Maintenance in a pill

Maintenance is a set of processes and activities to ensure that a plant’s technical infrastructure – such as machinery, equipment or technical installations – is available and can be operated correctly. Find out what the maintenance department is in a manufacturing company.

Functions and objectives of maintenance

The maintenance department of a production company or workplace has a wide range of competencies, which are realised not only in the context of the maintenance and upkeep of machinery or equipment. The modern objectives describing maintenance carried out by maintenance services are:

  • implementing the approved maintenance strategy,
  • reducing utility consumption to an optimal level,
  • maximising the efficiency of manufacturing processes,
  • maintaining the highest possible level of safety within the working environment,
  • managing spare parts and ensuring that they are adequately stocked,
  • troubleshooting, maintenance and service activities and inspections of machinery and technical installations,
  • keeping a register of workplace equipment.

However, one of the critical objectives of the maintenance department is to maintain the availability and proper functioning of machinery and equipment and thus ensure the smooth execution of production orders.

Maintenance concept and strategy

Maintenance can represent a cost of up to 7% per year of the total replacement value of a production facility’s assets. This means that for a plant with assets of 100 million PLN, the cost of the maintenance department and the purchase of spare parts can cost up to 7 million PLN per year.

Over the years, the strategies chosen by the maintenance department have undergone considerable evolution. As a result, there are currently three key maintenance strategies. These are preventive, run-to-failure (RTF) and predictive strategies.

Preventive strategy is related to scheduling repairs, maintenance and inspections of the machinery fleet. The deadlines set in the schedule by the maintenance managers are established based on machine manufacturers’ instructions and legislation. Therefore, the preventive model is one of the most commonly used maintenance strategies.

Run to failure strategy (RTF) is based on the ongoing implementation of ad hoc repair and maintenance activities only after a failure or fault has occurred. The RTF model marginalises the use of preventive action in favour of executing ad hoc repair strategies. This reduces initial costs but results in less control over the availability and performance of the machine infrastructure and significantly increases the risk of failure. As a result, maintenance engineers often follow a run-to-failure strategy of repairs to machinery and equipment that are secondary and tertiary to the success of the production process.

Predictive strategy is an advanced maintenance model that is based on the use of industrial automation in the context of collecting and analysing data related to the operation and states of machines. The predictive model allows maintenance staff to determine or estimate at what intervals or after how many production cycles spare parts and machine components wear out. This makes it possible to estimate the timing of part replacements before a machine breakdown occurs. The predictive model is currently one of the most effective methods for ensuring infrastructure availability and functionality.

In developing maintenance strategies and facilitating the work of maintenance technicians, different concepts related to the organisation of work and information flow within other departments of the production plant are proving helpful. Among the most popular concepts of this type, we can include:

  • Total Productive Maintenance (TPM),
  • Breakdown Maintenance (BM),
  • Corrective Maintenance (CM),
  • independent technical reviews (SP),
  • an IT system responsible for managing machine maintenance (CMMS system),
  • productive maintenance of technical infrastructure (PrM),
  • reliability-oriented maintenance (RCM),
  • maintenance prevention (MP) approach.

Systems to facilitate maintenance

The maintenance department and production in manufacturing plants are most often supported by IT systems responsible for, among other things: monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of machinery, managing production and collecting, processing and analysing data related to the presentation of the condition of the machinery fleet.

CMMS Computerised Maintenance Management System) systems are commonly used for this activity, providing maintenance services with multi-level support related to their staff duties.

The CMMS system provides critical information on the current status of machinery and equipment, planned overhauls, changeovers or maintenance, generates fault reports and facilitates the management of spare parts inventories.

A modern CMMS – such as QRmaint’s CMMS – provides the production company and the departments responsible for maintenance with multi-level support related to optimum maintenance of machinery, production lines or technical installations.

Maintenance – the challenge of the future

Nowadays, there are many ways in which maintenance departments can effectively manage and be responsible for maintenance. In addition, the dynamic changes in management methods that have taken place over several years have made it possible to develop modern strategies, concepts and tools in the form of information systems that can be flexibly adapted to the specific characteristics of the company and its technical infrastructure.

This provides companies with a reliable and precious solution to maintain the highest possible efficiency, reliability and availability of their machine infrastructure while significantly reducing costs with maintenance.


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    członek zespołu

    Sales Manager


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