Your assets are the backbone of your operations but they do not last forever. With that said, there are a few things you can do to extend their lifetime. Doing so brings several benefits:
- Cost savings: Replacing an asset can be expensive, so extending its life cycle can help you get more value out of your investment. Instead of purchasing new assets earlier than you’d have liked, your organisation can redirect those funds towards other objectives.
- Increased productivity: Well-maintained assets perform better, resulting in peak performance and higher production rates.
- Improved quality: Ensuring that assets are performing to the highest standards results in better quality products.
With that in mind, read on to discover our top five tips for extending asset lifetimes.
Key Strategies for Extending the Life of Your Assets
1. Use Preventive Maintenance
Preventive maintenance scheduling is a must. By performing maintenance tasks before problems arise, equipment operates more efficiently, which can reduce wear and tear on components.
Considering the emergency services as an example, a CMMS system enables them to create and manage a preventive maintenance schedule for their vehicles which may include regular inspections, tyre rotations, and other necessary tasks.
Following this schedule ensures that vehicles are always in top condition, which reduces the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns that restrict service. It also means that those services with budgetary challenges needn’t purchase new vehicles earlier than necessary.
2. Deploy Sensors and Use Predictive Maintenance
Predictive maintenance takes things a step further. CMMS software lets you monitor assets in real-time, providing valuable data that can help you identify potential problems so that your maintenance teams can take proactive measures to prevent damage.
Again, using the emergency services as an example, a CMMS system can track vehicles in real-time, analyse the data gathered by sensors and other monitoring tools may predict defects with the engine, tyres, and other important components. This analysis can help flag any potential issues before they become serious. Proactive measures can then to be taken to prevent damage and extend the lifetime of parts and components.
Digital Twin Technology
A digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical asset or system. It takes predictive maintenance a step further by simulating the asset’s behaviour in real-time and performing advanced analytics on the data gathered. As well as predicting failures, digital twins can be used for a variety of purposes, including testing different scenarios and optimising performance.
3. Ensure Correct Equipment Use
Ensuring that employees are trained to use equipment correctly can prevent unnecessary wear and tear. While this may sound obvious, you never know whether employees are trying to cut corners. For example, they may not clean equipment as thoroughly as needed.
In other cases, they might make innocent mistakes. Perhaps they are using the wrong type of cleaning solution – one that is too abrasive. Perhaps they are not correctly trained on the lubrication process for a given asset and may use the wrong type of lubricant or apply it incorrectly. Naturally, this could lead to excess wear and tear, reducing the asset’s lifespan and increasing the likelihood of defects.
A CMMS system can make documentation such as single point lessons, standard maintenance procedures and training videos easily available for the task in hand. Use of mixed reality technology such as HoloLens can take this one step further
4. Use CMMS Software for Asset Management
CMMS software extends the lifetime of your assets in a number of ways:
- Scheduling maintenance: Using the asset management features of maintenance management solutions, you can schedule tasks and ensure they are completed on time – and at the right time.
- Identifying maintenance trends: Track the maintenance history of each asset and uncover trends, such as which assets require the most maintenance or which maintenance tasks are the most costly. This enables informed decisions about repair or replacement.
- Detect faults early on: Track the condition of assets continuously, be alerted about defects and anticipate worst case scenarios well in advance so that corrective action can be taken and disruption is averted.
- Automated data collection: Capture data from the shop floor and manual and automatic lines. Store it securely and access it through a centralised cloud based platform for whatever purpose you need it.
- Reporting: Software makes reporting a walk in the park. Get whatever reports you need at a click of a button and swiftly make informed decisions.
5. Establish a Culture of Continuous Improvement
Continuously reviewing and improving your processes can identify and eliminate inefficiencies that can cause wear and tear on equipment; while software supports this end, it’s important to establish a strong organisational culture around it.
Software can provide data on asset performance and maintenance needs, but it cannot replace a culture of innovation and a willingness to experiment with new approaches. This requires leadership commitment, employee engagement, and a willingness to take risks and learn from failures.
Similarly, software cannot provide the creativity and problem-solving skills needed for continuous improvement initiatives, which often require out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration across different departments and teams.
Extending the lifetime of your assets prevents the premature investment in new equipment. As a result, costs are saved and cashflow may improve, along with productivity and quality.
Preventive maintenance helps equipment to operate more efficiently which can reduce wear and tear on components; predictive maintenance achieves similar outcomes but uses analytics in order to anticipate defects ahead of time.
Another key area to consider is training – in terms of culture and correct equipment usage. Establishing a culture of continuous improvement will support the elimination of inefficiencies that cause extra wear and tear, while making sure employees are following the correct protocols when tending to your assets prevents damaging mistakes or shortcuts.
Finally, computerised maintenance management systems can be incredibly beneficial in extending the life of your assets. Idhammar Systems are the leading provider of enterprise asset management software and have been serving the organisations in manufacturing, the emergency services, and other sectors for many decades.
To discover how our software may be the key to ensuring the long-term health of your assets, contact us today to book a demo.