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Maintenance data: what they are and how to use them

Maintenance data is all that data that helps the maintenance team keep resources up and running. Learn how to use them effectively

To successfully implement any maintenance activity it is important to have reliable information that is able to describe the behavior of assets over time and provide an idea of the work done by the maintenance team.

The most effective way to collect and monitor this data is to use maintenance software. Try this tool now to start improving the management of your resources and get accurate, updated and complete information from now on to set your maintenance processes.

If you’re still not familiar with the importance of maintenance data, below you can learn more about what it means and how to use it to improve your organization’s operational efficiency.

What is maintenance data?

They are used by maintenance managers to improve the reliability and availability of equipment within a company.

These data is intended to describe:

  • the operating conditions of production facilities;
  • the performance of each individual resource;
  • equipment failure rates (such as MTBF, MTTF, MTTR);
  • the maintenance team resulting work (in the form of reports, KPIs or specific maintenance metrics).

Why is maintenance data important?

Having access to maintenance information can be important for a number of reasons. This data helps industry professionals stay up-to-date on the performance of each piece of equipment.

This allows problems and potential risks to be identified and address in time in order to avoid sudden operational disruptions well in advance of their occurrence.

Maintenance data is essential because it has predictive value and helps improve decision-making in addition to providing timely and accurate information about how resources work.

Facility managers can plan maintenance activities more reliably, avoiding gaps and errors in programming thanks to the support of this information. The collection of maintenance data is also useful to allow technicians and operators in the sector to carry out the required interventions in the shortest possible time and with maximum efficiency.

Monitoring maintenance data

Monitoring maintenance data

What is the difference between maintenance documentation and maintenance data?

Maintenance data and documents are often confused but in reality, these two concepts present a substantial difference.

Both are intended to provide useful information for maintenance. However, while the maintenance data is constantly growing and changing, the maintenance documents are characterized by greater staticness.

The maintenance documentation may include, for example:

  • manuals and instruction manuals;
  • CAD and BIM files;
  • guarantees and insurance policies;
  • inspection check lists;
  • assigned and/or completed work orders;
  • preventive maintenance programs;
  • general policies and procedures.

All these documents, once produced, are unchanged and are essential for:

  • characterize the asset under maintenance;
  • record the interventions already carried out;
  • establish the operations to be completed.

The maintenance data is much more dynamic and varies according to the maintenance strategy chosen unlike the documents that just illustrates Below we can find out which are the most common categories of information in the field of maintenance.

What are the most important types of maintenance data

Data used in maintenance are generally classified into three different categories:

  1. sensory data: collected by the various smart sensors to monitor the operating conditions of the equipment. Companies and facility managers use predictive sensors and data analytics software to detect when critical machinery is about to fail and optimize predictive maintenance processes.
  2. operational data: are necessary for maintenance personnel to carry out their work correctly. This involves planning and recording important information regarding preventive, predictive and emergency maintenance (information about resources, inventory, work orders, efficiency reports, etc.). Operational data is produced by CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) software and used by managers and supervisors to allocate resources and define their responsibilities;
  3. management data: refers to the historical results of operational data. This can be used to assess the efficiency of maintenance processes and take appropriate improvement measures. The category of management data includes reports, analyses, performance indicators, budget information, etc.
Types of maintenance data

Types of maintenance data

5 Ways to Use Maintenance Data Effectively

To deal with maintenance problems as efficiently as possible, it is important to get as much information as possible at the exact time you need to use it. Data in maintenance is a key element in achieving this goal. Using this data effectively means:

  • ensure carrying out proper maintenance at the right time: we will be able to define what resources are affected by a reduced number of corrective actions if we identify the work orders associated with each asset and filter them for the type of maintenance performed. These resources are probably subject to too frequent preventive maintenance. It may therefore be appropriate to reduce scheduled maintenance to avoid waste and achieve greater savings in terms of maintenance time and costs. The resources associated with numerous emergency interventions will, on the contrary, be those characterized by insufficient preventive maintenance;
  • understand how maintenance affects equipment performance: Downtime information can be used to classify assets based on planned and unplanned downtime. This classification, combined with the cost data, helps to define the resources for which it is necessary to modify the maintenance strategies adopted. Equipment with more unplanned downtime is, in fact, the one that has the greatest negative impact on your company and, as a result, presents the highest opportunities for improvement;
  • Organize your warehouse so that equipment is easily accessible: Data on assets and emergency orders allows you to organize equipment and spare parts so that they are easily accessible when needed. This data must be updated and monitored constantly to understand which parts are most frequently used and evaluate their connection with the interventions of corrective maintenance;
  • understand where to allocate the maintenance budget: the collection of information about the work done in a given period can be useful to understand how to spend the maintenance budget and justify the various items of expenditure. Cost statistics, for example, help to determine whether it is more appropriate to increase internal staffing or to turn to external contractors to cope with an emergency situation or complete part of the back maintenance of a facility;
  • What barriers technicians encounter: Having outdated or incomplete data can be a serious obstacle for maintenance technicians. One way to address this obstacle is to conduct periodic checks to identify work orders with missing information or outdated completion notes. Checking these inconsistencies regularly can make the difference in increasing employee performance and improving the efficiency of a facility as a whole.

How a CMMS helps you get good data that you can leverage for better maintenance

Maintenance data can be collected with automated systems and stored or shared both manually.

Manual procedures are certainly the least effective because they do not allow you to keep your data safe, ensure easy sharing or guarantee the most up-to-date version for everyone.

The use of CMMS software solutions helps to avoid all kinds of problems. These systems are specifically designed to provide users with a centralized database. And to keep all data safe, secure and easily accessible. Once configured a CMMS system allows you to:

  • automate data collection and make data entry procedures much simpler, more reliable and more effective;
  • simplify work order and updating practices (which can be performed directly on-site and in real time);
  • transform raw data into information and insights that can be used in various maintenance operations;
  • proactively perform maintenance and maximize resource efficiency and productivity;
  • reduce the number and frequency of machine failures;
  • improve the quality of maintenance planning;
  • enable better management of staff.

These just illustrate some of the potential that a good CMMS system is able to offer you. If you want to discover all the advantages, try a Facility Management software now and start improving strategies for the collection and management of maintenance data, like other professionals in the sector.