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Maintenance documentation: what are they and how are they managed?

Maintenance documentation accompanies the different maintenance phases and are essential for the success of interventions. Learn how to manage them more efficiently

A good maintenance intervention also involves a correct and efficient management of data, both new ones that are processed during maintenance activities and those that are already part of the “file” of our asset.

The maintenance documentation must be usable and accessible at all times of the maintenance workflow in order to ensure correct execution of the maintenance intervention. It is therefore clear that having stacks of paper documents that are difficult to consult and share would compromise the effectiveness of maintenance. For this reason, I recommend you to manage the maintenance documentation with a CMMS, which in addition to supporting you in the planning of the maintenance activity, allows you to manage all the data making it always accessible and shareable.

But do we know in detail what these data are and how to best manage them?

Let’s see it together in this article!

What are the maintenance documentation?

The maintenance documentation are all those that accompany the various phases of the maintenance workflow, without which the process would not have sufficient information to carry out the maintenance intervention itself in an adequate and efficient way. Let’s try to give an example.

When a fault or malfunction occurs, the responsible technician makes it known and opens a maintenance intervention request ticket, specifying:

  • the type of problem detected;
  • the part of the asset concerned;
  • the date;
  • all other information useful for planning the intervention.

The maintenance request that, as we have seen, has already begun to generate documents, is examined. Depending on the type of fault and the level of urgency, the intervention is planned both in terms of type and implementation times. Before proceeding to plan the intervention independently, however, we check:

  • the history of the interventions on the same piece;
  • the manufacturer’s guarantee;
  • the user manual of the part in question (in case it is not covered by warranty).

Once the intervention  is completed, a specific document is  drawn up that testifies to the type of intervention carried out and that specifies all the useful data – materials, spare parts, date, responsible technician, distance from the previous intervention, etc.

From the example just made, a series of data emerged that, without realizing it, accompany the various phases of the maintenance process:

  • maintenance request ticket;
  • assignment of the work order;
  • use and maintenance manuals;
  • product warranty;
  • final documentation.

What are the types of maintenance documentation?

A useful way to classify maintenance process documents is to do so based on the stage of the workflow at which they need to be written or are useful.

We will therefore have:

  • documents accompanying and describing our materials, equipment and facilities as well as our maintenance team. These are documents of this type:
    • CAD and IFC files;
    • guarantees;
    • insurance policies;
    • identification codes and abbreviations;
    • documents describing the maintenance team;
    • certificates of training and refresher courses;
    • registrations in registers;
  • documents that support and support the maintenance team by directing to the right maintenance procedures:
    • use and maintenance manuals;
    • maintenance check list;
    • preventive maintenance software;
    • standard operating procedures;
    • specific safety procedures;
    • useful information on hazardous materials.
  • documents that the maintenance team draws up as it carries out the various maintenance activities. These documents are, on the one hand, testimony of the work of the team and on the other hand useful for future consultations if another failure should occur on the same piece. These are part of this type of documents:
    • maintenance requests;
    • workorders;
    • maintenance metrics and kpi;
    • final reports

How does CMMS help manage maintenance documentation effectively?

One of the variables that most determines the correct data management of maintenance is to be able to have all the documents in one place and in one version, so that they can be easily identified and always usable, from any place and at any time. This is where CMMS management makes all the difference.

Let’s imagine that we continue to manage maintenance documentation in a traditional way, the result would be: stacks of documents that are difficult to archive, difficult to consult and difficult to share. All this would clearly have an impact on the overall management and the final result of the maintenance work.

By switching to computer-based management and relying on the use of specific maintenance software, data management would also benefit. All data would always be safe, accessible, easily identifiable and shareable.

CMMS-Computerized Maintenance Management System

CMMS-Computerized Maintenance Management System

What are the tricks for efficient maintenance documentation management?

The documentation process of the maintenance becomes relatively simple when supported by the right software. Moving from theory to practice can always be a surprise, so here it is some good advice to always manage maintenance documentation:

  1. draw up and follow specific check lists;
  2. update the training of the maintenance team;
  3. monitor the progress of documentation in the cloud;
  4. make real use of the documents contained in the cloud for the planning of maintenance interventions.

Processing and managing the documentation correctly is therefore essential both at the regulatory level and for the correct success of the maintenance intervention. Fortunately, to help us in this there are specific facility management software that, in addition to supporting us in the planning of maintenance activities, also deal with the documentary part. All you have to do is integrate them into the maintenance process of your assets.