“Industry 4.0” and “digitalization” – two expressions that have often been closely linked in recent years and indeed are frequently used together today. But what does the real world in the field of maintenance actually look like?
Maintenance departments - uncertainty with digitalization
Many companies see digitalization as one of the most important tasks of current times. Unfortunately, there still seem to be major reservations about taking this step: too expensive; too time-consuming; no staff; after all, everything has worked OK so far; it’s all too uncertain. These are often the obstacles to tackling this important task. Similarly, even today we still find that most maintenance departments work through their tasks on an ad hoc basis, using pen and paper – or at least in a “partially digitalized” way, using Excel spreadsheets.
Break up structures
It is important that these structures get broken up, so that your company can finally benefit from digitalization. In the end, more and more information, such as manuals, operating instructions, orders, invoices, etc., is transmitted digitally. In our eyes, this is a major contribution to accelerating the digitalization of the business processes involved in maintenance. Hours of searching in folders, wasted paper due to printing, and unnecessary waiting times for information or action can thus be avoided, and costs can be reduced accordingly.
Benefits of digitalization in maintenance
By digitalizing your maintenance, infinite amounts of data are finally within your reach, becoming accessible to evaluation and easier to find, as well as taking up less space. You also reduce the stress on your employees and, quite simply, save time. At the end of the day, duplication of work is eliminated, and there are fewer sources of error thanks to automatic data transfer.
Standardized data collection
Systematic and standardized data collection can make a significant contribution to communicating the important items of information to the right people via a central channel. Because notifications with different escalation levels can be defined in advance, these are automatically communicated to the relevant groups of people and do not get lost or forgotten.
Automation frees up time for employees to devote to other tasks. Inputting data in this fashion can pave the way for accurate recording of the main maintenance key figures.
Digital transformation simple and secure
An important aspect of the digital transformation of maintenance is that its practical implementation should be as straightforward as possible. The easier it is to implement, the more acceptance you will achieve within the company and among maintenance staff.
Here, our focus is on intuitive operation so that staff can be persuaded to leave their usual analogue work environment behind and engage in up-to-date maintenance.
This is helped by access for each employee based on skills and authorizations, providing them with a simple information overview tailored to their needs. Equally, employees will no longer be able to use the time and effort required or flood of data as an excuse. Instead, they are provided with exactly the information they need to successfully complete the jobs of the day.
The aspect of data security should not be underestimated in relation to the traditional way of working with pen and paper or Excel. Can maintenance really be GDPR compliant within this framework? A professional CMMS can also make an important contribution in this field.
Can you think of any other aspects where it is important to have digitalized maintenance? What experience do you have of the digitalization process?