Asset Maintenance: the key element for Corporate Success
When we refer to certified or certifiable management systems (CMS), we mean systems that can guarantee compliance with quality, either as prescribed by the customer or by regulation. Organisations which can ensure compliance with these requirements are well set up for increasingly competitive national and international markets.
But what are the key factors to ensure adherence to CMS objectives while also achieving market success?
The term “infrastructure” in ISO 9001 point 6.3, refers to the facilities and equipment necessary to perform work effectively and achieve product or service conformity. It requires you to determine all that is necessary to work to a specific level of Quality, in other words that infrastructure is reviewed and maintained regularly to prevent breakdowns and avoid compromising product and/or service quality.
Infrastructure is therefore one of the most important ingredients in production processes.
During the strategic business review, having analysed the global context in detail, management must first determine infrastructure needs: the building units, means of transport, handling systems, machinery, plant and equipment necessary for carrying out business activities; secondly, it must deal with new technologies and, in particular, with those belonging to the world of the Internet of Things (IOT) which requires devices to be evaluated as part of an integrated system rather than in isolation.
Competition is, above all, related to innovation and it is therefore important to make the most of everything that technology puts at our disposal.
It is becoming increasingly important to plan strategic management of infrastructure and therefore of related maintenance, which includes the following activities:
Detailed inventory: a strict and detailed inventory process, correlated in detail with supporting documentation relating to maintenance processes, bringing structural needs to light and simplifying their assessment.
- Assessment and planning of scheduled maintenance operations: a stratified maintenance plan should be designed and planned based on experience, indicators and technical and regulatory requirements, taking care to define “what” and “how often”, primary methods and responsibilities, with reference to all the supporting technical documentation.
Management of maintenance operations in relation to failure: the use of planned maintenance does not exclude unplanned failures. So it is good practice to organise a comprehensive management of alerts through operational staff so that requests for intervention are handled promptly. When failure situations do occur, it is important that the organization learns from them and takes preventative measures to minimize the chance of recurrence, using data collection as part of an integrated IOT system. Today there are many devices that can exchange information with a centralised company system. The ability to channel this flow of information represents a highly valuable opportunity for companies. It needs to be based on intelligent software capable of communicating with devices and archiving the useful information they provide.
Selection and qualification of technology partners: the maintenance service provider is also a technology partner. Selection, qualification and monitoring are necessary to ensure the quality of the services entrusted to external providers. It is important to check documentation relating to ratings, certifications and regulatory conformity. Software should be acquired which can manage the monitoring of supplier qualifications, to authorize entry into the company’s premises, to monitor who is on site, to schedule and request document updates, and ensure compliance with mandatory regulations and internal procedures.
- Dynamic management of maintenance processes: technological developments have made it possible to support maintenance activities, and specifically the internal and external staff tasked with carrying out maintenance, with mobile tools to share operational documentation and to collect information and progress reports on maintenance.
Digital structures for sharing information: the maintenance process involves various inputs and in particular, interaction between the internal organisation and external maintenance companies. Having organised data facilities opens the door to new information-sharing practices which benefit service quality.
Organisations seeking to establishing a leadership position need to manage their assets strategically, and should not ignore the need for technologically-advanced software tools to help them do so.