CMMS solutions are increasingly used for maintenance management in the packaging industry, a sector in constant search of innovation.
Operating in many economic sectors, including cosmetics and food, companies in the packaging industry use many industrial machines: blow molding machines, filling machines, packaging machines, conveyors, cartoning machines, etc. This equipment must be regularly maintained. The better the maintenance, the more productive these machines will be.
To optimize their maintenance management, packaging and packing companies have every interest in adopting the most efficient and cost-effective solutions, and therefore in choosing a next-gen, mobile and powerful CMMS solution.
Why improve maintenance management?
Improving the maintenance management of a plant benefits it on several levels.
The better maintained packaging machines are, the more reliable they are. This reliability is crucial to being able to meet your customers’ orders on time and on budget. It is therefore an important element of your customers’ confidence in your ability to meet their needs on time.
Poorly maintained packaging machines are more likely to break down or malfunction than well maintained machines. A machine that breaks down when it should be working is very expensive, because it causes an unplanned production stop: some production operators who are supposed to use it are present but unable to work, the company’s productivity is negatively impacted, and finally, the damaged spare parts to be changed have a cost.
By performing effective maintenance, a packaging company reduces the likelihood of its machines breaking down and saves money.
Good maintenance is also a way to ensure the safety of your employees and your customers. By keeping machines running smoothly and avoiding misbehavior, you can provide a safer working environment for your employees and more reliable products for your customers.
How to improve maintenance in the packaging industry?
Preventive maintenance is one of the best ways to optimize maintenance management in the packaging industry, but it is not the only one.
Adopt a preventive maintenance plan
Preventive maintenance means performing regular maintenance on machines before they break down rather than just fixing them when they are no longer in working order.
A preventive maintenance plan can take different forms:
- regular inspection of machines;
- monitoring and replacement of the most fragile parts;
- inventory of available spare parts, especially the most fragile ones;
- machine lubrication.
The implementation of preventive maintenance actions has several major advantages.
Reduce the frequency of breakdowns and production stoppages
The first advantage of a preventive maintenance plan is to reduce the risk of breakdowns and therefore of unplanned production stops. If a machine has to be stopped for a maintenance intervention, this stop can be anticipated and planned at a time when it will not disturb the production. Moreover, the duration of a maintenance intervention, and therefore of the induced production stoppage, is generally shorter when it is planned than when it is carried out in a hurry: spare parts are available, the maintenance technicians have prepared the intervention, etc.
Improve machine longevity and reliability
In addition, preventive maintenance increases the life of the machines and their reliability. Indeed, some minor malfunctions may escape the attention of production teams and not lead to immediate breakdown. But this type of malfunction, e.g. a slightly damaged spare part, tends to lead to other malfunctions, by deteriorating other parts or even the whole machine for instance.
By performing regular preventive inspections, maintenance technicians can detect these malfunctions and intervene before they have major consequences, which would take longer and cost more to repair, and would negatively impact the longevity of the machine.
Scheduling regular preventive maintenance operations allows you to control your production and significantly reduce your long-term maintenance and repair expenses.
Integrate autonomous maintenance tasks
Part of the preventive maintenance can be performed by the production operators themselves in the form of autonomous maintenance tasks . To do so, it is necessary to set up a list of tasks for each machine, according to its characteristics, to the manufacturer’s recommendations and to the regulations, to be carried out by the people who use the machine on a daily basis.
Maintain smooth communication with machine manufacturers
Packaging machine manufacturers are usually the most knowledgeable. By maintaining smooth communication with the manufacturers of the machines you use, you benefit from their expertise and recommendations. Some even provide maintenance or repair services when needed.
Manage your spare parts
A good spare part management is essential to ensure efficient maintenance. It is therefore important to always have a precise knowledge of one’s spare parts stocks, and to set up a classification system to manage them in a way that is adapted to their characteristics. For example, they can be classified according to their importance for the production line, or to their lifespan:
- fragile parts, which should always be available in the company’s stock;
- strong parts, which are best kept in stock or can be purchased quickly from a reliable supplier;
- extremely durable parts that do not need to be kept in stock.
How CMMS can improve the maintenance of a packaging plant
Setting up a powerful CMMS software can improve machine maintenance while making it easier to manage, thanks to some essential features .
Implement a preventive maintenance plan using CMMS
Setting up a preventive maintenance plan is very complex, if not impossible, with older paper or Excel-based maintenance management solutions. With a modern CMMS solution, on the other hand, it is much easier thanks to a dedicated function.
Create and manage your maintenance plans in your CMMS
For each machine and piece of equipment, it is thus possible to plan the maintenance tasks to be carried out, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, the technicians’ experience or other criteria. This schedule can be consulted at any time, and maintenance teams or production operators receive notifications as soon as a task is due. Once the intervention or task is completed, the operator notes it in the CMMS software and can, if necessary, write a report.
In addition, it is possible to link the necessary documents to the maintenance plan of each equipment, in order to simplify the interventions.
Choose a mobile CMMS to save time
There are mobile CMMS solutions in the form of an application. These can be used on a computer, tablet or smartphone. They allow you to have access at any time to the information necessary for efficient maintenance, to be notified of the tasks to be performed, but also to write the intervention reports as soon as they are completed.
Optimize your maintenance with CMMS
Finally, a new generation of maintenance software provides powerful and very useful analysis tools to optimize maintenance. It allows, for example, to know if all the interventions carried out are essential, or conversely if a machine should be inspected or maintained more frequently.
Use the analytical tools of your CMMS to optimize your maintenance
Manage your spare parts inventory more easily
By using a CMMS software, technicians and maintenance managers can consult the status of spare parts stocks at any time. They can also indicate when they have removed a part from stock.
In addition, parts can be classified according to the criteria chosen thanks to tags, which allows a more precise and easier follow-up of stocks.
Communicate easily with your suppliers thanks to a community-based CMMS
With a community-based CMMS application, you can easily find a supplier or a service provider you need, in the supplier catalog, as well as easily contact those you already work with, directly from the application. This allows you to exchange easily to find a machine, or ask for information or advice.
If your company belongs to the packaging industry, a CMMS is an excellent maintenance management tool. It will be all the more useful if you choose an innovative solution, easy to use and allowing you, through its functionalities, to optimize your maintenance to gain productivity.