Importance of maintenance routes

Table of Contents

The correct application of these work lists, in preventive management, allows working through a methodological order that ensures the correct functioning of critical assets, as well as the strategic operation of the entire company.

We have seen, on previous occasions, how the success of a company depends on the precise conjunction of several variables such as operational efficiency, logistics readiness, training of its human capital, and the modernity of its infrastructure, among others.

Among these factors lies the ability of both the organization and its leaders to ensure the proper functioning and maintenance of assets. Actions and principles that are fundamental to guarantee both operational continuity and compliance with the contractual obligations assumed with clients.

To ensure such continuity, it is necessary for operations managers to establish a precise and structured work methodology based on what we know as “maintenance routes”.

From them, it is possible to structure inspection processes, and eventual repair or replacement, of critical assets for the competitive positioning of any company.

CONCEPTS AND STRATEGIC VALUE

What exactly we mean by “Maintenance Route”?

In essence, they are lists or tabs that are predetermined and generally associated with a preventive maintenance work order or record. They summarize various attributes of this activity, among which are the following indicators:

– The place where we carry out the respective maintenance action.

– The types of support processes that will be carried out (such as, for example, inspection work, cleaning operations, or parts replacement activities, among other possible actions).

– The skills required to perform maintenance actions (if we need an electronics technician, an automotive specialist, or a welder of steel structures, for example).

The importance of a maintenance route lies, as the name implies, in its ability to trace a logical “route”. This means, to give coherence and rational methodological order to the entire process.

In this way, the technical personnel in charge of carrying out this task can proceed in accordance with precise and previously established parameters. These will facilitate the execution of the task, allowing the organization to reduce monetary costs and the expense of labor-hours.

In order to successfully apply an efficient card route, during the performance of a maintenance operation, whether of one or several pieces of equipment, we must previously determine the logical order that we must be follow on the entire operation.

This implies correctly identifying the order that these routes will have, transferring it to a standard document and then assigning them a corresponding code. Based on what code said, the technicians will be able to operate in the field, carrying out the respective tasks according to a priority order.

COMPONENTS

Based on this logical ordering, the roadmaps can describe the individual steps that the personnel must execute, so that they can carry out in a timely and efficient manner the inspections, repairs and other tasks that are part of any efficient maintenance management.

In addition, as these lists are organized and updated periodically, it will also be possible to have a relevant stock of spare parts, as well as the necessary tools to carry out the work.

In the same way, the execution and completion time for each maintenance task can be precisely determined. An advantage that also guarantees that the technical team in charge carries out these activities in the precise period of time, and without wasting material, monetary and human resources.

To ensure the fulfillment of these objectives, any maintenance route sheet must be structured according to the following essential components:

Operation

This field includes the codes that describe the order that the entire operation must have within the general maintenance route.

Type of operation

It refers to the type of operation that we must carry out. It is a priority field that must be known to all personnel, so that the company and its teams can organize work according to a precise schedule.

Process

It is the specific type of maintenance that we must perform. For example, filter change, boiler cleaning, repair of ventilation systems, inspection of conveyor belts, or replacement of generator sets, among other possible tasks.

State

Indicates if the record of the operation performed is current, or if it is in the testing stage.

Start date

In this field, we should specify the date and time of the first day on which the respective maintenance operation began to be effective.

Description

The personnel in charge made a detailed description of the entire maintenance operation, from its beginning to its end, including each of the steps carried out during it and the result.

Observations

It is the field where we enter any additional information that maintenance personnel need to know. For example, condition of the machinery before, during and after the process, or eventual failures that we could not be identify or repair during the process.

Review

It is the field where we carry out a complete revision of the document itself, in order to alert about possible errors made during the preparation or filling of the file. It is usually a responsibility of the senior supervisory staff.

Review note

It describes in detail why the senior staff perform a review of the document.

Quality inspection type

The quality parameters that record the achievements and approval criteria of the maintenance operation performed are determined.

Standard

The value catalogs an operation record as standard or non-standard work. For example, if it is a regular preventive maintenance operation, or a reactive action product of some contingency.

Model

At this point, we identify the associated model.

DIGITAL EVOLUTION

Although the industry has traditionally resorted to various mechanized, more or less effective ways to carry out this task, the increasing competitive pace of the market requires modernizing both the design and implementation of maintenance routes.

This implies that it is no longer possible to rely only on forms filled out by hand, or on Excel format sheets, since it takes more time to fill them out, and they are subject to a high percentage of human error.

From this point of view, it is necessary for modern companies to take decisive steps towards the digitization of these processes, incorporating new technologies that make them more efficient.

Effective management of maintenance routes, based on their digitization, will not only significantly improve the productivity of field technicians, but also the general production process itself. With this advantage, we will optimize the overall performance of the organization and, consequently, the satisfaction of customers and/or end users.

To guarantee a correct and agile application of maintenance routes, the digital industry currently offers various options of specialized software, whose design characteristics may vary, according to the specifications or requirements of each specific company.

These professional softwares allow, for example, attaching signatures and comments on missing parts, online monitoring of replaced components, instant fault detection, and functions or tools that maximize the capabilities of the personnel to do a good job.

These characteristics translate into decisive advantages in terms of agility, both in the application of daily maintenance processes, and in the ability to respond to contingencies and unexpected failures of critical assets.

They also suppose a better training platform for the human capital in charge of the processes, which can become more and better familiar with the handling of digital applications that, in short, will decisively enhance their skills and abilities.

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About the author

Francisco Gonzalez
Francisco Gonzalez

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