CMMS Knowledge Center & Glossary

Your One-Stop-Shop For CMMS Resources & Industry Terms

Knowledge Center & Glossary2018-06-01T15:40:21+00:00

CMMS Resources

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Glossary of Terms


Anything tangible or intangible that can be owned or controlled in order to produce value and that is considered a positive economic value. An asset represent the value of ownership that is convertible into cash.

Asset Lifecycle

The life of an asset, from when its necessity is first established, through its acquisition, operation and any maintenance or upgrading, until its disposal. It describes the natural evolution of an asset in terms of the increase and decrease of its use and value from inception to retirement.

Asset Management

The combination of management, financial, economic, engineering and other practices applied to physical assets with the objective of providing the required level of service in the most cost effective manner.


An accumulation of work to be done or orders to be fulfilled.

Bill of Materials

List of the parts or components that are required to build a product.

Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS)

A computerized system designed to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of maintenance activities, such as planning, scheduling and monitoring of work orders and maintenance needs.

Condition Monitoring

The process of monitoring a parameter of condition in machinery, e.g., vibration or temperature. The goal is to identify a significant change which may be indicative of a developing fault. Condition monitoring allows the scheduling of maintenance or other actions in order to prevent failure and avoid its consequences.


Quality, state or degree of being of the highest importance.


A potential failure or other condition that will require maintenance attention at some time in the future, but which is not currently preventing the equipment from fulfilling its functions.


The period of time when something, such as a factory or a piece of machinery, is not in operation, especially as the result of a malfunction.


Oil and gas operations that take place after the production phase, up to the point of sale.

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

The optimal lifecycle management of the physical assets of an organization. It covers subjects including the design, construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance and decommissioning/replacement of plant, equipment and facilities.

Facilities Management (FM)

An interdisciplinary field devoted to the coordination of space, infrastructure, people and organization, often associated with the administration of office blocks, arenas, schools, sporting complexes, convention centers, shopping complexes, hospitals, hotels, etc.

Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Step-by-step approach for identifying all possible failures in a design, a manufacturing or assembly process, a product or service.

Gantt Chart

A type of bar chart that illustrates a project schedule.

Geographic Information System (GIS)

This system is designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and present all types of spatial or geographical data.

Hierarchical Asset Structure

Hierarchy, in relation to assets, is the relationship between the highest level of equipment and subordinate parts.


The process of putting software into effect; execution.


A sign that shows the condition or existence of something,


Organized examination or formal evaluation exercise. In engineering activities inspection involves the measurements, tests and gauges applied to certain characteristics regarding an object or activity.

Internet of Things (IoT)

A development of the internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity and the ability to send and receive data.


A network that works like the internet but which is restricted to certain people, such as the employees of a company.


The goods and materials a business holds for the ultimate purpose of resale or repair.

Inventory Management

The process of overseeing the constant flow of units into and out of an existing inventory.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A business metric used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of an organization.


A safety procedure in industry and research settings. It ensures that dangerous machines are properly shut off and restarted prior to the completion of maintenance or servicing work.


The ease and speed with which any maintenance activity can be performed on an item of equipment.


Any activity carried out on an asset in order to ensure that the asset continues to perform its intended functions. This may be preventive or a repair.

Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO)

Involves fixing any sort of mechanical, plumbing or electrical device should it become out of order or broken. This is known as repair, unscheduled or casualty maintenance.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

Uses availability, performance and quality in order to calculate the effectiveness of a manufacturing operation.

Operational Efficiency

Used when calculating OEE, this is the ratio between the input into a business operation and the output gained from the business.

“Parent-Child” Asset Relationship

A relationship where one or many fixed assets depend on another asset. The dependent asset is set up as a ‘child’ and the asset it depends on is the ‘parent’.

Performance Metric

Performance metrics measure an organization’s activities, behavior and performance.

Preventive Maintenance (PM)

Maintenance that is regularly performed on a piece of equipment, in order to reduce the probability of failures. Preventative maintenance is performed while the equipment is in regular working order, in order to avoid unexpected breakdowns.

Predictive Maintenance (PdM)

Techniques that aim to determine the condition of in-service equipment, in order to predict when maintenance should be performed. This approach promises cost savings over routine or time-based preventive maintenance, because tasks are performed only when warranted.

Proactive Maintenance

A preventive maintenance strategy for stabilizing the reliability of machines or equipment. This allows a company to prolong the life of machinery and prevents a complete and unexpected breakdown of production facility.

Purchase Order

Prime document an organization raises and issues to an external supplier, ordering specific materials, parts, supplies, equipment or services.

Reactive Maintenance

Also known as “breakdown maintenance,” reactive maintenance refers to equipment repairs after a failure. It focuses on restoring the equipment to its normal operating condition.

Regulatory Compliance

An organization’s adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business.

Regulatory Standards

Benchmarks promoted by a regulatory agency, created to enforce the provisions of a legislation.

Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)

The strategy a company or facility implements in order to optimize its maintenance program. The final result of an RCM program is recommended maintenance strategies for each asset of a facility.

Repair versus Replace

Decision-making process to decide whether to repair or replace an asset, based on data within a CMMS.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The benefit to the investor resulting from an investment in a resource. A high ROI means the investment gains compare favorably to investment cost.

Software as a Service (Saas)

A software licensing and delivery model in which centrally hosted software is licensed on a subscription basis. It is sometimes referred to as “on-demand software.” Typically, users access SaaS online.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

A financial estimate intended to help buyers and owners determine the direct and indirect costs of a product or system.


Process of monitoring the condition of equipment through the analysis of properties of its lubricating and other oils. Typically, it refers to measuring particulates in the oil or the chemical composition of the oil.


The time during which an employee or a piece of equipment is actually working.


First exploratory stages in the oil and gas industry that involve exploration and production. Upstream firms take the first steps to locate, test and drill for oil and gas.


Proportion of available time during which an item of equipment is operating.

Vibration Analysis

Process of monitoring the condition of equipment and the diagnosis of faults in equipment. It is the measurement and analysis of vibration within that equipment.

Waste/ Spoilage

Spoilage is waste or scrap arising from the production process. The term most commonly refers to raw materials with a short life span, such as food in the hospitality industry.

Work Order

A document authorizing the completion of a specific task.

Work Request

Onsite authorization for additional work, obtained through customer-client negotiations.

Wrench Time

The percentage of time a professional spends actually performing physical work on an asset. This does not include obtaining parts, tools, instructions or associated travel.