For many companies, the summer period means annual closure or shutdown of production lines. This is an opportunity for maintenance teams to carry out work that they cannot do throughout the year.
Anticipate and plan this period in order to make it as beneficial as possible, and to improve maintenance throughout the year, including after the business restarts. The use of a CMMS software is therefore recommended, and for companies that do not have one, this is the right time to adopt one.
By choosing a modern, efficient and user-friendly maintenance management solution, factories can even prepare themselves to avoid annual shutdowns in the future, as an increasing number of companies are doing, especially during periods of business upturn.
Maintenance activities during annual closure
For most industrial sites, the summer break is a time for maintenance work. This break, which usually lasts from one to four weeks, is an opportunity to perform maintenance activities that cannot be done during normal times. These activities can range from cleaning and maintaining floors to maintaining equipment, replacing machines or malfunctioning parts, etc. Production lines are overhauled and mechanical problems are solved. Some companies also use this opportunity to bring equipment up to standard or to modernize it.
In some sectors of activity such as the automotive industry or heavy industry (metallurgy, foundry, etc.), maintenance teams are particularly active during the annual closure. Some companies even call on external service providers to carry out all the necessary work.
The more important and numerous the maintenance operations to be performed are, the more organization and planning are required to ensure that they are carried out within the allotted time.
5 tips for effective maintenance during the summer break
To ensure that maintenance is as effective as possible during the annual closure, here are 5 essential tips to follow:
- make balance sheets;
- prepare for future challenges;
- plan a maintenance operation schedule;
- develop preventive maintenance;
- adopt a CMMS.
Make balance sheets
The process of carrying out balance sheets and diagnostics must be done during the preparation phase of the summer shutdown but also throughout the year. It allows to draw up the list of maintenance interventions that must be performed during the factory shutdown but also to evaluate the efficiency and the relevance of the production stops.
Prepare for future challenges
Preparing for the challenges of the coming year is especially important during periods of fluctuating activity. When an upturn or increase in business is expected, maintenance teams must prepare equipment to handle higher production rates so the plant can meet future orders.
Plan a maintenance operation schedule
Preparing a maintenance schedule is essential to ensure that maintenance operations are efficient and meet all the plant’s maintenance needs. The planning stage consists of defining the work to be done according to certain criteria and requirements:
- time required for the tasks;
- manpower required;
- materials, tools and equipment required;
- risk assessment.
It is therefore important to prepare this planning in advance of the production shutdown, in particular by drawing up a logistical plan for the delivery, storage and protection of the spare parts that will be needed. In addition, each task must be estimated in terms of cost and evaluated in terms of risk and safety requirements. Emergency procedures must also be developed or verified in case of an incident.
The planning of maintenance activities during the summer downtime requires a great deal of organization, and the use of good planning tools. A CMMS software is therefore particularly useful during this stage.
Develop preventive maintenance
Summer break is an opportune time for maintenance teams to carry out preventive maintenance actions that they do not have the time or possibility to perform during the year. But it should also be used to implement preventive maintenance plans that will be followed throughout the year, in order to reduce unplanned production stoppages that are particularly harmful to the plant’s productivity. Preventive maintenance is also very useful for companies that want to avoid annual shutdowns in the future.
Here again, CMMS software is the essential tool to ease the development of preventive maintenance plans and their execution by maintenance teams.
Adopt a CMMS
For companies that do not yet use a CMMS solution to manage their maintenance, a production shutdown can be a good time to adopt one, especially if the maintenance activities to be performed are not too numerous. Freed from the usual daily pressure of urgent corrective maintenance operations, teams can be trained to use a CMMS, especially if it is easy to understand and user-friendly.
Improve maintenance efficiency during the annual closure with a CMMS
The use of a CMMS software makes maintenance more efficient throughout the year, but also especially during the annual factory closure. Indeed, thanks to a next-gen CMMS, it is much easier to :
- make an annual assessment of the maintenance thanks to the analytical dashboard;
- anticipate the maintenance needs of the upcoming year according to the planned activity;
- develop team schedules based on needs during the annual closure;
- set up preventive maintenance plans.