How To Use Your Cmms To Document An AEM Program

AEM programs can be key in improving your operations and increasing the usability, useful life, and resource utilisation of your structures, systems and assets (SSAs). That said, successful implementation of an AEM program is often easier said than done, but the right CMMS system can help.  

What Is An AEM Program?  

The term AEM — whether you take it to mean, “Alternate Equipment Management” (CMS) or “Alternative Equipment Maintenance” (TJC) — involves the alteration of manufacturer maintenance requirements to gain advantages in usability, useful life, resource utilisation, or support of your structures, systems, and assets (SSAs). In other words, it helps you modify your maintenance plans to optimise your SSAs.  

What’s more, a successful AEM programme will also use learn methodologies to help users identify activities that can be adjusted to maintain, or increase, the safety of the SSA while reducing expenses (usually related to labour, materials, or parts).

Unfortunately, implementing an effective AEM programme is often easier said than done. 

Why? Remember, an AEM is meant to help modify a manufacturer’s service requirements — usually a Preventive/Planned Maintenance check or service. It is not designed to reduce or eliminate failures or breakdowns (that is another conversation). 

To get it right, considerable time must be spent analysing the service history of the SSA under review, and specific attention must be placed on those service events that could have been prevented (or caused) by an alteration defined by the manufacturer. 

This kind of legwork is difficult to get right, especially if you don’t have the right tools in place.  

The Right CMMS Can Help  

The right CMMS can be used to record most of the documentation requirements for an AEM programme. Here, we’ll focus on a few key data values that make a compliant AEM possible, while also ensuring your SSA inventory management needs are met.  

The Data You Need To Record In Your CMMS  

To build the data required to develop your AEM plan, your CMMS must be able to record several key data components in at least three areas of the programme: work orders, inventory, and schedules. Here are key data values that should be available on each corrective maintenance-type work order:  

  • PM Preventable: Add a field used to identify if the service\issue could have been prevented by either modified or additional PM checks and services. There should be two choices—” yes” and “no” – and this field should be required.
  • Failure Code: Failure codes are used to identify why the SSA was unable to perform its function (mission). Having standardised, concise failure codes are a critical data value for many types of analysis. 
  • SSA Downtime: It’s imperative that service issues that result in SSA unavailability record their downtime, to be critically analysed later. The cost of asset downtime must be calculated into total asset cost and lost revenue, and will impact service contracts if uptime metrics are involved.
  • Failure Effect: Was any system, personnel, or process negatively affected by the service issue? If so, this is important to note.  

Within the SSA inventory section, your CMMS should be able to assign values for these attributes on each record:  

  • Risk Classification: CMS, accrediting bodies, and NFPA all require you to classify items in the inventory as critical/high risk, non-critical/non-high risk, and Category 1-4. Many HFM SSAs will need CMS risk and NFPA risk classifications, so the ability to develop and apply two specialised fields is essential.
  • Risk Assessment: This is a review of the risk to staff and surroundings in the event of failure as well as during use.
  • AEM Inclusion Values: Has the SSA been evaluated? Is it included in the AEM? If not, why? If so, what has changed?
  • Manufacturer & Model Values: Using standard and consistent values across SSAs is required for AEM documentation, since the history analysis must be available for that type of SSA, for benchmarking and industry review. Defining your inventory by manufacturer and model also promotes accurate procurement and performance analysis. Recall management is also critically dependent on identifying SSAs by manufacturer, model, and serial number.
  • In-service Dates: Without this critical data point, no accurate lifecycle analysis, mean-time-between-failures, or other service history analytics can be performed, and they cannot be expected to return defendable data values. You must know when an SSA went into service to determine all service-related data values.

Next, each SSA should have the original manufacturers’ requirements recorded (i.e.: frequency and procedures), to ensure that specific documentation requirements are met. From there, any changes made to these requirements must be recorded as well. The original requirements can be documented in various ways:  

  • Uploaded and\or available from the SSA record as physical documents (i.e.: Word file, PDF, etc.).
  • CMMS scheduled activity records that have been deactivated (i.e.: PM\IN schedules).
  • Procedures that have been deactivated after changes have been made.

Finally, you will also need the analytics used in review and AEM inclusion, including:  

  • The source of the work order\service history.
  • The records that were reviewed.
  • The name(s) and qualifications of those performing the review.
  • The name(s) and qualifications of the final authority for inclusion.
  • Mean-time between PM-preventable failures, etc.  

A modern CMMS would have the ability to create all these fields and to store and/or access these documents on-demand, in support of AEM procedures.

If your CMMS cannot perform these activities, contact Realworld Systems to see what a modern-day, highly capable CMMS looks like.

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