How can an EAM support your strategy?
In addition to supporting everyday decisions, your EAM can help you to deliver on high-level strategic goals, such as enabling proactive maintenance, supporting asset lifecycle management (ALM), or improving operational equipment effectiveness (OEE). In many cases, it can be combined with an ERP for greater operational value.
Move from reactive to proactive maintenance
An EAM can support you in your progression from reactive maintenance (fixing things after they break) to proactive maintenance (preventing things from breaking in the first place).
This could help you to keep the preventive-to-corrective maintenance ratio – an important KPI – above 75%. This would mean that for every three preventive maintenance tasks a maintenance team performs, it is only doing one corrective task. Such a metric would tend to indicate that you are being proactive in your maintenance, supporting efficiency and profitability.
Towards condition-based maintenance
Your EAM can support you as you develop your maintenance strategy – allowing you to use predictive criteria to plan your maintenance schedule proactively.
As a starting point, you might be using calendar-based maintenance – performing maintenance at given intervals. But as you advance, EAM can support your move to a criteria-based approach, using metrics that aim to reflect wear and tear – such as hours of run time, or number of duty cycles.
If you have access to diagnostic data, you can progress to condition-based maintenance – using values like temperature, vibration, pressure (or changes in values) to trigger maintenance at certain thresholds. Ultimately, a sound approach to predictive maintenance combines condition-based maintenance with, for example, duty cycle and load factors.
When EAM is a part of an overall ERP package, this is an optimum scenario – because you can not only use data such as equipment run time, but other relevant data related to products. After all, cutting stainless steel, for example, will result in more wear to equipment than cutting aluminium, so product data is highly relevant.
The goal is to eliminate unnecessary maintenance – not only to reduce cost but because many maintenance activities bring some risk of damaging the machine, which has an effect on uptime.
Support asset lifecycle management
Another strategic benefit of EAM is that it enables asset lifecycle management (ALM). This approach enables you to “map your future” by understanding how your assets help you to deliver current and future products, services, and revenue. You can then design assets to evolve and adapt to the needs you anticipate.
Maintenance can also be balanced, avoiding the extreme of over-maintenance, which increases cost without improving outcomes. As changes are made to the asset over time, these can be included in an “as-maintained” record.
Of course, at some point, despite optimal maintenance, the asset will degrade and the cycle will begin anew. But thanks to EAM, the planning and engineering team can begin their work with full visibility into maintenance and usage data from the previous asset – allowing them to learn from the experience of operating that asset, to improve the running of the new one.
Improve operational equipment effectiveness
In combination with an ERP, EAM can also help enhance another KPI: overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). The idea is to combine EAM data and ERP data with equipment performance data, collected either from individual machines or a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system – to determine how to maximize the output of a machine.
OEE measures manufacturing productivity as a percentage of manufacturing time which is truly productive. Ideally, a manufacturing company would have 100% good parts with no stop time, maximum equipment operating speed, and 100% availability – but this is unattainable for many reasons. The idea is to find an optimal balance.
As part of this effort, EAM data can also be used to track and record stoppages – which can be achieved manually or through automated data capture through the internet of things (IoT). Other EAM processes which play a part include the availability of replacement parts and maintenance personnel. In some cases, operational factors in ERP play a role too, including data about available inventory or raw materials.