Manufacturing SOPs and EAM Systems

Creating Manufacturing SOPs with an EAM

This article will explain how setting up an EAM system can help manufacturers develop Standard Operating Procedures as well as lower operating costs.

The Importance of Standard Operating Procedures

"A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a certain type of document that describes in a step-by-step outline form how to perform a particular task or operation. Everyone in a company must follow the same procedures to assure that tasks are performed consistently and correctly."
Source: Madison Area Technical College Biotechnology Department

The idea behind standard operating procedures (SOP) is to make sure that assets achieve their maximum value in line production. The major reasons for setting up manufacturing SOPs include:

  • Having a consistent (best practices) plan of action for work management that can be followed by everyone.
  • Provides for a faster response time to maintenance problems because staff knows which procedures to follow.
  • Allows assets in multiple facilities to have the same maintenance care applied to them.

EAM Systems Make SOPs Easier to Create and Use

Creating SOPs with an EAM

The main element of SOP is having the knowledge to create a best practice for maintaining a particular asset. In order to do this, maintenance managers rely on experience as well as OEM guidance. EAM systems help because it creates a database of all asset information and work performed.

The database includes all asset detail such as description, location, date of install, costs. More importantly, the EAM system records all work management activity including work requests, work orders, inspections, costs, tools needed, parts used and repair notes.

By recording all work management information, management can then review the data to determine the most effective work management techniques. The decisions made can be transformed into SOPs available for all locations via the web. In essence, using an EAM creates a massive library of knowledge that can be used for training, knowledge transfer and the establishment of SOPs.

Lowering Manufacturing Operating Costs with an EAM

There are other benefits to implementing an EAM system. The same database described above enables manufacturing maintenance managers to automate many of the work order processes. By reducing paper flow, maintenance teams become more efficient and can do a greater amount of work in the same time frames.

The greater operating efficiencies will have other effects also. EAM systems contain tools for the scheduling of work management including preventive maintenance and work orders. Proactive scheduling of maintenance reduces downtime, lowers emergency repair labor costs and keeps equipment operating more energy efficient. All these things help lower operating costs.