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How to avoid the common pitfalls of suboptimal maintenance management

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

Maintenance planning is arguably one of the most important elements of running a productive and reliable plant. It’s a continuous process that requires constant improvement and efficient management for success. In this post, we’ll share simple steps you can take to improve your maintenance management and enable your team to be more productive in a safer and more collaborative way. We’ll look at how to address the common pitfalls of suboptimal maintenance management: lack of pre-emptive and emergency planning and training, mis-managing contractors, and resisting change.

Pre-emptive and emergency planning and training

In order to prepare for emergency planning and training, aggregated, up-to-date and accurate information is essential for a complete understanding of an asset. The question is how? One of the quickest and easiest solutions is to implement a digital twin. A digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical environment, model, process, asset, or service.

Digital twins ingest, aggregate, unify, and analyze all engineering, geospatial, planning, scheduling and operational data in a single web-based interface. The insights provided through this analysis include operating conditions, production rates, bottlenecks, malfunctions, structural integrity, potential failure modes and rates, and requirements for near term repairs and replacements. Insights can be used by teams to perform ‘what-if-scenarios’, and to optimize plans for intervention for repairs and replacements, and production.

Using a digital twin for operations, maintenance, and reliability, teams can conduct mandatory safety training virtually, removing the need for real equipment shut down and suspension of operations. This negates the resultant drop in productivity of the facility associated with shutdown, disconnect, reconnect and restart activities.

Staying in-step with contractors

A digital twin enables remote operations and maintenance. Planners, inspectors, engineers, and supply chain managers are no longer required to be physically present on site. Inspections, assessment of as-built information, unified data access, and collaboration with all stakeholders, including contractors and vendors, can be conducted remotely from the safety of the office or home.

Digital twins ingest and aggregate all data into a single pane of glass. Any verified user can easily access the asset in 3D anywhere in the world. All documentation associated with any work order is easy to find and contextualize within the interface. All communication and collaboration is enabled and accessible within the digital twin, ensuring everyone is up to date with the same data in real time.

Easing resistance to change

Understanding what a digital twin is (and is not) capable of doing will help alleviate the fear of being usurped by the software.

Digital twins do employ machine learning, but are not intended to replace workers. VEERUM depends on humans for several reasons; to provide the data for it to ingest; to interpret the data it analyzes; to leverage the visual data it outputs, and to enable productivity improvements and cost reductions. Digital twins empower workers to be more productive, with less time wasted, in a safer and more collaborative way.

Implementing a digital twin application is a vital step in overcoming the common pitfalls of suboptimal maintenance management. No longer is a digital twin just a technology, it is a powerful catalyst for your maintenance team with an immediate impact on cost savings, efficiency, and schedule improvements. As organizations around the world are well on their journey to complete digital transformation, digital twins like VEERUM are a great place to get started in fostering an efficient and safer way of working.

In our next series of posts, we’ll dive into the details, opportunities and challenges of maintenance work management.

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