Implementing autonomous maintenance can be achieved through the following seven steps:
1. Performing Initial Cleaning and Repairs
This first step of Autonomous Maintenance involves the operator performing initial cleaning and inspecting and resolving any equipment issues in need of repair. Standardized work instructions and digitized checklists provide accurate step-by-step guidance for operators to perform regular cleaning and repair activities.
2. Remove Contamination and Improving Access
During normal cleaning and inspection processes, operators should look at where contamination is coming from, and either remove or minimize the sources. For operators that are connected with digital tools, this represents a great opportunity to capture these activities and record them into a knowledge base for future operations.
3. Capturing Standards for Cleaning, Lubrications, and Inspections
Defining what operators will clean, lubricate, tighten and inspect, how they will do it, how often the activities are performed will help ensure that the equipment is operational and in peak condition. In modern manufacturing environments, these standards are digitally captured into electronic SOPs and maintenance procedures.
5. Increase Operator Knowledge through Training and Information
Use modern digital tools to train and guide operators during maintenance tasks. Connected worker platforms that incorporate digital work instructions and on-the-job training, including one point lessons, help sharpen job-related knowledge and enable operators to be successful at regular maintenance tasks, preventing further deterioration of the equipment.
6. Carrying out Inspection and Monitoring
Once operators are trained and have access to digital information to help guide them through the maintenance processes, they are able to perform these tasks independently and at an optimal level of safety and quality.
7. Organize the Workspace
Manufacturers must also organize the workspace to make it easier for operators to complete maintenance tasks. Useful tools include visual aids that help operators understand the equipment, flow of fluids, labeling, etc, and reinforce standards. These can be delivered to operators through digitized, visual instructions, which can be enhanced with visual instructions, which may include images or video guidance on equipment operation.
8. Continuous Improvement
As operators become more digitally connected, manufacturers have access to a new rich source of data related to how those operators performed their tasks, and improve on it over time. Through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, data analytics, and operator feedback, manufacturers can gain insights into areas where the largest continuous improvement opportunities exist in productivity, training, workforce development, and content creation.