How to Improve Your Automotive Manufacturing Plant’s Maintenance
With so many pressures on the automotive industry, the need for efficient and reliable plant maintenance is at an all-time high.
If you are in the automotive industry, you are probably already aware of this and have your sights set on what you need to improve next and how to prepare for any unexcepted changes.
However, with so many moving pieces, the only way to truly keep it all on track is to use enterprise asset management (EAM) tools that help simplify your processes, not make them more difficult.
In this article, we will cover the top automotive manufacturing maintenance challenges and ways that you can solve them.
4 Large Challenges Automotive Manufacturing Maintenance Teams Face
Since the automotive industry is constantly changing, it is crucial for maintenance managers to keep plants resilient to outside forces and challenges like:
- Changes in sustainability requirements
- Manufacturing plant shutdowns and production halts
- Layoffs, resignations, and turnover
- Supply chain shortages
By having solid asset management and maintenance practices in place, maintenance can easily accommodate production’s needs each time one of these challenges arises. If maintenance is not at peak performance, these problems can be even more difficult to manage when they arise.
A thriving car manufacturing plant is one that has:
- Efficiency in maintenance, operations, and production
- Maximum equipment uptime and reliability
- Increased communication and information sharing
- Improved data quality and accuracy
- Control of their maintenance shutdowns and turnarounds
- Training programs for their key maintenance systems
How Integrated Asset Management Software Can Improve Your Auto Manufacturing Plant
1. Increasing Maintenance and Production Efficiency
There are a few ways to increase the efficiency of your automotive manufacturing maintenance and production, but the best one to start with is maintenance planning and scheduling. By getting your planning and scheduling in a preventative and predictive state, rather than a reactive state, your maintenance team will be more agile.
Becoming more proactive will mean that the preventative maintenance required for CNCs, conveyor belts, and other machines will be complete, and as unplanned repairs come up, you will have flexibility in your schedule to fit them in.
To achieve best-practice maintenance planning and scheduling, you will need to leverage your ERP, CMMS, or an integrated platform that communicates with your main EAM system.
2. Maximizing Equipment Uptime and Reliability
Just like any manufacturing center, automotive manufacturing plants have a ton of moving parts that all need to move harmoniously. The second a machine breaks down in a line is the moment that parts from the previous process begin piling up.
To avoid this issue, maintenance must help sustain equipment uptime and reliability so that machines only stop running for planned shutdowns, turnarounds, and outages.
Just like planning and scheduling can help increase maintenance efficiency, it can also improve your equipment's uptime and reliability. To take the benefits of planning and scheduling a step further, manufacturers can utilize reporting and analytics tools to gain insights into their maintenance and asset metrics to anticipate failures before they occur.
3. Increasing Communication and Information Sharing
There are two ways you can immediately improve your manufacturing plant’s communication and information sharing. You can utilize integrated systems that communicate in real-time so that teams can easily access live data and you can implement a mobile maintenance solution.
The ability to have integrated systems is fairly dependent on your current system, but there are advanced integration systems that can help your systems connect.
In addition to having integrated systems, having a mobile solution will allow your technicians to update information in real-time straight from wherever they are on the plant floor. This will reduce the time it takes for information to make it into your system and also eliminate unnecessary trips back and forth.
4. Improving Data Quality and Accuracy
Your asset master data can be one of the most intimidating parts of your asset management responsibilities, especially if it lacks structure and data governance. Fortunately, there are systems and master data services that can help you get your master data organized and under control.
Getting your master data under control allows you to reduce maintenance costs, maximize efficiency, and improve inventory management. It can also serve as an aid if you plan on transitioning from one EAM system to another or merging your current system with another system.
5. Controlling Your Maintenance Shutdowns and Turnarounds
Just like you want to increase your production uptime, you will also want to decrease the duration of your shutdowns, turnarounds, and outages (STOs). The longer your STO lasts, the more money is spent on the STO and is lost from a lack of production.
Some ERP, EAM, and CMMS systems will have STO planning and management capabilities while others may require you to implement an STO system that integrates directly with your system of truth.
6. Training Your Maintenance Teams on Key Systems
Powerful maintenance and asset management systems are only great if you are able to easily train your current and new employees on how to use them. If your system has all the functions you need, but is too complex to use, user adoption will drop and your maintenance information will be disjointed.
Easy-to-use systems should have online eLearning systems to help you train your employees on how to use them. Your systems should be set up in a way to ensure that anyone on your team can be a system expert.
Use EAM Software to Improve Your Automotive Manufacturing Plant’s Maintenance
Your automotive manufacturing plant can greatly benefit from putting the correct asset management systems in place to help enable your maintenance team to operate more efficiently.