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Intelligent Lubrication Solutions™

Intelligent Lubrication Solutions™

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Machine Maintenance Tools in Your Pocket—Helpful Smartphone Apps to Use on the Job

Posted by Matt Mohelnitzky on Oct 1, 2015 8:30:00 AM

smartphoneLet’s face it: today we use our smartphones for just about everything. From calling and texting to browsing the web, and even just taking pictures, the smartphone has become the modern day Swiss Army Knife. Even in the lubrication industry, smartphone technology has been developed to help you manage and maintain your plant operations, all with just a few easy pushes of a button. Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software are just a few examples of the different types of apps available for managing your plant operations, both of which will help you improve efficiency and collaboration when it comes to maintaining your plant and equipment.

Though it’s a little scary using a new technology or software for the first time, the benefits of these “2.0” management tools are certainly worth the learning curve, and to help teach your company about these invaluable apps today’s plant managers can use on their smartphones, here’s what you should know about CMMS smartphone apps:

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)

With technology helping the world move at a faster pace these days, CMMS were developed to help companies manage their entire plant operations from a single location, without having to be stuck in the control room or even anywhere in the plant’s facilities. A CMMS make things easier for plant managers of any plant size by automating certain administrative tasks (e.g., data entry, maintenance scheduling, lubricant ordering, etc.), automatically gathering and analyzing relevant data, prioritizing action items and offering relevant KPIs about your plant’s processes, alerting plant managers of any problems with your machines, and even predicting your machine’s future lubricant needs. They provide a schedule for maintenance and planned preventative work, and they even calculate cost data for the labor and materials regarding the work that needs to be done. In other words, it’s the perfect all-around tool for electronically managing your plant’s operations.

The 5 Biggest Benefits of a CMMS Mobile Solution

As you’ve probably noticed by now, there are several important benefits to using a mobile CMMS. To help you realize the full potential of these systems, here are the 5 biggest benefits plant managers will experience with a mobile CMMS: 

1. Fosters increased communication across your organization

With a CMMS, there’s never a breakdown in communication about your machines (e.g., repair and operating status, when they’re available for use, lubricant type, etc.), because employees can access that important information any time, anywhere. Likewise, its automated reporting can also help companies eliminate communication breakdowns like lost paper forms, misplaced work orders, or forgotten purchase orders.

2. Saves time

To put it simply: CMMS software is a major time saver for industrial manufacturers. In fact, here is a list of some of the important ways it can save you time:

  • Eliminates paperwork
    • No more duplicating data entry from the field back at the office
  • Instant access to work orders
  • Produce purchase orders within the same system
  • Automatically tracks data and KPIs
    • Maintain records, index, sort, and harvest data for use in strategic planning and maintenance decisions
  • Automates maintenance tasks
    • Tracks lubricant inventory and the performance of your machine to create a replenishment schedule, while sending reminders when supplies are low
  • Generates compliance reports to easily show you’re meeting statutory requirements
  • Techs can bundle services from multiple work orders
  • Leads to tighter and leaner feedback loops and solutions
  • Prioritization of action items

3. Provides predictive approach to maintenance, rather than reactive

As more and more companies start to realize the value of taking a proactive, preventative approach to their maintenance practices, CMMS software becomes increasingly helpful for manufacturers. Graphing tools within a CMMS help you easily identify trends in your machine’s performance and production so that you can make informed decisions about its future production and maintenance. As mentioned previously, it can even schedule automatic maintenance reminders and alerts to help you stay on track.

4. Allows collaboration around processes, reports, KPIs, and operational data in real time

For manufacturers who don’t use a CMMS, there’s often a communication disconnect between the people who work in the control room and the workers on the plant floor or in the field. Those working in the control room have immediate access to all the plant’s controls and machine vital signs, whereas those out on the floor can’t access that important information. With a mobile CMMS app, however, all employees can have instant access to a machine’s information and can collaborate together to efficiently relay the vital data from the field to the control room.

5. Harness the power of your phone!

One reason why a mobile CMMS is so great is because it works hand-in-hand with that modern-day Swiss Army Knife of yours. In addition to your CMMS app, there are plenty of other helpful apps and features employees can use on their smartphones that will increase their efficiency. Some examples include:
  • Business operations apps like Mobideo to keep track of all your forms, checklists, procedural manuals, and more
  • GPS coordinate apps for specifying asset locations within the plant
  • Use camera to attach photos to maintenance records for documentation
  • Weather app to monitor weather and performance in different conditions
  • Voice-to-text software for speedy data entry
  • Digital magnifier app with flashlight
  • Apps for common engineering calculations and formulations
  • Unit converters
  • Barcode scanners

Selecting a CMMS

Plant managers are faced with many different options when it comes to selecting a CMMS. And while a mobile CMMS has many benefits, the ideal CMMS or EAM also has a desktop interface. Unfortunately, however, these desktop versions are often more costly. The good news is that there are several lower-cost app solutions, such as monthly subscription services from Mapcon Technologies and eMaint, where all you have to do is choose the modules and select the number of licenses you need.

Need help selecting a CMMS? Our lubrication experts can help you decide which would be the best fit for your plant and operation. To learn more about how U.S. Lubricants can help your company get started with a lubricant management plan, please contact Tony Springer at TSpringer@uslube.com or by phone at (800) 490-4900 ext. 8823.

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Topics: Technology, Lubrication Maintenance