How Software Can Improve Equipment Maintenance Schedules

Author

Oded Ran

Oded Ran, CEO and Co-Founder of Clue since 2019, expertly integrates AI and data tools to revolutionize construction equipment management and maintenance, positioning Clue as a premier software choice in the construction industry.

Table of Content

Equipment maintenance is crucial for keeping things running smoothly in the construction industry. Issues arise when old-fashioned ways of maintenance scheduling lead to unexpected downtime and breakdowns.

This is where construction maintenance management software can be a game-changer. The software can create a preventive maintenance schedule to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.

This blog will explore how software can make equipment maintenance schedules more efficient. 

What is Equipment Maintenance Scheduling?

equipment-maintenance-schedules-image-clue

Source: Risktec

Starting with the most important question, what is equipment maintenance scheduling?

Equipment maintenance schedules are an integral part of equipment maintenance planning. This schedule ensures that all maintenance activities are carried out promptly.

While equipment maintenance is an umbrella term, there are five types of equipment maintenance schedules. These types include

Preventative Maintenance

One of the most common types of maintenance, preventative maintenance programs revolve around inspecting and monitoring equipment regularly to ensure that small issues don’t become headaches in the future.

A great example of this is how preventative maintenance can help prevent issues in your fleet of trucks during a regular oil change.

A mechanic can find and resolve an issue before it becomes a big hindrance or causes the truck to fail.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is more of an assessment rather than an outright inspection. In this case, a project manager or construction equipment management software examines the equipment and provides an assessment of when maintenance should be scheduled.

Predictive maintenance helps the company save on overall costs and stress by advising on when a machine should be scheduled for maintenance activities.

Predictive maintenance can help companies yeild savings of 30-40% as compared to reactive maintenance.

Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance is a term most often used interchangeably with preventive maintenance scheduling because in both cases, there is a planned maintenance activity taking place.

Routine maintenance is a regularly scheduled, ongoing maintenance activity that helps identify any issues with the equipment before they become a hazard or hindrance to operations.

This type of maintenance usually includes cleaning and changing of parts that are starting to rust or deteriorate.

Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance is the process of identifying and resolving problems that have come up with equipment.

This type of maintenance can be costly and can cause delays and stoppages in the construction project. That is why equipment managers are more keen on preventive and routine maintenance to avoid long delays.

Emergency Maintenance

Like corrective maintenance, emergency maintenance aims to provide immediate solutions to any machine failure.

Emergency maintenance is required when machine failure causes health and safety concerns, which can lead to dips in productivity.

Looking at each type's types and different scheduling needs, it is easy to understand why construction managers find building equipment maintenance schedules difficult.

This task can be made easier by using great construction equipment maintenance software, which can easily keep track of your fleet and suggest maintenance when needed.

Clue is a great example of equipment maintenance software that can easily integrate with your existing systems and allow you to manage and maintain all your equipment under a single-pane-of-glass solution.

The Role of Software in Maintenance Scheduling

Downtime, whether planned or not, can cost a construction project at least 1-10% of production time.

In the past, this has caused production to get pushed back, but now, with the implementation of CMMS, construction can easily save up on this downtime.

CMMS software equips project managers with essential data for informed decision-making, yet its impact reaches far beyond scheduling. 

The software excels in asset tracking, reporting, and analysis. This offers organizations clarity, efficiency, and actionable insights to enhance performance and reliability.

Implementing CMMS isn't just about optimizing operations. It is about creating a culture of introspection and future-focused planning, leveraging automation to drive change.

If you are looking to expand your maintenance activities and streamline your processes, you need great construction equipment management software, and Clue is the perfect solution.

Clue seamlessly supports the creation and management of both preventive and predictive maintenance schedules, which helps reduce complexity and ensure all maintenance activities are aligned and efficiently managed.

Steps to Improve Maintenance Schedules with Software

Step 1: Assess Current Maintenance Practices

  • Evaluate Existing Workflows: Conduct a thorough assessment of current maintenance workflows, including how work orders are created, assigned, and tracked. Identify any bottlenecks or inefficiencies in the process.
  • Review Maintenance Schedules: Analyze the frequency and effectiveness of current maintenance schedules. Determine if preventive maintenance tasks are scheduled optimally or if coverage gaps exist.
  • Assess Data Management: Evaluate how maintenance data is currently managed. Identify if disparate systems or manual processes could benefit from consolidation into a centralized software platform.
  • Gather Stakeholder Feedback: Engage with maintenance teams, technicians, and other stakeholders to gather feedback on pain points and areas for improvement in current maintenance practices.

Step 2: Implement Preventive Maintenance

  • Develop PM Plans: Develop comprehensive preventive maintenance plans based on equipment manufacturer recommendations, operational requirements, and historical maintenance data. Specify tasks, frequencies, and procedures for each piece of equipment or asset.
  • Automate Scheduling: Utilize a CMMS like Clue’s one-pane solution to automate the scheduling of preventive maintenance tasks. Create recurring schedules and reminders to ensure that all project tasks are completed according to plan and on time.
  • Set Up Alerts and Notifications: Allow the software to send alerts and notifications on upcoming maintenance tasks. Alerts can help trigger activities.

Step 3: Integrate Predictive Maintenance Tools

  • Deploy Predictive Maintenance Technologies: Use sensors, IoT devices, and other predictive technologies to help you deploy maintenance activities. These tools can provide you with real-time data on the equipment's health and performance. 
  • Monitor Equipment Health: Don’t forget to keep an eye on your equipment. While software can keep track of equipment health, constant monitoring can help project managers identify any issues outside the machinery itself. Track the equipment's temperature, vibration, and fluid levels to forecast potential issues.
  • Optimize Maintenance Intervals: Analyze the data collected through predictive maintenance tools to optimize maintenance intervals. Based on the data, you can create schedules based on equipment conditions and performance trends rather than fixed calendar schedules.

Step 4: Automate Work Orders and Task Assignments

  • Streamline Work Order Management: Use maintenance software like Clue, which offers automated creation and assignment of work orders. Technicians and mechanics can easily receive work orders directly on their devices, reducing paper waste and streamlining communication.
  • Prioritize Tasks: Using CMMS software like Clue, you can easily highlight important tasks and ensure they are addressed promptly. Factors such as equipment criticality, safety concerns, and operational impact can be considered in task prioritization.
  • Allocate Resources Efficiently: CMMS software's asset management feature, similar to Clue’s asset management, can help allocate resources efficiently. By balancing workload and availability, avoid overloading technicians or underutilizing resources.

Step 5: Track Maintenance Activities and Equipment Performance

  • Capture Comprehensive Data: This includes activities like inspections, repairs, and replacements; also try to record them. These records and documentation can help you maintain a maintenance history. You can also use Clue, which comes with a built-in database, to help keep records of the data collected.
  • Monitor Performance Metrics: Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as equipment downtime, mean time between failures (MTBF), and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). 
  • Generate Reports: Generate detailed reports from the maintenance software. This can help you analyze trends, identify recurring issues, and measure the effectiveness of maintenance efforts. Reports can provide insights for decision-making and continuous improvement initiatives.

Step 6: Continuously Improve Maintenance Schedules

  • Review and Analyze Data: Review data collected through the maintenance software regularly to identify patterns, trends, and opportunities for improvement.  Analyzing this data can help you refine your preventive maintenance schedule, which can help optimize processes.
  • Get Feedback: Encourage feedback from maintenance teams and stakeholders on the effectiveness of new schedules and processes implemented. Use feedback to make improvements and adjustments as needed.
  • Stay Updated with Best Practices: Stay up-to-date with industry practices, emerging technologies, and advancements, especially in the field of maintenance management.

Benefits of Using Maintenance Scheduling Software

Reduced Downtime

Maintenance scheduling software helps organizations minimize unplanned downtime by using proactive maintenance strategies. 

Through automated preventive maintenance schedules, potential equipment failures can be easily identified and addressed before they become disruptions.

You can also create a preventive maintenance checklist to help you keep track of all the activities to help reduce the time otherwise wasted.

This can lead to increased equipment availability and reliability. Which ultimately reduces equipment downtime.

Improved Equipment Lifespan

Regular and timely maintenance done through scheduling software ensures that equipment operates at optimal conditions. 

Preventive maintenance tasks such as inspections, lubrication, and part replacements are scheduled based on equipment manufacturer recommendations and operational data.

This all-inclusive approach helps project managers enhance the lifespan of the equipment and reduce the frequency of breakdowns, which lead to costly repairs.

Cost Savings

Equipment maintenance scheduling software contributes to cost savings in several ways:

  • Reduced Repair Costs: When you address maintenance issues before they become problems, you can easily prevent minor problems from escalating to major breakdowns and expensive repairs.
  • Optimized Inventory Management: A CMMS helps manage inventory efficiently by tracking equipment usage and identifying patterns. These patterns can help create schedules, which can minimize inventory costs.
  • Improved Operational Efficiency: You can easily optimize resource utilization and labor productivity through the usage of data collected through the CMMS. This can help you save on equipment and labor downtime.

Enhanced Safety and Compliance

Effective CMMS includes features that can help you stay updated with safety regulations and compliance standards:

  • Scheduled Inspections: Regular inspections and maintenance tasks help identify and mitigate safety hazards before they pose risks to employees or the environment.
  • Audit Trails and Documentation: The software maintains maintenance records and audit trails. These are essential for demonstrating compliance during inspections and audits.
  • Training and Certification Management: Some software solutions offer capabilities for tracking employee certifications and training requirements. This feature helps ensure that maintenance tasks are performed by qualified personnel.

Key Features to Look for in Maintenance Scheduling Software

Let’s examine a few key features to look for when considering software for equipment maintenance schedules.

Feature Importance
User-Friendly Interface Easy to use interfaces reduces the need for extra training.
Scalability You need your software to be able to grow with your business.
Integration Capabilities Seamless data sharing and workflow automation is required to help you integrate the new software to your existing systems.
Real-Time Monitoring You want to be proactive with maintenance and detect issues immediately, so monitoring capabilities is a must.
Analytics and Reporting Insights for informed decision-making are necessary when considering a software.
Support Services Reliable customer support and training is a must for any good equipment maintenance scheduling software.

Conclusion

Software plays a vital role in enhancing equipment maintenance schedules. Businesses can streamline maintenance processes using advanced scheduling tools and predictive analytics.

This can help you be more efficient and reduce downtime during equipment maintenance.

As the construction industry opens up to digital advancements, investing in maintenance software prepares you for the future and helps you achieve sustainable growth and stay competitive. 

FAQs

What is PM Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance refers to a regular and preplanned maintenance program in which tasks are scheduled based on their requirement and time triggers.

How to implement a maintenance schedule program?

While many steps may go into implementing a preventive maintenance program, there are five main steps you have to keep up with. These include:

Step 1: Create a list of your assets.

Step 2: Prioritize equipment and processes based on response time.

Step 3: Identify the proper maintenance intervals

Step 4: Schedule the maintenance tasks

Step 5: Monitor and fine-tune your progress.

How do you schedule preventative maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is usually time-based, with a time interval set for recurring maintenance tasks. These time intervals can either be 10 days, the first day of the month, fortnightly, or another time period. An example of this can be replacing an air filter on equipment every three months or changing the engine oil every six months.

What are the benefits of preventative maintenance regarding software?

Some main benefits of preventive maintenance software include the extended lifespan of assets and the minimization of unexpected downtime. All of these ensure a reduction in overall maintenance costs.

What is PM schedule software?

A preventive maintenance schedule software is a software that centralizes scheduling, prioritizing, tracking, and reporting of maintenance tasks. This software is helpful in preventing any issues that might arise due to maintenance delays.

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