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Industrial maintenance: 3 best practices to improve it

Industrial maintenance is the set of processes that you need to follow to make industrial plants work efficiently. Here are 3 strategies to improve it!

Even the best industrial plant could not function properly without a maintenance process that optimizes its workflows.

To make this possible and to also outline the precise maintenance operations, a Facility Manager and their work team must surely coordinate. To better manage each activity of the maintenance process, I recommend that you try the demo version of a plant maintenance software. The use of the tool helps with the planning of activities and with the preventive control of all problems. Moreover, it optimizes the team work and improves the productivity of the plants.

This article will cover industrial maintenance, why it is so important and what are the main figures that come into play in this process. Moreover, we will share 3 good practices to be put in place to improve this process.

What is industrial maintenance?

Industrial maintenance, also known as plant maintenance, represents the set of procedures to keep all industrial systems, machinery and equipment in operation, ensuring that all assets and resources are in excellent working conditions.

Processes and plans involving industrial maintenance  are aimed at safeguarding a plant in the long term, with the aim of

  • anticipating and resolving issues;
  • minimizing faults;
  • increasing uptime;
  • controlling costs;
  • achieving the company’s goals.
industrial maintenance technician

Industrial maintenance technician

Some good examples of maintenance strategies

In the industrial maintenance sector, there are different strategies that can be implemented, which vary in degree and frequency according to the company’s characteristics.

Among the many strategies, some good examples are

  • reactive maintenance: the set of interventions that are carried out following the malfunction or breakage of a machine. Although this strategy implies lower initial costs, it then turns out to be the least efficient method because it causes unplanned downtime, production losses and critical equipment damage;
  • preventive maintenance: the set of proactive activities, i.e. the planning of inspections and maintenance interventions planned during the life cycle of the equipment aimed at preventing and resolving any damage before they occur. It is a useful tool to avoid foreseeable problems, but it can often be inefficient if you invest too many resources for unnecessary activities;
  • predictive maintenance: the PdM is based on the analysis of predictive models. These models are built by comparing current data, continuously collected from sensors, with past events data (maintenance and performance) recorded for a given asset. That way, the optimization of internal resources and the identification of a failure that is likely to occur become easier;
  • reliability-based maintenance: RCM is based on the remote control of equipment, with active monitoring systems and continuous tests necessary to constantly assess asset conditions. This helps to determine when it is appropriate to perform maintenance activities based on the actual condition of the machines, thus increasing their performance and function over time.

Who are the industrial maintenance workers?

The figures that come into play in industrial maintenance processes are

  • industrial maintenance mechanics: those who deal with the installation, disassembly, repair of mechanical, hydraulic and electrical faults and the maintenance of the machinery used in the company;
  • industrial maintenance technicians: they have more specific professional training as opposed to maintenance mechanics. In fact, their duties focus on specific sectors and related equipment. In general, an industrial maintenance technician has the task of performing preventive maintenance on the machinery under his responsibility, solving problems related to faults, promptly carrying out emergency repairs;
  • industrial maintenance planners: they guide all the activities of mechanics and technicians. They ensure that all technicians have the tools, resources and parts necessary to complete their work and maintenance activities and often schedule the maintenance activities of each technician;
  • industrial maintenance supervisors: they are directly responsible for controlling the work of technicians, which must be carried as per program. They refer to the managers, who often complete some activities such as monitoring the KPIs, verifying compliance with the planning, monitoring the average time of repairs, etc.;
  • responsible for industrial maintenance (Facility Manager): has the task of managing and directing all the objectives in terms of reliability and operation. They focus on checking compliance with industry regulations, on budget alignment, on the implementation of a proactive maintenance program. They also identify new strategies to improve productivity and reduce costs. Last but not the least, they coordinate all those professionals who become part of the industrial maintenance process. In order to so, they will need a Facility Management software, which guarantees a simplified planning of maintenance activities and an immediate control of every aspect of the process.
industrial management organization

Industrial management organization

Sectors benefiting from industrial maintenance

All industrial activities involving the use of more or less impressive machinery require the help of maintenance procedures; among the sectors for which they are more frequent we have

  • refineries;
  • automotive industries;
  • energy industries;
  • aeronautical industries;
  • manufacturing industries;
  • construction industries;
  • printing industries.

3 best practices for improving industrial maintenance

To improve industrial maintenance I suggest you follow these 3 best practices:

  • define the standard activities, identifying all the necessary procedures, clarifying who must carry them out and when and how to do it;
  • implement a preventive maintenance plan, scheduling the operations and periodic checks;
  • use a facility management software, with which it is possible to manage all the work, constantly update all the resource data and create reports with which to monitor maintenance, performance, KPIs, etc.

If you need to organize and have full control of all the industrial maintenance activities of your company, follow my advice. Try out a system maintenance software that supports you correctly throughout the process and makes it easy and intuitive to manage any type of maintenance.