The reliability of construction equipment is critical in ensuring projects are completed within the scheduled budget and period. Moreover, unexpected breakdowns of construction equipment result in increased costs, cause safety issues, and can create various logistical issues.
It goes without saying that contractors should aim at maximizing asset utilization and minimizing potential failures, which is achieved by improving the reliability of construction equipment.
Adopt CBM technology to monitor equipment health
Condition Based Monitoring (CBM) technology monitors the real-time condition of an asset to determine when and which maintenance practices will be performed. The goal of condition-based maintenance is to continuously monitor construction asset health and identify impending failures that decrease the performance of the assets and will eventually lead to equipment failure.
For example, maintenance managers can use CBM technology to record vibration frequencies to detect problems such as bearing failures, bent shafts, and imbalances. They can use ultrasonic analysis that detects and converts high-frequency sounds into digital data that can be used to identify broken rotor bars and damaged gears inside construction assets.
By getting heads-up about deterioration sites, maintenance teams have more time to schedule planned downtime and prevent unexpected failure, both of which will keep assets in better operating condition.
Utilize CMMS software
Computerized Maintenance Management Systems are paramount solutions in ensuring the reliability of construction assets. Through CMMS, maintenance managers can create work order schedules that detail maintenance practices to be performed on each equipment.
With a modern mobile CMMS adopting cloud solutions, maintenance technicians can access a wide array of useful information (such as maintenance and safety checklists, equipment manuals, and asset history) and complete their work orders without having to sit on the phone or walk back to a central terminal. This does not only speed up maintenance workflow, but it actually improves the quality of performed maintenance work, improving asset reliability in the process.
Furthermore, machine operators can report problems they notice via a ticketing system, which CMMS automatically logs and ensures that no task is forgotten or duplicated.
Train maintenance technicians
Maintenance technicians need ongoing training to help them identify the various problems that result in machine failures. As organizations seek to maximize the use of CMMS technology, technicians should be trained on how to use software tools including the CMMS and fleet management software they will be using to record maintenance data and perform maintenance work.
Furthermore, technicians need adequate training on CBM technology on how to properly install sensors that collect vital equipment data and use it to schedule work orders on the construction assets.
Creating a culture that fosters communication between technicians and machine operators can have a positive impact on machine reliability. It is important that operators are comfortable enough to share important details and equipment performance issues they encounter and that technicians are willing to provide maintenance tips that operators can perform before and after their shifts (or in general) to minimize certain problems and prevent avoidable damage to the equipment in the future.
On a side note, involving operators and especially technicians in the creation of maintenance programs and schedules can be a great way to ensure you address different lingering issues that an asset might suffer from from past breakdowns or conditions it operated in.
Optimize planned maintenance
Planned maintenance optimization aims at reviewing the existing maintenance strategies based on the recorded performed maintenance works, with the aim of adding missing tasks and removing tasks that do not align with construction equipment.
One major approach for construction companies to adopt is the failure reporting, analysis, and corrective action system (FRACAS). This system establishes a procedure for reporting, classifying, and analyzing failures while ensuring proactive maintenance is performed on the construction equipment.
The best way to improve construction equipment reliability is by ensuring it is operated properly and that its based maintenance meets are met. Combining CMMS, CBM technology, and proactive maintenance planning seems to be a winning approach for modern construction companies.