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The Maintenance Management Blog

February 10, 2022

CMMS Work Order Types

Work orders—the detailing of the jobs that need completing—have been around in one form or another since Egyptians built the pyramids. At that time, the work order may have been scratched onto papyrus, or even just been spoken verbally to be remembered.

"Bob, go to quarry six miles south of here. Bring back two and half ton stone. Put stone on top of the stone you brought in yesterday."*

*Translated from ancient Egyptian

In time, the procedure of work orders became a little more clarified. More of an itemized list with some descriptions would be distributed to the worker or displayed for workers to see.

"Bob, today's jobs include a company truck tune up, a belt replacement on the processor, and an inspection of the exhaust pipes. Attached is a list. Let me know if I've forgotten anything."

Better, but lacking a lot of specifics. Including the type of job to be done. When Computerized Maintenance Management Systems were designed, work order types became more defined. There are several types of CMMS work orders, each serving a specific need, some overlapping with others.

Mapcon Technologies has been helping valued customers with evolving and improving their CMMS for over forty years. Within the Maintenance module, work orders and work requests can be found. Let's briefly explore both of these before segueing into work order types.

Work Requests are where a worker has discovered something is amiss. Could be with a piece of equipment, could be in a storage room, a break room, the parking lot, etc.

"Bob, I stepped on the truck scale, and it showed I weighed 5000 pounds. We'll need some recalibration."

Work requests are easy to create in MAPCON. There are minimal data fields to fill in. There's even a tab to upload an image of the problem.

Users with access can initiate a work request within the system directly. MAPCON even allows workers who do not have their own MAPCON login credentials to submit requests. In these cases, a supervisor provides the worker with a link to the company's unique html work request form. On that page, the worker fills out the information and the request is submitted into the MAPCON system to be handled appropriately.

For the actual work order, creating one is also easy. There are various required and optional fields, but today we'll be focusing on the work order types. When you create types, MAPCON shows you the choices in the Type drop-down menu in the tab labeled 'Click to View or Create a Work Order.' Let's look at eight work order types one might potentially use.

1. Repair

"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining."-J. Kennedy

Something broken. A part in a machine misaligned. Ice and snow on the scales. Belts need adjusting or tightening. Repairs are as varied as the pieces of equipment an operation has. They're not strictly machine based as in the example of ice/snow removal.

2. Safety Work

"Safety isn't expensive, it's priceless."-Anonymous

This could be something as simple as replacing a warning sign on a door or wall to repairing collapsed ceiling tiles. This could even include filling tires to proper air pressure or removing an extrusion from a machine likely to catch worker's clothing.

3. Corrective Maintenance Image: Inspection

"Correct and improve by validation alone."-M. Ezra

As you can see by a few examples of corrective maintenance at Simplicable some may stray over to repairs, restoration repairs (see #5 below), as well as preventive maintenance (#7). I think the last example in the article—Quality—pertains best to this discussion. Okay, so your worker may not be repairing bullet trains—and hopefully not while the trains are in motion—but could correct a vibration in a piece of equipment that causes products to fall off a conveyor belt or otherwise reduces the quality of production.

4. Support Maintenance

"You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support."-S. Bryan

As with the previous type, this could overlap into PM (preventive maintenance work order). It could be as simple as checking/cleaning an impact wrench for proper operation or changing out filters on the HVAC system.

5. Restoration/Overhaull

"The work of restoration cannot begin until a problem is fully faced."-D. Allender

Storm damage to a building? Disassembling a piece of equipment to repair/clean/replace parts? Restorative maintenance doesn't necessarily mean a complete breakdown and rebuild. As mentioned in Corrective Maintenance, the job could be restoring a machine to its proper settings.

6. Audit-QA/QC, ISO55000, OSHA, etc.

"Given the risks of an expensive audit, paying strict attention to the rules is the only smart decision you can make."-K. Burlison

For short descriptions of the first two listed in this Type, visit ASQ.org.

As with others, this may fall into a PM category, but this could also be maintenance that is following official guidelines from regulatory agencies. Two of MAPCON's beneficial features are the ability to designate these types of work orders and to generate reports showing the job was completed. Keep that auditor smiling.

7. Inspection Preventive Maintenance

"There is little doubt that many facilities purely reliant on reactive maintenance could save much more than 18% by instituting a proper preventive maintenance program."-DOE

This could be anything from roofing inspections to vehicle tune-ups, checking seals, equipment cleaning or general housekeeping in offices or buildings. Many of these may come with either checklists or detailed descriptions to the inspection.

8. Shutdown Repair Work

"To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart."-T. Watson, Sr.

Of course, not every operation periodically shuts down, but many do. This makes heavy duty maintenance easier. World Class Planning explains this in more detail. This work order type helps to prevent discovering a needed repair after operations are back up and running.

Conestoga Energy is an example of a company who added Shutdown work order types to their system for their Arkalon Ethanol plant in Liberal, Kansas. Richard Hanson, Plant manager, says, "MAPCON is the driver. Everything is put in as a work order and is tracked through MAPCON."

"MAPCON's used for shutdowns. We get work requests throughout the year and some of them are shutdown work orders. So, we designate them as shutdown."-Omar Abril, PDM Technician.

Visit the Conestoga spotlight for more information on how this company uses MAPCON for shutdowns and other areas of operation.

Not every business will use all of these Types. As with many features in MAPCON, Administrators are able to add unique wording to fit their operation. This includes Work Order Type. Many jobs will be 'standard' Preventive Maintenance but depending on the operation, there could be types named Environmental (beyond mowing the grass, Bob), Mechanical Integrity PM, or Project Repair for a specialized project.

Image: Thumbs up Knowing the available types of work orders helps the worker better understand the job at hand. In the long run, it will affect

Smoother Operations

Cost Efficiency


Safety Measures

Good job, Bob!

For further information on MAPCON's Work Orders and other features, contact: MAPCON / 800-223-4791


Stephen Brayton

About the Author – Stephen Brayton


Stephen L. Brayton is a Marketing Associate at Mapcon Technologies, Inc. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College with a degree in Communications. His background includes radio, hospitality, martial arts, and print media. He has authored several published books (fiction), and his short stories have been included in numerous anthologies. With his joining the Mapcon team, he ventures in a new and exciting direction with his writing and marketing. He’ll bring a unique perspective in presenting the Mapcon system to prospective companies, as well as our current valued clients.


Filed under: work orders, safety, preventive maintenance — Stephen Brayton on February 10, 2022