Electrical Testing
Tip of the Week: Do You Mine Your Maintenance Data?

Tip of the Week: Do You Mine Your Maintenance Data?

Take advantage of your computerized maintenance management system to mine relevant data and improve operations.

In the days of paper-based maintenance systems, those who were performing preventive maintenance (PM) tasks took data only to determine whether something was in spec or out of spec. This still is a valid reason to take data, of course. You need to know the “As Found” and “As Left” conditions when performing a PM.

Photo credit: mindscanner/iStock/Thinkstock

Nearly all industrial facilities today have a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), yet many of these facilities think “in spec or out of spec” when it comes to PM data. They may enter the values into the CMMS, but just for archival purposes.

What you should be doing is using the power of your CMMS to trend and alarm certain data (e.g., insulation resistance test data) and to generate reports based on other data. Workers need to be trained for this last function so they know what kinds of reports the CMMS can generate and how to generate them. The reports can provide keen insight into emerging problems and root causes.

Suppose your CMMS generated a report that graphically illustrated motor winding temperatures by building, over time. In Building A, they’ve been trending steadily up. In Building B, they have trended along a fairly flat line. What does this tell you about Building A? There’s a problem that does not exist in Building B.

If your CMMS can generate a similar report on some other data set, you may see why there’s a difference. For example, it trends the 5th harmonic data that your PMs call for collecting. If that report shows the 5th harmonic has been trending up in Building A but not in Building B, you probably have your answer on the heat difference problem.

You don’t get this level of insight just by playing around with the CMMS and randomly discovering things. Contact your CMMS vendor for information on their training programs. And note that the advanced reporting isn’t reliable without first carrying out the practices taught in the basic classes.

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