Taking the guesswork out of maintenance is one of the keys of sustained operational excellence.
The idea of preventive maintenance is not exactly new – but there are several new trends that are currently impacting the field. Presently, preventive maintenance is undergoing a radical transformation, starting with how data is gathered.
Hanna Kosunen, Product Portfolio Manager, Services, and Martin Hall, Country Director, Kalmar Sweden, point out that control is vital in all matters relating to preventive maintenance – and that the right time to get more control over the maintenance is right now.
Managing your machines involves, more often than not, a wide range of equipment from different brands, with varying ages.
“The variation itself is a challenge,” says Martin Hall. According to Hall, any customer with maintenance issues is looking to avoid unpleasant surprises and unnecessary risks. Those companies who have a good handle on maintenance planning and execution are able to increase both safety and uptime – while bringing down the costs, he adds.
“Having full control of maintenance means that you can have less buffer and save money."
Presently, Kalmar Sweden is planning its maintenance activities 12 months ahead to be more than one step ahead of those surprises and risks. This provides also transparency: the management knows where the company stands.
What are the consequences of not having appropriate control over maintenance, then? – If the operations come to full stop for, say, just a couple of hours, the cost can be “significantly high,” says Hall.
Furthermore, while Hall acknowledges the need for safety buffers in operations – in terms of machines, materials and people – he is of the opinion that sometimes the buffers grow too large.
“Having full control of maintenance means that you can have less buffer and save money,” he says.
Cutting Corners Will Backfire
Hall also cautions against taking any kinds of shortcuts in maintenance – even if things can run smoothly for a while, it all adds up. The end result: you find yourself in trouble again.
Today, maintenance planning is increasingly proactive and data-driven, notes Hanna Kosunen. Communication with the drivers is also decidedly important and, with the use of Kalmar Insight check-list, the drivers can sniff out problems while they’re still minor. In addition, deploying the Kalmar Insight to assess the entire fleet performance can result in increased awareness.
"Today, maintenance planning is increasingly proactive and data-driven."
Culture Conquers All
According to Kosunen, people in the industry often concentrate on talking about tech and tools as answers to everything, while the importance of the corporate culture is overlooked.
“It’s still the people who are, eventually, utilizing all of these technologies.”
Martin Hall notes that in developing a winning maintenance culture the top management needs to step in and explain – in no uncertain terms – why these things are important.
“We need those brave leaders who are determined to lead in change situations,” he says, adding that change often takes place step by step, so patience is required, too. “The important thing here is getting started.”
Martin Hall is responsible for Kalmar Mobile Solutions business operations in Sweden. Martin has wide experience from services, sales and business development in the container and material handling industry.
Hanna Kosunen is responsible for productization of new services at Kalmar Mobile Solutions Services. With more than a decade experience in wireless technologies, she's excited about the ways how more traditional and digital services blend together to create new value for customers.
Martin Hall and Hanna Kosunen discussed some of the typical challenges in the area of the preventive maintenance in a webinar hosted in June. A recording of the webinar is available at https://www.kalmarglobal.com/news--insights/webinars/maintenance/