The reason to change any process including manufacturing or maintenance is desire for improvement; to be better than your competition.
In today’s world, the main driving force for change is quality (of product, service, and work) and cost reduction. To improve quality or save money you need to introduce some sort of change; you need to modify, transform or completely move away from your current practices. We all know that in order to succeed in any change, the entire organization (from top to bottom) needs to understand the necessity for change and be dedicated and supportive in adopting it. The same applies within the Maintenance organization.
RCM is a positive change for the maintenance process –and inspection routes are one of the most important aspects to implement from RCM. Why?
If you are not observing equipment condition continuously –either with some sort of continuous monitoring system (Condition Based Maintenance) or with inspection routes, then your maintenance department will never move away from being reactive. It is virtually impossible to continuously monitor an entire system, or where possible, it can be very expensive. Many companies are now using a combination of both or using only inspection routes with Maintenance Management responsible for Inspector training and motivation, as well as route optimization. The reason for this is that the majority of RCM action plans call for human sense inspections that can only be achieved by inspections and routes.
Recording data during an inspection can be a painful process especially if you’re printing out routes and entering data manually into CMMS. But with use of handheld computers (which Ivara offers), the entire process is automated. An Inspector enters his inspection data into the handheld. He/she is immediately warned of any out of normal readings based on pre-set thresholds. When the route is done, all data is transferred wirelessly into Ivara EXP, providing Maintenance with a centralized view of all condition data from all sources. With this centralized view of essentially real-time data, Maintenance is empowered to make informed decisions, ensuring the right work send to the CMMS for completion.
With diligence to this proactive process, inspection routes catch equipment failures in early stages which results in saving money, time and effort. The whole game is about equipment uptime; elimination of unwanted long downtimes and costly repairs.