How your maintenance planners keep your company’s assets in good shape

Paul Smitherman |

To keep a company’s assets in good shape and ensure seamless continuity of production, the maintenance of your equipment and machinery needs to be carefully managed.  Your maintenance planners have their work cut out to ensure all work is scheduled and carried in a time and cost efficient way that also ensures the safety of all employees and customers.

The first thing planners consider about is the actual task in hand. Why, when, where and how are all questions that need detailed answers in order for planners to schedule work.

Determining the nature of the task allows the planner to prioritise tasks; is the work preventive, corrective where equipment is repaired or replaced after wear and tear, malfunction or break down, or predictive using sensor data to monitor and evaluate the system? Planners then need to align with production teams to schedule work in, as they will need a green light for a particular time and day when their technicians are able to go in and work at the maintenance site; this could be a railway line or machinery within a large plant.

Regulations are also a key factor when planning maintenance. From a health and safety point of view, there will probably be legal consequences of not adhering to regulations within your industry sector. For example, fire extinguishers need checking each year.

Inter-dependency, sometimes known as network planning, is very much part of the scheduling process, where one machine or piece of equipment may be dependent on another and therefore this will need to be taken in account in the schedule of maintenance planning.

Within maintenance scheduling there isn’t necessarily a focus on individual people utilisation, as planners tend to assign a particular skilled team to carry out maintenance, rather than an individual who may or may not be available on a given day. Planning for the provision of the task is the priority and however that is achieved is up to various team leaders within the maintenance department. Your planner will need to assess the required skill set of the maintenance team, determining whether you’ll need a mechanic or an electrician and so forth.

Sub-contracting often plays a large role in planning maintenance. Organisations sometimes don’t want the financial obligation of managing a full-time maintenance team, opting to deploy it as a hired service as and when they need it. Sub-contractors will be managed by your planners.

So how can you achieve all this with easily and seamlessly?

Ready4 Advanced Scheduling (R4AS) is a powerful graphical work and resource tool that integrates seamlessly with your SAP system, whether in SAP ECC or SAP S/4HANA. It revolutionises the scheduling processes and optimises resources management. Contact us now for a demonstration and find out how you can simplify the work of your planners.

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