I was reading about Turritopsis nutricula, the immortal jellyfish and started thinking (yes – I know this is dangerous). I started day dreaming what maintenance management would be like if assets could regenerate themselves before they become worn out?

The Immortal Jellyfish

The Turritopsis nutricula accomplishes this feat by being able to revert back to the polyp stage after it reaches maturity. It is their process of regeneration that inspired scientists to find a way to use stem cells for renewing damaged tissue in humans.

Can Maintenance Management Evolve?

Now we all know non-biological organisms can’t regenerate themselves. Unfortunately, this means that getting the most out of a facilities asset is highly dependent on the type of maintenance care it receives. The better the maintenance care is, the longer the asset’s useful lifecycle, the fewer repairs it will have and the asset will be more energy efficient.

In the end, every asset will need to be replaced because they eventually reach a point where preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance and reliability centered maintenance etc. is no longer cost effective. So until self-repairing bio-mechanical assets are created, asset and maintenance managers must rely on maintenance software such as a CMMS to minimize MRO expenses and capital budget requirements.

What is a CMMS?

The best run organizations employ the use of computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) programs to ensure they are getting the most from their asset. This is because the core functions of quality CMMS programs enable maintenance management to:

Ten Functions of a quality CMMS
  1. Significantly reduce if not eliminate archaic manual or spreadsheet methods of recording work requests, work orders and their results.
  2. Easily access an asset’s location, description, cost, date purchased, vendor information, contracts and other asset details to help make better decisions.
  3. Schedule all work such as preventive maintenance, work orders, inspections, and rounds to ensure proactive maintenance planning.
  4. Integrate additional technologies such as infrared or vibration analysis into the scheduling of asset maintenance.
  5. Record the work history of each asset so that maintenance managers always know the condition of their assets.
  6. Use rugged mobile devices for the harshest industry facilities increase the efficiency of maintenance staff by giving them the tools to not only submit work orders and requests online but also enable the completion of critical tasks such as inspections or rounds using paperless checklists.
  7. Reduce the amount of time being spent fighting fires by using maintenance scheduling efficiencies to perform proactive maintenance instead.
  8. Increase asset and maintenance management visibility so that their organization recognizes that effective CMMS cost control tools can substantially impact the bottom line by lowering:
    • Labor costs as a result of more efficient scheduling of maintenance staff time as well as reduced overtime.
    • Repair costs as a result fewer emergency or major repairs.
    • Energy costs because well maintained assets require less energy to achieve the same results.
  9. Better manage vendors and documents by enabling information such as contracts, photos, blueprints etc. to be stored online and retrieved quickly.
  10. Produce management reports indicating:
    • Maintenance trends such as an increase in the number of work orders on a particular asset or similar problems with like assets across multiple locations.
    • Potential problems resulting that if left unattended could transform into major repairs or replacement.
    • Best practices for establishing standard operating procedures (SOPs) that can be used through the organization.
    • Capital budget needs by using a CAPEX report indicating when an asset is expected to need replacement or refurbishment.
    • Training needs that are discovered by reviewing work history for ineffective repairs.

On top of all this a CMMS can be a fantastic reservoir of knowledge that can be used to train new staff or re-educate older maintenance staff. Getting back to the title question of “Is Your Maintenance Immortal?” The answer unless you have some secret biotechnology that no one else in the world has your maintenance is not immortal.

However, implementing a CMMS system will help your organization get the highest asset ROI. The new questions is Isn’t it time you installed a CMMS?