April 16, 2015
Process or Part Production Systems and A CMMS
When we speak of manufacturing processes and how they can benefit from computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), we tend to do so from a broad perspective. In reality, there are multiple types of manufacturing, including both process and part production. How a maintenance system affects each type of system can vary, and we will be discussing this topic in today"s blog post.
Before we discuss the benefits of a maintenance management system for the two main types of manufacturing processes, we should first attempt to better understand the difference between the two. We will seek to achieve this in the section below.
What is Process Production?
Simply put, process production (or process manufacturing, as it can also be called) is the literal steps it takes, from either a chemical or mechanical perspective, to create a plethora of the same type of item. The type of bulk items usually ascribed to this type of manufacturing system can include everything from chemicals (cleaning supplies, paint, insect repellent, and so forth) to food, beverages, and even pharmaceuticals.
Specific processes involved typically include thermal and chemical conversion, which takes the parts of a recipe or formula and combines materials into one item that once assembled cannot be disassembled. For instance, you cannot break a can of paint down into its original components.
What is Part Production?
Part production (or part manufacturing) is the process of making distinct or individual items. This is one of the ways part production differs from process production. Another term for this process is discrete manufacturing. It typically involves the making of electronics, automobiles, airplanes and aviation equipment, televisions, furniture, and even toys.
This type of production does not require thermal or chemical processes (though the parts used to produce the items might) and requires some sort of manual assembly (whether that be undertaken by a human or a machine).
How a CMMS Can Help Part and Process Production
Computerized maintenance management systems play a key role in every type of manufacturing process, and indeed, even in the upkeep of the facilities where these processes take place! The initial benefit, of course, is in the maintenance of the equipment that performs the manufacturing. If these machines are not well-maintained, they are prone to break down, which decreases the production level and ultimately can lead to a halt in production.
The above scenarios are all very costly for a manufacturing company and need to be avoided at all costs. Each minute of downtime can cost thousands of dollars, both from employees just standing around twiddling their thumbs (you still need to pay them!) and from a production schedule standpoint. A good CMMS will not only let you schedule your preventative maintenance and track whether the work gets done, but it will also help monitor the equipment to let you know if there is any change in performance, a practice known as proactive maintenance.
If a machine does break down and production halts, that same CMMS will allow you to quickly locate spare parts, repair manuals, and, worst-case scenario, vendor and warranty information. All of this is crucial to get the machinery back up and running again as fast as possible.
Another area where a CMMS can help a manufacturing company is through safety, regulatory, and compliance. Consider process manufacturing, for instance. Having documentation on hand for how to clean up chemical spills is not only a must for safety, but it is usually tied to a law or regulation as well. If you do not follow standard procedure (think OSHA), you could face a hefty fine or even closure, and neither scenario is one you want to face.
These are only a few ways a computerized maintenance management system can help process manufacturing and part production systems.