March 03, 2015
How CMMS’ Can Prevent Car Recalls
It seems hardly a day goes by without there being some mention of a car recall in the newspaper or on the local news. Sometimes the recalls are small, and other times literally millions of vehicles get called back in for some defect that was missed during the manufacturing process. What role does CMMS software play in all of this, and how can it help prevent these issues? That is the focus of today"s blog post.
As professionals in the reliability industry, we often think of maintenance in terms of how it benefits equipment or facilities. Today we are going to look at things from a different perspective, and discuss how it affects our brethren in the auto manufacturing industry.
Perhaps the most beneficial way a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can help in a vehicle recall situation is by preventing them from occurring in the first place. By providing a system to track maintenance of the machinery that helps build cars and trucks, we can ensure that this vital equipment functions at peak capacity. Well functioning machines are less prone to break down or cause errors in the workflow, which could lead to an issue in the manufacturing process, and, ultimately, result in the need for a recall.
Of course, as we all know, things happen, and in the event of a vehicular recall, maintenance software can be a huge help. Tweaking the standard way you normally use your PM software, you can repurpose your CMMS to help in nearly every aspect of the recall process.
For starters, your maintenance system can track and store all of your vital documentation. This is important from a legal standpoint as well as for accounting purposes and even as a tool to help your company "learn" from its mistakes. This record-tracking can come in handy when you have to prove your team conducted proper maintenance on equipment and that the recall was not your department"s fault.
Once vehicles begin returning to shops for repairs, a CMMS is at its most handy for this particular situation, as it allows you to keep track of all of the changes and repairs that are taking place. This includes the planning process and the implementation as well. In addition, maintenance software will keep track of any past problems, so if further recalls are required, the manufacturer will have a record of past work performed.
In the event of a major recall (aren't they all?), there will be plenty of spare parts and other assets that will need to be tracked. Maintenance software is particularly good at asset management and inventory control, and in a situation where your company is already losing money, you will want to make sure you do not exacerbate the problem by misplacing replacement parts.
Finally, by their very nature, auto recalls involve a massive amount of data - everything from financial information to performance testing and quality assurance. The ability to manipulate that data and create detailed reports is key to surviving a recall and helping to ensure they do not occur again in the future.
For all these reasons and more, computerized maintenance management software is key to preventing - and recovering from - an auto recall.