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On the soapbox...


MTrack has been uniquely designed with these goals in mind. That sounds pretty basic--even obvious, but many PM (or CMMS) programs do just the opposite!  MTrack is a mature product that's been used in everything from large plants to small manufacturing for nearly 15 years.  The user interface has a retro feel, and because it is DOS based it has (and likely will) work on every version of Windows made.  The developers of MTrack would like to offer some advice on using any system for maintenance management, and on plant maintenance in general:

  1. Garbage in, garbage out.  It's an old saying, but worth repeating.  Make sure that what you enter in MTrack is correct.  There once was a plant (no longer operational) that hired inexperienced temporaries to transcribe calibration data from a paper system to a computer based system (NOT MTrack).  Naturally, the paper based system had different places to put the information than the computer based system.  This computer based system was very restrictive about what could go where, and how many characters were allowed.  (MTrack uses a "free form" area for things such as calibration data.  You create the format!)  To make a long story short, the temporaries were instructed to make the data fit the best they could.  A lot of data was left out, or put in the wrong fields. The end result was not pretty.

  2. Don't determine your PM's from a manual alone.  Some manufacturers over-do their PM's because they have a long warranty and want to minimize the chance of failure, or maybe they hope to sell you whatever is necessary to do the PM.  Other manufacturers don't recommend enough PM.  Maybe your service is more severe than normal, or reliability is very critical to your plant.  Don't assume that everything should be maintained to manufacturer's specs.  Sometimes you'll have to maintain something to tighter tolerances than the manufacturer guarantees, many times you will require less.

  3. Don't PM the kitchen sink!  Often the best maintenance is corrective.  "If it works, don't fix it" is sometimes the best method.  The point is you CAN do too much PM.  The goal is not to NEVER have anything break, the goal is to increase productivity, insure reliability and meet regulatory requirements.

    MTrack works with corrective as well as preventative maintenance to help achieve these goals.  You don't have to schedule a PM interval just because you put data for a piece of equipment in MTrack.  The data may be used for corrective maintenance or event driven maintenance (plant shutdown or equipment overhaul) and recalled when desired.

    There's an old saying that half of all equipment problems can be attributed to previous work, not just things wearing out.  Regardless of the actual percentage, maintenance and repairs carry the risk that more harm is done than good.  Unnecessary PM's increase risk as well as maintenance costs.  Experienced professionals will weigh the costs, risks, and benefits carefully.

  4. Use your maintenance staff to achieve the most efficient PM program possible.  Encourage craftspeople to mark up the printouts, or edit and add to the database themselves.  Information that's accurate, easy to find, and readily available will save you time and money.

  5. Here's a typical example of cost-effective maintenance management:  An instrument measures the level in a reservoir.  On a weekly basis, personnel check the reservoir level manually with a gauge board, which they compare with remote indication from the instrument.  The manufacturer recommends calibration every year to maintain the guaranteed accuracy.  Rather than do a PM calibration yearly, we would recommend simply calibrating when a problem is reported.

    Here is another example:  Let's use the same level instrument in a critical part of your control system that can't be readily verified manually.  In this case, you would likely want regular calibration and should consider adding a redundant instrument as well.

Often PM programs are either nonexistent or they waste resources managing a bloated CMMS program, performing maintenance that is not cost effective and ignoring maintenance that is!  MTrack is here to help you work smarter, not harder.

Links to Industrial Maintenance sites with info on CMMS and related topics.  Contact us if you would like your site listed.

The Low Cost Maintenance Software Solution
Don't grind your gears, get Maintenance TrackerMaintenance Tracker - CMMS - Low Cost Preventative Maintenance Software

Plant Maintenance Resource Center [EXTERNAL] [EXTERNAL] and [EXTERNAL]
Inno Setup and tools. (The setup tools used for the Maintenance Tracker setup program.) [EXTERNAL] 7-Zip is a file archiver with highest compression ratio.

PrintFile [EXTERNAL] A great (and freeware) print spooler for Windows.  Will allow Maintenance Tracker and other DOS applications to print to USB printers, etc.