How to improve a quality management system with eMaint software

car-manufacturing cmmsManufacturers already comply with multiple international regulations, but automotive industry producers have an extra layer to contend with: The International Automotive Task Force (IATF). On October 1, 2017, the organization released regulation IATF 16949, governing quality management processes and systems.

What is IATF 16949?

IATF 16949 is an automotive-sector specific regulation for quality management. It provides insight into promoting continuous improvement programs and emphasizing defect prevention while allowing an organization to meet the demands of customers and stakeholders. It works hand-in-hand with ISOs 9001 and 9004 (quality management), 19011 (auditing), and 31000 (risk management) to increase asset availability, improve productivity, and decrease production impediments or flaws.

Regulation 16949 covers the entire Risk Mitigation process for automotive manufacturers, from planning, leadership adoption, and employee training to maintenance, auditing, warranty management, and more. Risk Mitigation is a primary focus of IATF 16949, with a portion of the regulation covering “Total Productive Maintenance”.

What is “Total Productive Maintenance”?

Organizations that optimize asset performance and availability to ensure that manufacturing is uniform already have some kind of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) system (section IATF 16949 takes this process and backs it up with an auditable trail of documentation, inspections, and more.

TPM is not an employee cost reduction tool or maintenance program, though it does align with a condition-based maintenance program. Instead, the goals of TPM are:
• Keep equipment in peak performance and at capacity or availability
• Ensure that equipment produces uniform products
• Guarantee employees have the required skills to operate or maintain equipment

Preventive Maintenance (PM) is scheduled or calendar-based maintenance done during scheduled downtime.

Predictive Maintenance (PdM) uses condition-based monitoring to anticipate failures based on equipment performance and status.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is leveraging an entire manufacturing system (people and processes) to ensure uniform production with equipment kept at capacity/availability.

While TPM isn’t physical maintenance, a well-run maintenance program is key for a TPM system. A Preventive or Predictive Maintenance program (PM and PdM, respectively) helps organizations reduce downtime and schedule repairs when they won’t impact production. Implementing a PM or PdM program will ease the strain of regulatory compliance audits and inspections.

Manage IATF compliance with software

Regulations do not exist within a vacuum. There are many programs that can help organizations track and maintain regulatory compliance. Computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) or enterprise asset management (EAM) systems are good places to start looking for software to help companies comply with IATF 16949. Leveraging software allows organizations to ensure that assets are properly repaired at a time that won’t negatively impact production. A CMMS or EAM can also provide workers with information about equipment, such as location, specs, diagrams or instructions, and more.

“The auditors listed our maintenance program and our eMaint CMMS software as ‘Best Practice’ in the industry!” said Robert McKenna, Technical Advisor at Dana Corporation. “They were so impressed they asked many questions about how we got started with the CMMS program. Both auditors were happy that eMaint CMMS is being utilized throughout other Dana facilities. They were also very impressed with out hyperlinks and data tracking that was implemented within this program.”

Read more about how Dana Corporation used their CMMS in this eMaint case study

Both equipment operators and maintenance teams can access a CMMS/EAM. When an asset starts malfunctioning, an operator can submit a work order. Maintenance teams can then check equipment operating status (condition monitoring), ensure parts are on hand for needed repairs, and schedule work based on operational priority.

Furthermore, many CMMS/EAM systems offer cloud or online connectivity to ensure that employees have information when and where they need it.

eMaint CMMS helps organizations maintain IATF compliance

eMaint helps teams maintain compliance with an IATF 16949 program by organizing work, documenting procedures, tracking labor hours, generating reports, and more. All of this means that, come audit time, facilities can easily prove their IATF compliance. A CMMS should be able to:

  •  Track Asset History
    CMMS solutions track current asset status and measurements, along with the current and historical work orders. Organizations have a verifiable digital paper trail of who completed work, what was done, when it was started and finished, and more.
  • Automate Email Alerts
    eMaint CMMS can auto-generate email alerts when information needs updating or if asset inspections are due. Notify technicians of new or urgent work by sending information to their inbox.
  • Document Procedures
    Organizations can associate procedures and protocols—such as Lock-out Tag-out, manuals and diagrams, or SOPs—to eMaint work orders or assets databases. Maintenance workers can see all the required information to get the job completed, all in one place.
  • Generate Reports
    CMMS software can also create custom reports, shown in dashboards or in printouts. Running reports allows you to prove maintenance efforts and completion, providing auditors with the information they require to certify compliance.

Prepare for the next audit or inspection by leveraging the power of a CMMS. Prove TPM compliance and begin the journey toward Predictive Maintenance with eMaint.

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