Why should pharma plants finally opt for an Industry 4.0 CMMS?






The establishment of a reliable maintenance routine tends to be a major problem for many pharmaceutical companies. Compared to manufacturing plants, which can be qualified as the ultimate early adopters of all latest maintenance digital trends, pharma entities are still testing and discovering the benefits of modern computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS).

Knowing very well that maintenance has a big impact on both — products quality and the compliance of pharmaceutical processes, smart business owners start to realise the undoubted advantages of planning and controlling maintenance via a CMMS. Many pharmaceutical plants are still deploying hybrid systems, consisting of outdated CMMS, spreadsheets and paper files. And even though most of the companies are equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and tools, many professionals experience difficulties in performing their maintenance tasks properly, because maintenance job sheets get lost and schedules are often neglected.

Moreover, many of the conventional CMMS are difficult, user-unfriendly and require hours of trainings. This results in improperly trained maintenance staff, which finally leads to additional cost for further trainings.

Benefits of a next-gen CMMS for a pharmaceutical plant

The good news is that there are already smart, industry 4.0 induced computerised maintenance management systems at the market. They feature all conventional functionalities of traditional solutions as preventive maintenance scheduling, work orders, newsfeed, daily routines support, but this time combined with latest digital trends as ERP and IoT systems connectivity and smart sensors integrity.

The CMMS gathers, stores and analyses condition-monitoring data, collected through sensors in order to launch predictive algorithms and help maintenance managers create a predictive maintenance plan.

These are the most important benefits for a pharmaceutical plant from a properly deployed, modern CMMS:

1. Guaranteed facility reliability and product safety

Because of possible contamination or microbial multiplication, production processes at pharmaceutical plants are characterised by strong regulations. Thus, the overall reliability of the facility is a primary concern. All cracks, holes, pipe damages and ingress of water should be immediately detected and eliminated. A successful equipment maintenance strategy and here ‘successful’ implies ‘managed by a CMMS’ is the first and most important step for a company to ensure the safety of its products.

2. Improved internal communication

Key pharmaceutical companies usually have many different production plants all over the world. A next-gen CMMS can be easily deployed along the entire organisation to ease the communication between departments (management, finance and purchase) and also between productions plants. Everybody is able to access all maintenance information about assets’ health as available spare parts, latest interventions, scheduled trainings and many more, anytime and anywhere from any smart device.

3. Classified equipment according criticality for improved product quality

The deployment of a CMMS will motivate professionals to establish total productive maintenance routines, condition-based monitoring data and lean maintenance tools to assess in the best possible way all involved machines. Classifying assets according to their criticality will eliminate possible bottlenecks and ensure that the production cycle is functioning properly.

How to choose the right solution?

Before deploying a CMMS, every business owner should define its specific KPIs (through Pareto, mean time between failures (MTBF), availability and maintainability performance indicators) in order to understand if its maintenance strategy is really working in improving operational performance. The right CMMS should be first-of-all user-friendly and should ease the daily tasks of the technicians without adding any pressure. Modern, smart solutions are very flexible and can easily adapt to the specific structure of any company and more importantly evolve with the company and cover ongoing but also future-planned maintenance needs. A mobile application, adaptability to sensors, analytical and geolocation tools are just some of the must features that an industry 4.0 CMMS should possess in order to become a part of a lean manufacturing programme.

Implementing the right CMMS will immediately push your facility towards a cheaper, more effective and more efficient approach. Shifting from reactive to preventive and predictive maintenance will bring a bunch of undoubted benefits and significantly improves the entire production cycle. A smart CMMS completely eliminates the times spent on finding and filling out papers and increases the time technicians spend actually maintaining assets. The integration of a next-gen CMMS plays a critical role in production and ultimately, profitability by resulting equipment downtime and streamlining service operations.


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