processes, such as inventory management, service delivery, or production planning. ERP allows businesses to have an up-to-date view of their core business processes using a number of databases.
KPI (key performance indicator)
A key performance indicator is a metric that is used by a business to determine their effectiveness as an organization. An example of a common KPI used would be downtime or overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). KPIs can vary from business to business, depending on what their goals and indicators of success are.
MTBF (mean time between failures)
Mean time between failures, or MTBF, can be described as the average time between system or component breakdowns. It’s a great way to quantify a system or component’s reliability. It is usually measured in hours, and does not include repair time. It can allow you to take part in preventive actions in order to avoid failure.
MTTR (mean time to repair)
Mean time to repair, or MTTR, refers to the average time needed to troubleshoot and repair equipment in order to get it up and running again. It encompasses the amount of time between the start of an incident and when equipment is operational again, and ultimately measures how well an organization is able to respond to a problem and fix it.
Multi-tenant
Multi-tenant refers to a software application running on one server, but serving multiple customers, or tenants, in multiple locations. Conversely, single-tenant refers to one server supporting one customer.
OEE (overall equipment effectiveness)
Overall equipment effectiveness is an evaluation of how your equipment is performing overall. It takes into account the availability of your equipment, its performance as compared to what is expected, and the quality it produces. It can be expressed as a percentage, which is calculated by multiplying availability x performance x quality. The average OEE score is around 60%, while an excellent OEE score would be 85% or above. OEE is a good indicator of machine or system productivity.
Predictive maintenance
Predictive maintenance involves trying to predict when equipment failure may occur, and then to prevent that failure by performing maintenance. The goal of predictive maintenance is to allow the frequency with which maintenance occurs to be as low as possible to prevent reactive maintenance, and without having to do too much preventive maintenance. If predictive maintenance is being performed successfully, it only occurs just before failure is supposed to occur.
Preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance is work that is performed regularly on equipment to ensure it does not fail. This kind of maintenance is performed while the equipment is working and functional, so that it doesn’t break down unexpectedly. The timeline by which preventive maintenance is scheduled can be time-based (ex. once a year) or usage trigger-based (ex. after the equipment has been in use for a certain number of hours).
Reactive maintenance
Reactive maintenance can also be referred to as breakdown maintenance. This maintenance is performed when a piece of equipment has broken down and needs to be restored so that it can be used again. The obvious advantage of this type of maintenance is that it is only ever performed when it’s needed. Of course, the downside is that unexpected downtime due to a piece of equipment failing can be expensive and impractical.
Run-to-failure
Run-to-failure is a maintenance strategy that lets assets run until they break down before any maintenance is performed. This strategy works for assets that do not pose a safety risk or substantially impact production upon breakdown.
SaaS
SaaS stands for “software as a service”, and refers to a software that is available to customers over the internet on a subscription basis.
Total productive maintenance
Total productive maintenance is a strategy that operates on the belief that everyone in a facility can and should participate in maintenance. Its goal is to incorporate maintenance into the day-to-day activities of a facility. This this strategy ensures that any potential problems will be addressed before they become real issues that affect production.
Work order
A work order is a request for a task or a repair to be completed. It can be produced manually through a request submitted by a worker or client, or automatically, according to a predetermined schedule. Work orders allow teams and workers to document problems, share information, and track the work that is to be performed to solve that problem.