Back to the articles

Autonomous maintenance & CMMS

Autonomous maintenance & CMMS

Monday 14 december 2020

Better safe than sorry. This saying could summed up autonomous maintenance. A constant objective for industrialists who fear a production stoppage, autonomous maintenance, in order to be truly effective and monitored, must be accompanied by the use of a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System). 

Why a CMMS for industrial maintenance?


Autonomous maintenance is one of the 7 pillars of TPM (Total Productive Maintenance), which we mentioned in this article. TPM is based on the following premise: companies succeed in reaching their maximum production capacity by involving all employees in maintenance tasks, thus limiting downtime due to malfunctions and other breakdowns. 

Thus, internal organization and management change: production operators no longer only have to operate the machines, but are encouraged to keep the assets in the best possible condition. They take over simple tasks such as visual inspection, pressure measurement, sensor control, lubrication and cleaning. With an increased understanding of how the machines work, they are able to notice the warning signs of a malfunction, quickly troubleshoot simple malfunctions or provide an accurate description of the problem to the maintenance team when necessary. This approach also minimizes downtime, with repair in the event of a failure benefiting from pre-diagnosis already established. 


In order to get the most out of the implementation of an autonomous maintenance policy, it is essential that the production teams, accompanied by management, take ownership of the machines, set their own objectives and periodically evaluate areas for improvement and training. Autonomous maintenance allows in particular to : 

  • Ensuring that cleaning and lubrication of equipment is carried out correctly and at a reasonable frequency. Indeed, most often during corrective maintenance operations, these tasks are left aside. Autonomous maintenance, by involving the production operators, makes it possible to guarantee their execution.
  • Notify and troubleshoot problems before a failure occurs. It's quite simple: the more knowledgeable the people working on the machines, the more they can anticipate failures and communicate about the problem description and the type of corrective maintenance to be performed.
  • Free up maintenance personnel for the most critical problems and tasks requiring their technical skills
  • Improve production - maintenance relations. Shared responsibility for equipment maintenance, when combined with a corporate culture focused on continuous improvement, has a real positive effect on the care given to equipment and on the overall productivity of personnel.
  • Securing the workstation through continuous maintenance of high-risk equipment 


The development of an autonomous maintenance or TPM project does not only involve the construction of new norms and standards for equipment maintenance. Indeed, the testimonials collected in the field will assure you that the reconditioning of assets, the appropriation of processes by the teams, the continuous improvement of directives as well as the quality of management are essential to ensure the good execution of autonomous maintenance in the long term. 

The primary analysis of the functionalities required for the proper use of the technical equipment and of the safety risks is the keystone of a successful implementation. Before embarking headlong into the elaboration of the autonomous maintenance schedule and its actions, the first step is to report on the state of the equipment at time T.

By identifying and correcting all signs of wear and tear, and thoroughly cleaning the parts, the machine returns to ideal working conditions, which is an excellent starting point for involving the agents in the maintenance of the equipment.

Any implementation of autonomous maintenance must include knowledge sharing between the maintainers and the users of the machines, and in particular : 

  • Machine components, their function and mode of operation
  • Precise description of the signs of deviation from optimal performance
  • The type of maintenance to be carried out, the necessary tools
  • How to report problems to the maintenance team (we will see below how CMMS software significantly improves the sharing of information between teams)
  • The accessibility of each piece of equipment by users is also a key element: the easier the equipment is to access, the easier it can be cleaned, the better the quality of maintenance will be

It is at this stage of the project that maintenance and inspection standards can be established. The self-contained maintenance plan should define, among other things, the actions to be taken, by whom, how often, and how staff will document their actions. With the help of a CMMS, of course.


CMMS (or Computerized Maintenance Management System) is a tool well known by industrialists. Essential for managing the equipment pool and organizing curative, preventive and regulatory maintenance, it also has a lot to contribute to autonomous maintenance. 

Managing the mass of information

Imagine an industrial site with 200 machines on which 600 production operators work in three shifts (eight consecutive hours, three shifts on the same station to ensure continuous activity over 24 hours). Every day, the 600 employees are asked to carry out 2 quick and autonomous maintenance tasks when they start their shift; tasks that are essential to the smooth running of the production lines. This will generate 1,200 actions per day, and more than 400,000 per year. The volume of data generated is massive. 

The CMMS will allow to easily collect, centralize and restitute information to managers in the most efficient way possible. The analysis of the coverage rate of autonomous maintenance, i.e. what has been achieved / what should have been achieved, will thus be made possible, allowing to quickly take the necessary actions to improve the coverage ratio and bring it to 100%. Without CMMS in this area, there is no salvation.

Monitoring autonomous maintenance actions

Earlier in this article, we mentioned the importance of training production operators on the possible malfunctions and malfunctions of the machines they use on a daily basis. The CMMS application makes it possible to encode and document machine data sheets (descriptions, photos, videos, detailed plans, etc.), but also to digitize knowledge supports and maintenance instructions. In case of doubt, a simple scan of the equipment's QR code from a cell phone or tablet provides access to this valuable information. 

CMMS integrates the necessary instructions, tools and customized checklists into work orders and maintenance plans, ensuring that maintenance is performed each time according to the same process. So, before helping you improve processes, you make sure that those already in place are respected.

Communicate and act faster

For autonomous maintenance to work, communication within the company must not be neglected. Indeed, if an operator notices a malfunction during his daily check-up, he must be able to quickly and easily transmit it to the maintenance staff. This is where CMMS comes into play: with an extremely easy-to-use mobile or tablet interface, maintenance operators can describe and report the problem, documenting it as much as possible: description, QR code of the equipment concerned, taking photos, sending videos. Better still, the customization of the CMMS system allows the maintenance team to build the request form, with the information they will need to carry out their intervention.


Autonomous maintenance is a very effective strategy for industrial companies wishing to go further in preventing malfunctions and improving their productivity. For this project to be successfully implemented, it must bring together all the players and bring the production and maintenance teams closer together! It goes without saying that the choice of a CMMS system shared by all is key: easy to use and carrying meaning and value for the teams when they are in front of a machine are two essential conditions for rapid appropriation and guaranteed autonomous maintenance. On the road to Total Productive Maintenance.


By the way, our ambition is to offer an unparalleled user experience. Check it out right away: try CMMS for free. Within 2 minutes, the time it takes to create your account, you'll discover what's newest in this category of software.

You can also benefit from a demonstration led by one of our consultants: book a videoconference

Good discovery and see you soon!


📰 You will also be interested in reading :


Back to the articles