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A man performing automation services and repairs on a machine in a factory.
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Factory Automation Consulting Services

Expert guidance to optimize and innovate your factory processes through tailored automation solutions.

Industrial machinery maintenance often brings complexity and doubt. Asset managers ponder where to start, plant managers question maintenance expenditures, and technicians prioritize reliability issues.

Agile Factory Automation cuts through this uncertainty. Our asset experts, with CMRP certifications and over 20 years of industry experience, apply proven methods to meet your reliability goals.

By collaborating with key stakeholders, Agile Factory Automation identifies and implements sustainable solutions that enhance safety, and efficiency, and prolong asset life, ensuring a strong ROI.

Reliability Program Implementation And Redesign

Let's Redefine Your Reliability Roadmap!

Ready to turbocharge your reliability program? Dive in with us for a transformative journey in these areas:

Preventive Maintenance

Proactive maintenance approach to prevent equipment failures, ensuring optimal performance and extending machinery lifespan

Inventory and Purchasing

Strategic management of stock and procurement processes to optimize costs, ensure availability, and streamline operations.

Work Management Processes

Efficiently coordinate tasks, labor, and resources to maximize productivity and ensure timely completion of maintenance and engineering projects.

CMMS and EAM Systems

Streamline asset management and maintenance tasks with CMMS and EAM systems, optimizing operational efficiency and asset longevity.

Training Programs for Maintenance Organizations

Empower your maintenance team with specialized training programs, enhancing skills and optimizing equipment longevity.

Operator-Involved Reliability

Empower operators to play a pivotal role in enhancing equipment reliability, optimizing performance, and ensuring prolonged asset life.

Advanced Maintenance Methods

Cutting-edge techniques that elevate maintenance practices, ensuring equipment longevity, optimal performance, and reduced downtimes.

Implementation & Redesign FAQs

Take Your Reliability Program to the Next Level

Answers to your pressing questions about implementing and redesigning processes, ensuring seamless transitions.

The journey to reliability starts with preventive maintenance (PM), the foundation of the entire maintenance strategy. Unless your PM program is effective, all subsequent maintenance strategies will have higher costs, longer timelines to implement, and a higher probability of failure.

There are three significant reasons why companies show a lack of progress when it comes to implementing an effective PM program:

  1. The first obstacle companies must overcome in the transition from reactive to proactive maintenance is how they view their PM work. Most companies do not consider their PM program as a high-profile activity. In this reactive culture, the technician who can quickly fix anything has a higher value placed on them. When other technicians feel their preventive efforts are not highly valued, they focus on developing their reactive skills, further fostering this reactive “wait until it breaks” culture. This reactive culture will not change without the support of management leaders. Leadership must show they value preventive maintenance efforts above the “fast fix” activities, otherwise, this culture will not change.
  2. The second issue originates from the lack of basic maintenance skills. In most companies today, technicians lack the skills to identify developing problems with equipment components. In addition, many maintenance technicians cannot effectively perform the most basic lubrication and equipment adjustment tasks. Failure to perform these essential tasks means that even when the organization is conducive to a proactive change, the basic skill level may prevent the PM program from being effective.
  3. The third and primary reason is the PM program’s lack of a disciplined development process. The organization should construct a development process flow visual. This process flow should include all relevant information from the OEM, information of new assets, historical data from commissioned assets, the team members involved in the PM program update, and the planning and scheduling activities, to name a few. Developing this process is a daunting task, but with professional assistance, it is readily achievable. Investing time and resources into developing this structured approach will yield great returns.

In considering MRO or maintenance, repair, and overhaul inventory, there are several problems to consider that impact the efficiency of the maintenance organization. Such problems compound each other to disrupt the reliability efforts of the organization. For example, the inventory system’s poor or unskilled service level can lead to hoarding and pirating additional equipment or spare parts. Another problem is the management and location of remote storerooms. The ability to properly track the use of spares from static and remote storerooms is vital in preventing excessive inventory and, in turn, increased MRO costs.

For proper inventory control, it is necessary to have the right parts, in the right numbers, at the right time. This control is required for the inventory and purchasing departments to support maintenance. Additionally, inventory control must be considered carefully because the spare parts costs may make up 40–60% of the total maintenance budget. For this reason, controlling materials typically helps in decreasing expenses.

While it is true that controlling material costs is a quick way to increase profits, this approach is shortsighted. Blindly decreasing MRO material costs will inevitably reach a level that lowers profitability. If the MRO parts are unavailable when needed, increased equipment downtime can result, which will reduce availability. If equipment cannot meet the production schedule, late shipments and overtime to produce the product will result. These situations decrease profitability; therefore, it is understandable that a proper balance between budget and inventory must be achieved.

An organization with a well-defined work management system that is disciplined and repeatable will accurately track all maintenance and engineering information. This information is crucial in making life cycle costing decisions. A key consideration should be the responsibilities hierarchy: the who, what, when, and where. In addition, the information collected should include all costs and details, such as the equipment, location, and other associated costs. According to surveys, only about a third of all organizations utilize their work order systems to their total capacity. Many organizations will use a CMMS or an EAM system for their work management process, but this will not help those without a proper workflow. Therefore, it is vital to get the basics right first.

Consider the work order process and the path it takes to complete. First, a work order gets generated and charged to a specific piece of equipment or functional location. Once initialized, labor, parts, contractors, rental equipment, or other costs may be assigned. Once completed, all this cost information and repair history is charged to the appropriate history file — even when a preventive maintenance task is generated, it is in the form of a work order. Thus, the work order is essential in tracking maintenance and reliability. Developing and implementing work management systems is impossible without full utilization of the work order system.

One main reason organizations struggle with their work order systems is the lack of maintenance planners. This position is critical to developing and sustaining the maintenance work process, and this is only the starting point for a proper maintenance work management process.

Development of the process should encompass all of the following:

  • Work identification
  • Emergency or breakdown work process
  • Maintenance planning and scheduling
  • Shutdowns and outage work
  • Weekly schedule process flow
  • Work execution process
  • Work order closure and analysis process
  • Work management key performance indicators

As competition increases domestically and internationally, so does the need to drive down costs. Therefore, the maintenance business function is scrutinized for increased revenue generation as one business process that presents itself with the most opportunity. However, cost reduction in maintenance does not mean a reduction in the level of service or quality; it means better control and understanding of costs associated with maintenance functions, achieved through data-driven decisions.

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) are designed to simplify data collection and analysis. Typically, the CMMS is independent of the primary business system (usually an ERP system) and requires manual intervention to avoid scheduling conflicts.

These systems are utilized to streamline organizations’ work management processes, such as:

  • Preventive maintenance
  • MRO inventory and purchasing
  • Work order management and tracking of information associated with:
    • Labor Costs
    • Material Costs
    • Contracting Costs

When CMMS is used across multiple plants, and managers use the information to manage assets at an enterprise level, the system used is an EAM (Enterprise Asset Management). Most ERP systems contain an EAM as a module to complement the ERP system. Whether using a CMMS or an EAM system, processes must be established and adequately implemented to utilize the system to its total capacity.

Few factors hamper the technical success of organizations more than an aging workforce, a suboptimal education system, and a lack of technical apprenticeships. These problems account for the lack of understanding of basic maintenance skills among the current and emerging workforce.

By 2025, the manufacturing and maintenance industries will need to fill an estimated 3.4 million jobs. According to a Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte report, 2.7 million of those 3.4 million jobs result from technicians closing their toolbox for good. That is to say that nearly 80% of our current maintenance workforce is retiring and taking that experience with them.

Correcting this problem is not just as simple as replacing those skilled workers. Even though the recruitment process may find technically skilled workers, they still do not have the body of knowledge of the retiring workers. These figures show the growing need for a proper and well-executed training program to bring your oncoming workforce up to speed quickly.

Here are some steps to bring your oncoming workforce up to speed with a proper and well-executed training program:

  1. Understand the need for the training program: If it is to develop new technicians, three types of training programs need to be developed. The first is a basic skills program to ensure new employees have the basic technical skills necessary to perform their new roles. The second is a formal apprentice program to help employees progress from beginners to journey-level technicians. Finally, the third would be an ongoing skills enhancement program.
  2. Conduct a needs analysis: This is where subject matter experts will be required to analyze the organization’s needs. This team could include Supervisors, Senior Technicians, Engineers, and even Consultants. Together, they will construct a summary of the duty needs of the maintenance technicians. Once duties are identified, performing a task analysis for each responsibility is necessary, and the required knowledge to complete each task is recorded. From this information, a training program can be constructed for each set of duties to be carried out and validated.
  3. Develop the objective and training materials required: With the previous analysis completed and validated, the material should be divided into topics such as hand tools, hydraulics, pneumatics, and controls, just to name a few. After the topics are identified, the training materials can be developed. Another option is to find outside experts who teach the identified topics — often achieved by partnering with local schools or subject matter experts.
  4. Measurement and validation of outcomes: Determining if training has been successful is achieved in several ways: written exams, hands-on verification, or oral quizzes. Whatever method you choose, it must validate adequately presented training. This is also where refinements to the training program can be identified and implemented.

Once an organization has adopted all reliability practices previously mentioned and the culture has matured to the point of continuous improvement with operational reliability at the forefront, it is time to seek engagement from operations. The main reasons for operations involvement are to increase the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and perform basic asset maintenance tasks, freeing up maintenance resources for action on higher skill level activities.

There are several tasks the operations can perform to contribute to the maintenance and reliability of the equipment. This includes operating the equipment effectively, adjusting the equipment properly, cleaning the equipment, lubricating the equipment, and replacing worn parts. Through careful analysis, tasks can be identified. Then, just like training maintenance personnel, operations can learn to handle some of these most basic tasks to contribute to overall equipment effectiveness.

Consider the six big losses in every manufacturing environment: breakdowns, setup/adjustment, idling or minor stoppages, reduced speed, quality defects, and startup/shutdowns. Again, there is an overlap in these losses, which pass through maintenance and operations. All of these directly impact OEE.

When considering OEE, zero breakdowns should be the goal. The zero-breakdown strategy has a five-step methodology: maintain basic conditions, maintain operating standards, restore deterioration, improve design weaknesses, and prevent human error. Studies have shown that most equipment losses can be eliminated by focusing on these five areas. For example, one study showed that over 50% of equipment failures in a plant occurred due to the neglect of the basics. In addition, simple checklists and visual inspection aids can easily be implemented to identify these basic conditions before catastrophic failures occur.

Predictive maintenance is the most advanced type of maintenance available. This may be achieved through high-end AI-driven technologies or standalone condition monitors. Many of these systems are easily integrated with CMMS and EAM packages and can save thousands in costly failure repairs. When the organization has fully matured in its maintenance journey, it is time to investigate the many available technologies.

Through proper implementation of advanced maintenance methodologies, organizations can effectively prevent failures before the critical point on the potential failure-failure curve. First, however, these methodologies must be analyzed and deemed appropriate for the equipment on which it is to be installed. Organizations should rely on the data collected through their maintenance journey and their FMEA and criticality assessments.

As a final note, organizations will fail if attempts are made to deploy advanced techniques before the organization is mature enough to understand and utilize them properly. Developing and implementing a sustainable asset management strategy is an educational experience that must change a company’s culture. The educational process during a structured implementation of basic maintenance processes must evolve into more sophisticated and advanced techniques as the organization develops the necessary understanding and skills.


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Neural NetworkReach out to Agile Factory Automation’s seasoned professionals

who are well-equipped to understand the intricacies of your operational challenges.

Algorithm OptimizationGet your free reliability assessment or schedule a custom assessment
We’ll pinpoint inefficiencies, identify potential improvements, and draft an actionable plan tailored for you.


Witness operational excellence like never before!

With Agile Factory Automation at the helm, watch as we seamlessly integrate cutting-edge solutions that not only address immediate concerns but also fortify your processes for the future.

Neural NetworkReach out to Agile Factory Automation’s seasoned professionals

who are well-equipped to understand the intricacies of your operational challenges.

Algorithm OptimizationGet your free reliability assessment or schedule a custom assessment.

We’ll pinpoint inefficiencies, identify potential improvements, and draft an actionable plan tailored for you.

AutomationWith Agile Factory Automation at the helm, watch as we seamlessly integrate cutting-edge solutions that not only address immediate concerns but also fortify your processes for the future.  
Witness operational excellence like never before!

Client Testimonials

Over 100 reviewers think we’re awesome and rate us for taking care of them.

Exceptional service! Agile Factory Automation transformed our assembly line, enhancing efficiency and significantly reducing manual intervention. A game-changer for our business.

Lance Buntz CEO/Owner

Agile Factory's team understood our needs perfectly, crafting an automation strategy that's both innovative and practical. Their impact is felt daily in our operations.

Eric Williams Project Manager

Their solutions have been a revelation, seamlessly integrating with our existing systems and boosting productivity. Highly recommend Agile Factory Automation.

Jan Weary Business Manager