A robust and structured Maintenance Program is not only a necessary component of a Compliant Quality System, but also a critical element for a manufacturing facility of any size. Operational success is measured against many metrics but at the simplest level your equipment needs to function properly.
At its core, APIS Maintenance is an integration service backed by our extensive experience in the greenhouse, agriculture, food, and pharma industries. Leveraging leading CMMS software, we can help you identify your assets then build practical solutions around them to reduce the risk of unpredictable equipment failures.
Our Maintenance Program can help develop service requirements for multiple systems including HVAC, electrical, irrigation, and facility equipment to ensure they function at their design potential. We assess the operation and maintenance recommendations provided by original equipment manufacturers (OEM) then cross reference those to generate relevant maintenance activities and schedules. We also host an extensive repository of work instructions related to greenhouse and agriculture specific equipment. All of this is supported by comprehensive training and the implementation of industry recognized best practices to ensure your staff is well equipped to manage and utilize the program.
Facility and Equipment Asset Management best practices are key to operational success. Maintainable assets include both equipment and the facilities they operate within. The APIS Maintenance program begins by providing tools and services which support the identification of your facility and equipment which can be cross referenced to your capital depreciation schedules. This is done by collecting information from site including model, serial number, photos, and others then providing an asset label which can be loaded into a CMMS and referenced by any other system in your organization. Keeping track of your assets in an organized catalogue which can be integrated with your financial systems is key to tracking cost of ownership and depreciation lifecycle activities. Maintenance staff are provided the benefit of easier scheduling, work instructions and simplified spare parts inventory management. Leadership will appreciate the cost tracking, labour utilization, and better equipment performance benefits ensuring the maximum return on their capital investments.
The cost of ownership on your fixed assets can actually exceed the initial purchase cost if not properly maintained throughout their operational lifecycle. Having a structured and practical maintenance program in place as a part of an overall Strategic Asset Management Plan can reduce this risk and ensure your equipment reaches the useful life and operational expectations set out when it was purchased.
Maintain: “to keep in an existing state (as of repair, efficiency, or validity): preserve from failure or decline” – Merriam Webster’s Dictionary
Repair: “to restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken” – Merriam Webster’s Dictionary
Often when referring to the department or individuals who are responsible for our asset care, the term “Maintenance” is used. It is often a good place to start by asking one’s self, “Do I have a Maintenance or a repair organization?” A repair organization is often much more expensive to operate within – expediting in parts, service technicians, and unplanned production outages are far more costly than keeping equipment “maintained”. Additional and more extensive damage to assets can also result when unseen failures occur.
With a structured maintenance program several different tactics can be applied to mitigate the risk of failure on key and high investment assets. This can include Preventive, Predictive, Condition Based, and yes, even run to failure.
Here are some examples that perhaps you can relate to when they are applied in the context of your automobile:
- The headlights on your car – Run to Failure is the preferred tactic. Why? We have redundancy – there are two of them and the risk of both failing at the same time is very low. Changing them on a calendar or time of use frequency would be neither economical or practical. We should, however, inspect for items like this in our facilities to see if they have failed and require replacement.
- The oil in your engine – Preventive Maintenance. The time to change the oil is based on statistics which show that oil degrades over time and through extended use. When your car reaches a certain amount of mileage a warning comes on telling you to change it, or the calendar date on the windscreen indicates you have passed the date of effective service life. Your vehicle has a CMMS function built into it… does your facility or operation?
- Transmission Fluid – Predictive Maintenance. Your transmission is a high investment gearbox. Extracting fluid after a period of time or interval of use to examine it for wear particles, degradation, or contamination can save you a huge repair bill and a very inconvenient time to repair if issues go undetected.
These are just a few examples of how different tactics can be applied to your personal vehicle which also apply in a very relevant way to facilities and fixed assets. APIS Integrators can leverage their insight, knowledge, and experience to help select the best tactics, tasks, and frequencies which reduce the risk of unplanned outages and costly repairs. Whether developing air filter inspections or setting up schedules for a Thermal Imaging program on switchgear, we have the experience and know-how to provide teams with valuable advice.
Spare parts management
Spare Parts Management, also known as Stores Operations or MRO Inventory Control, is the philosophy of managing replacement parts effectively through just-in-time practices and inventory controls. Essentially, it consists of having parts available when needed , not using expedited delivery services, keeping redundant stock, being able to locate them, and ensuring the parts are in working order when installed. APIS Maintenance operates from a premise of 5S – Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize, Sustain. 5S provides a basis for a level of organization in stockrooms which permits parts to be available as needed via rows, sections, shelves, and bins all laid out in a logical, predictable sequence in a clean and stable environment. This decreases the time for parts retrieval and reduces the risk of damaged or degraded parts once installation of them becomes necessary. APIS Integrators can assist with facilitating the setup of spare parts in the CMMS and in the stores area. We can also provide site operators with standards and training on how to set up and maintain a good spare parts storage area.
Implementing a CMMS is a good way to start on the path of better maintenance. It is important to note that a CMMS is “only a system” and it will not change a maintenance department on its own. If set up poorly and not utilized, the investment into it will not provide return and the maintenance program will be no better, it will have just become more complex. However, utilizing an Integrator who understands a business and can translate that into a CMMS platform by supporting it with comprehensive training, establishing workflows and best practices will not only preserve investment capital, but also bring about better operational reliability.
CMMS has many benefits, but these benefits have been demonstrated to typically be arrived at via a knowledgeable, experienced third party. Studies have proven that many companies which attempt to initiate their own CMMS program are not successful for many reasons – primarily due to lack of direct experience in implementation and operation. Therefore, it is important to select a knowledgeable integrator carefully and ensure they understand the business, the people, and the expectations. They should be a partner who can support operators on an ongoing basis and especially as the capabilities of the program expand, including integration with other systems.
Contact us for an initial discussion, we would like to hear about your challenges and see if we can assist your operation. – APIS Integration Team