Guest Column | January 17, 2017

6 Ways A CMMS Drives Productivity In Water Treatment Plants

By Lindsey Walker

Managing a water treatment facility that houses hundreds of assets can get downright complex and time-consuming, to say the least. Fortunately, modern technology makes it much easier to improve the efficiency of maintenance operations while reducing downtimes. We’ve summarized six ways in which a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) solution can be leveraged to optimize operations in water and wastewater environments:

1. Improving Accountability And Productivity

A CMMS automates all the maintenance schedules and tracks everything from time and resources to materials and workload. This facilitates efficient management of work orders, machine run times, inventory, schedules, and email notifications if need be. CMMS software seamlessly interfaces with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to boost preventive and predictive maintenance tasks based on different combinations of temperature, pressure, and vibration. It offers an end-to-end view of open work orders, pending tasks, and upcoming maintenance schedules, along with a complete history of work orders. Optional modules also include mobile functionality to facilitate easy access to information for field service technicians.

2. Enhancing Responsiveness

An easy-to-access preventive maintenance (PM) scheduling module enables facility managers to set work order notifications and seamlessly maneuver system controls. With real-time visibility into operations, it becomes easy to plan PM tasks based on run times and equipment usage. Since it interfaces with the SCADA system, operators can easily track pending work orders and replacement parts required for specific machinery and assets at different locations. This level of visibility maximizes responsiveness and work efficiency for water and wastewater environments.

3. Lowering Operational Costs

CMMS software automates the scheduling of inspections, maintenance, repairs, and replacements, which in turn prevents expensive failures. A CMMS makes it possible to switch from reactive to proactive maintenance. This approach not only extends the service life of vital plant equipment, but also reduces operational costs in the long haul. Asset management software keeps dozens of assets and maintenance schedules on track to save time and effort and reduces miscellaneous expenses incurred on labor and parts. Being a central database for every single expense, it generates accurate costing reports that reflect where the budget was spent so that facility managers can identify areas where costs can be further reduced.

4. Achieving Compliance

Asset management software with mobile computing capabilities efficiently addresses contamination problems faced by water utilities. Water and wastewater plants need to comply with a host of regulations governing purification equipment and delivery systems. Water and wastewater treatment facilities that fail to comply with the EPA regulations end up paying hefty fines and inviting serious legal action. A CMMS makes it much easier to avoid these hassles and stay compliant. Water and wastewater utilities can leverage asset management software to keep a constant check on their vital equipment and to configure customized reports for year-end reporting. It also accelerates corrective action by offering easy and instant access to resources that are needed to achieve compliance.

5. Preventing Contamination And Ensuring Safety

Most of the elements that contaminate water are a byproduct of faulty equipment, negligent maintenance schedules, and failure to replace service lines on time. Fatigued equipment, forgotten expiry dates of key water delivery components, and lack of adequate funds for efficient execution of periodic maintenance tasks can lead to widespread lead contamination, inviting serious consequences. Enterprise asset management (EAM) software enables facility managers to ensure surgical precision when performing maintenance operations. It tracks every single equipment and machinery involved in the delivery system to facilitate timely fixtures and triage.

6. Reducing Downtime And Disruptions

Downtime equals lost man hours and increased cost. A CMMS makes processes faster and prevents failures by allowing facility managers to focus on planned and preventive maintenance. It ensures that assets and structures are periodically inspected and regularly maintained, which lowers the possibility of failures and extends the service life of the equipment.

One of the biggest advantages of installing CMMS software is that it gives unparalleled insights into operations, empowering facility managers to organize, manage, and monitor every asset and process in the most efficient and timely manner. It automates every mundane task and frees up additional time so that facility managers can shift their focus from tracking work order logistics to reducing costs and improving efficiency.

Lindsey Walker works for NEXGEN Asset Management as their Marketing Manager. With a B.S. in Business Information Management, she excels at business development, project management, as well as asset management. Her passion for writing allows her to find time from her busy work schedule to share her knowledge on asset management, geographic information systems (GIS), software implementation, training curriculum development, and similar topics. When she isn't working or writing, she loves to work out, do puzzles, and listen to instrumental music.