Common maintenance management and CMMS-related terms and definitions. Follow the links under each term’s description to learn about each concept in depth.
An asset hierarchy is an important part of asset management. It helps you organize your assets and keep them working properly.
Asset lifecycle management
Asset lifecycle management aims to maximize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of assets throughout their lifespan to maximize the return on investment (ROI).
Asset management policy
An asset management policy is an essential component of having a solid and comprehensive asset management strategy.
Asset naming convention
An asset naming convention also referred to as an asset numbering system, defines how your assets will be referenced in a system.
Asset performance management (APM)
Asset performance management (APM) is a decision-making process to manage assets and improve asset efficiency, availability, reliability, maintainability, and overall lifecycle value while reducing downtime.
Asset tracking is the process of documenting all information about a piece of equipment or other assets for easy access should the need arise.
Bill of materials (BOM)
A bill of materials is a centralized source of information that includes a list of raw materials, asset parts, tools, instructions, documents, drawings, and any other materials needed to build, manufacture, or repair a product or service.
Breakdown maintenance is maintenance performed on equipment that has broken down and is unusable. It is based on a breakdown maintenance trigger.
Capacity utilization is a measure of how much of an organization’s resources it is using. It’s calculated by taking the total amount of available capacity and dividing it by the maximum possible output for that resource.
Computer aided facility management (CAFM)
Computer aided facility management (CAFM) software helps businesses manage and monitor the various aspects of a facility.
Continuous improvement is a lean improvement technique that helps to streamline workflows, resulting in saved time and money for organizations.
Corrective maintenance is any task that corrects a problem with an asset and returns it to proper working order. Corrective maintenance tasks can be both planned and unplanned.
Cycle time is the time it takes to complete a project or process from start to finish. It can be measured in hours, days, weeks, months, or years.
Defect density is the number of defects per square inch of product. It can be a valuable measurement for manufacturers, especially when tracking down problems in their manufacturing lines.
Also referred to as backlog maintenance or demand maintenance, deferred maintenance is planned or unplanned maintenance that has been postponed.
Design failure mode and effects analysis (DFMEA)
Design failure mode and effects analysis (DFMEA) is a tool to help identify potential failures in a design. It’s used in the design and development stages and helps to identify possible failure modes and effects and possible solutions.
Emergency maintenance (also known as breakdown maintenance) is maintenance required when an asset or piece of equipment suffers an unexpected breakdown.
Equipment depreciation is the method of accounting for the loss in value of a piece of equipment over its useful life.
Equipment maintenance is the process of keeping equipment in good working order. It’s required for all types of equipment, including computers, vehicles, and machinery.
Equipment maintenance log
An equipment maintenance log is a document where maintenance activities performed on an asset are recorded for easy reference. The process is simple: Work gets done, and a log gets updated.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
ERP (enterprise resource planning) is software that manages all the major functions of a company, including financials, supply chain, operations, commerce, reporting, manufacturing, and human resource activities, all in one system.
A facility manager is a person who manages the maintenance and operations of a facility. They are responsible for the planning, organization, directing, and controlling of all activities necessary to provide the facility with efficient operation.
Facility maintenance is the process of keeping facilities in good working order. The goal is to reduce the amount of unscheduled downtime for facility assets.
A failure code is a short and simple way of cross-referencing against a list of reasons for failure. This allows maintenance workers to figure out why an asset or system failed during production.
Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)
FMEA stands for failure mode and effects analysis and is a step-by-step risk management, process analysis tool for identifying where and how failures might occur in a design, manufacturing, or assembly process for a product or service.
Failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis (FMECA)
Failure modes, effects, and criticality analysis (FMECA) is a technique used to identify potential failures in systems and equipment.
Fault tree analysis (FTA)
Fault tree analysis, sometimes known as event tree analysis, is a method of identifying the possible causes of a system failure. A fault tree is used to graphically illustrate the different potential causes of a failure in the form of a diagram.
Field service management software
Field service management (FSM) software is a system accessible through mobile maintenance devices that helps managers and supervisors manage and monitor off-site workers and optimize the time and resources needed for each job.
First pass yield (FPY)
First pass yield is a measure of quality and productivity. It’s calculated by dividing the acceptable parts by the total number of parts produced during manufacturing.
First time fix (FTF)
First time fix (FTF), sometimes referred to as a ‘rework’ or ‘resolution’ level, is a metric that’s commonly used to measure the amount of times a technician is able to fix an issue the first time, without the need for additional expertise, information, or parts.
Failure reporting, analysis, and corrective action system (FRACAS)
FRACAS stands for failure reporting, analysis, and corrective action system. It’s a closed-loop system designed to help maintenance teams find, respond to, and fix the root cause of asset failure.
Functional failure mode and effects analysis (FFMEA)
Functional failure mode and effects analysis (FFMEA) is used to identify potential failure modes and their effects on product performance.
The word gemba (sometimes spelled as genba) is a Japanese term literally translated as “the real place.”
Heavy equipment maintenance software
Heavy equipment maintenance tracking software is any software tool or platform that helps companies track and manage the upkeep and repairs of any heavy equipment they own or use.
Idle time, sometimes referred to as waiting time, is the time lost due to work stoppages in which machines and/or employees are ready and available but can not be productive.
Inventory control, sometimes known as stock control, is the control of the spare parts inventory that your maintenance team has on hand.
The term kaizen is a combination of two Japanese words that, when combined, roughly translate to “good change.” Over the years, however, the term has evolved to mean “continuous improvement” and is frequently used in manufacturing and maintenance processes.
Leak detection and repair (LDAR)
Leak detection and repair (LDAR) is a process that maintenance teams use to identify and fix air, water, gas and other types of leaks in gas and oil pipelines, tanks, and other equipment.
Lean maintenance is the process of identifying and removing waste from maintenance operations. It is a continuous improvement process intended to gradually eliminate any factors that reduce asset reliability, increase costs, or negatively impact productivity.
Lockout tagout (LOTO)
Lockout tagout (LOTO) is a safety protocol designed to prevent accidental injuries during equipment service and maintenance.
Machine availability, also referred to as uptime, is the total amount of time a machine actually runs versus the time it was scheduled to run. Availability is a key figure to monitor when it comes to production planning.
Machine maintenance is the work that keeps mechanical assets running with minimal downtime. Machine maintenance can include regularly scheduled service, routine checks, both scheduled and emergency repairs.
A maintenance budget helps you plan, manage, and prioritize your maintenance activities and objectives, so you can be as effective as possible with the limited amount of money you have.
Maintenance engineers are responsible for maintaining the equipment and processes that allow a business to run.
Maintenance inventory system
A maintenance inventory system is a software platform or tool that helps organizations manage their maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) inventory.
Maintenance management is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the activities required to keep equipment and facilities in a state of readiness for their intended use.
Maintenance managers are responsible for all activities related to the repair and replacement of equipment and facilities that support an organization’s operations.
A maintenance planner is a job title for an individual who is responsible for planning and scheduling maintenance activities in an organization.
Preventive maintenance scheduling can be classified into two distinct methods: Fixed PMs and floating PMs. Both methods can be used to track assets and determine when they should be inspected, repaired, recalibrated, or replaced.
A maintenance SOP (standard operating procedure) is a detailed document that describes all the steps maintenance workers need to follow while performing a task.
Material safety data sheets (MSDS)
Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are a type of document that provides information about the composition and health hazards of a chemical. MSDS are used by manufacturers, distributors, and users of chemicals to ensure safe handling practices.
In the past, if you had multiple PM cycles for a given piece of equipment that landed on the same date, you would have had to create multiple scheduled maintenance triggers in the CMMS to handle the cumulative tasks.
On-time delivery (OTD)
On-time delivery (OTD) is an important measure of the performance of your manufacturing operation. On-time delivery refers to how many orders are completed in a specified time frame.
Operations and maintenance
An operations and maintenance program (also known as an O&M) is a combination of general maintenance, management, training, budgeting, and business processes that are used collectively for the proper functioning of a facility.
OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It was created out of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
Parts management software
Parts management software, also known as inventory management software, is used by maintenance departments to purchase, organize, track, and manage MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) inventory and spare parts at their facility.
PDCA, which stands for Plan-Do-Check-Act, is a four-step project management tool for implementing continuous improvement. It involves systematically testing possible solutions, assessing the results, and implementing the ones that have shown to work.
Process failure mode and effects analysis (PFMEA)
Process failure mode and effects analysis (PFMEA) is part of the larger failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) family.
Production costs are the costs associated with manufacturing a product. These include direct and indirect costs.
Production downtime is when a machine or system isn’t working. It can be caused by various things, like an outage, human error, or a software issue.
Production efficiency, sometimes referred to as productive efficiency, is a measure of how well a company uses its resources to produce a good or service.
Production volume is the number of products a company makes. Measuring production volume is important because it can help you know what your company can produce.
Programmable logic controller (PLC)
PLC is the nervous system of an organization’s computer system that allows management and technicians to work better. It continuously makes decisions based on system inputs that increase equipment efficiency, production lines, and manufacturing processes.
Rate of return (ROR)
The rate of return (ROR) is the percentage of profit you make on an investment. It’s a measure of the profitability of an investment.
Repair and maintenance
Repair and maintenance are used hand-in-hand, but they refer to different things in the asset management space. Repairs are restoration work for when an asset breaks, gets damaged, or stops working.
Repair tracking software
The term repair tracking software, when used in an industrial or manufacturing context, refers to a software platform that manages the process of maintaining and repairing complex, industrial machinery.
Root cause analysis (RCA)
Root cause analysis is the process of identifying the systemic cause of a failure incident. This is critical in maintenance for finding and resolving the true cause of mechanical problems, instead of just fixing the symptoms.
Routine maintenance refers to any maintenance task that is done on a planned and ongoing basis to identify and prevent problems before they result in equipment failure.
Scheduled maintenance is any task that is given a deadline and assigned to a technician. It can either be a recurring task done at regular intervals or a one-time task.
Scrap rate is the percentage of goods or materials that can be recycled. Scrap rate is calculated by dividing the amount of scrap produced in a given time period by the total amount of output in that same time period.
Six sigma is a set of methods and tools that help businesses improve product quality and production efficiency. This is done by finding defects in processes, determining their cause, and making improvements.
Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)
A Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system is used to monitor and control an industrial facility’s operational processes from a central location.
System availability is a metric that measures the probability that a system is not failed or undergoing a repair action when it needs to be used.
Throughput can be thought of as the rate at which work moves through a given system. It is important to measure throughput because it allows you to identify bottlenecks in your process and optimize them accordingly.
Time-based maintenance (TBM)
Time-based maintenance (TBM) is maintenance performed on equipment based on a calendar schedule. This means that time is the maintenance trigger for this type of maintenance.
Technician scheduling software
Technician scheduling software is a software tool or platform that helps maintenance teams organize their technicians’ work assignments.
A vibration sensor is a device that detects mechanical vibrations. It measures the vibration levels in your machine and alerts you to any potential problems, like equipment failure or worn parts that need replacement.
A voltage sensor is a device that measures voltage. Voltage sensors can measure the voltage in various ways, from measuring high voltages to detecting low current levels.
Warranty tracking software
Warranty tracking software or warranty management software is a tool to help maintenance teams organize and access information about the warranties of industrial equipment and inventory.
Work order scheduling software
Work order scheduling software is a stand-alone solution for creating, managing, and scheduling work orders. It’s also commonly referred to as work order software or job scheduling software.