Maintenance staff at manufacturing plants are often on the move, needing quick access to data related to equipment and repairs. Relying on paperwork stored in one physical location to complete job duties isn’t always convenient — or realistic, for that matter. Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) have long benefitted maintenance departments by centralizing data and automating tasks. However, mobile CMMS applications are increasingly becoming a must-have for industry professionals.
Since a large majority of maintenance tasks are performed out on the plant floor, it should be no surprise that mobile devices play a significant role in daily job duties. In a 2017 survey conducted by Plant Engineering, respondents were asked which emerging technologies they’re considering for inclusion in their predictive maintenance initiatives. The results — which included the use of smartphones and tablets — were as follows:
It’s quite clear that maintenance technicians and managers are incorporating mobile devices into their day-to-day activities. And thankfully, today, most reputable CMMS software vendors offer mobile CMMS applications. Using this technology, manufacturing maintenance professionals can complete an array of tasks while on the go.
Key Capabilities of Mobile CMMS Software
✔ Manage and Create Work Orders: Workers can issue parts for work orders, add comments and close work orders to verify the completion of jobs.
✔ Create Work Requests: Workers can simply type in problems with specific pieces of equipment and submit them directly to management for processing.
✔ Perform Inventory Control Functions: Workers can access inventory records from the job site, check parts inventory, issue spare parts and update inventory records.
✔ Update Asset Meter Readings: Workers can update current meters for a particular asset.
Other Features and Benefits
Collect and Monitor Real-Time Data
Mobile CMMS users can easily enter data regarding parts used, labor hours, downtime, failure codes and more. It’s possible to perform counts and adjustments, as well as record assessments and safety data. You can even collect performance data and send reports through your mobile device.
By affixing barcodes and QR codes to equipment, manufacturing maintenance professionals can quickly upload or access important information stored within a CMMS by simply scanning the code with their smartphone. Complete equipment history and upcoming maintenance schedules are accessible within seconds. By scanning barcodes, you’ll eliminate the need to manually type data into corresponding fields. This feature helps minimize the time that maintenance technicians typically spend on data entry, while also reducing the likelihood of errors.
Ability to Work On and Offline
One of the biggest advantages of mobile CMMS software is the ability to create, manage and close work orders from remote locations. Equipment failures tend to happen at inconvenient times, and it’s not always feasible for plant maintenance staff to return to their office to remedy the problem. Mobile applications allow maintenance personnel to access their CMMS anytime, anywhere.
Moreover, it’s not always possible to connect to WiFi. Some mobile CMMS applications will allow you to temporarily store work orders, asset listings and part listings on your mobile device when there’s an interruption in service. Once you’re back online, any data temporarily stored on your device will automatically upload to the CMMS system via the cloud.
Streamline Communication Between Managers & Technicians
Mobile CMMS software allows manufacturing maintenance managers and planners to issue work orders and relay information to technicians in real time. With instant access to this information, technicians can work more efficiently, fulfilling work orders as they come in while maintaining equipment located away from the plant. By eliminating the need to travel to and from a physical location, time spent managing work orders is significantly reduced. Mobile CMMS applications improve overall efficiency by enabling managers and technicians to continually update one another on their progress.
How Mobile CMMS Improves Manufacturers’ Bottom Line
From completing job duties on the go to improving efficiency and streamlining communications, mobile CMMS apps help manufacturers save time and money. Carrying around a clipboard with a stack of work orders just isn’t an option in today’s business world. Mobile CMMS technology allows us to boost productivity and eliminate paperwork, translating into significant cost savings for manufacturers.
About the Author
Ashley Bullin is the Digital Marketing and Social Media Coordinator for DPSI, an industry-leading CMMS software provider. Ashley contributes content related to CMMS and EAM software, as well as maintenance management best practices.