How COVID-19 is changing the Maintenance paradigm

Across all industries, the global COVID 19 pandemic is having a major impact on the way we work to survive this unexpected situation. Companies are forced to reinvent themselves and, following this scenario, the day-to-day of the maintenance department has experienced several changes to continue with the operation. In this article, we will talk about some of the challenges currently faced by the maintenance professionals and how to overpass them.


If we look at the key company facilities that are still in operation, everything probably looks normal. The maintenance technician talks to the operator before performing an intervention on a machine, a critical asset is inspected following an unexpected downtime in its operation, and the production line is adjusted so that it can continue to perform a crucial work agenda.


However, the scenario is slightly different than it used to be. This conversation is taking place in a safe place so that the two employees can keep a distance of 2 meters, a critical asset is a sensor used to measure the body temperature of employees as they enter the facility and the work agenda is for thousands of boxes that will contain N95 masks.


Maintenance departments are feeling the impact of this new coronavirus and living in different times, which generates some concern in the teams. Thousands of companies are now reinventing themselves to meet global needs, adapting as best they can to this new reality.


Implementing people support processes


For most maintenance teams, the priority has been to ensure the health and safety of employees and not just find a way to do the job. This leads to new processes being implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19:


  • Reduce the number of technicians in each shift
  • Check the temperature of the employees
  • Clean all the parts that arrive at the facilities
  • Reduce production so that the teams can make deep and frequent cleaning in the facilities


Maintenance is an essential weapon in this battle against COVID-19. Maintenance must continue to ensure the proper functioning of the facilities through new strategies. During this pandemic, employees mustn’t concentrate on a site without social distance because of a breakdown.


However, there are consequences in this new way of working for the teams. If, for example, there is symptom related to COVID-19, the employee has to be immediately isolated from the team, which translates into a large reduction in the workforce. On the other hand, the employees have to leave the machines and go to a safe and remote place to discuss an issue with another employee, which generates more downtime.


Perseverance and hope are the mottoes for overcoming this reality


To beat the COVID-19 pandemic, the most important — and perhaps the most difficult — is to stay calm and focus on what is within our reach. Employees must work safely and continue to thrive and innovate regardless of this new reality. The new coronavirus pandemic will come to an end and “after the storm comes the bonanza.”


Maintenance should not be put aside


Given the current situation we are experiencing, there are thousands of production lines that have become quite quiet, which causes some anxiety for the maintenance teams of many companies.


However, there is always an opportunity in challenging times. This can be a great time to work on projects that have put the company in the background and make restructuring.


Even if you are working remotely, it is a good time to rethink your company’s maintenance planning and develop new strategies:


  • Maintenance should not be put aside
  • Be prepared for the future and implement a CMMS software that will help to prevent breakdowns, delays, missing parts, and huge costs
  • Plan preventive maintenance operations and cleaning routes for when to return to the company activity.


This period is the opportunity to discover new tools to manage maintenance more efficiently. Finding the best tools is the first step to increase the productivity of maintenance teams.

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