CAFM (Computer-Aided Facilities Maintenance)


CAFM (Computer Aided Facilities Maintenance) Software

CAFM is used for the management of facilities. Although some of the roles of CMMS software; such as preventive maintenance, reactive maintenance and other equipment-related functions, are managed by CAFM, CAFM is much more inclusive of the entire facilities business management function.

For example CAFM also serves to maximize facilities use and occupancy where applicable. CAFM also provides for long-term planning of the facility uses and the underlying real estate use. The question is: if a CAFM software program is being properly utilized for facility maintenance (and management) is there a need for a CMMS software system as well? Depending upon the assets being managed, the size of the facility management operation and the complexity of the maintenance program a CMMS software system may be necessary to augment the CAFM.


CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System)

CMMS software is used for maintenance management of equipment assets. Unlike CAFM CMMS focuses on equipment maintenance. The role of CMMS in a typical equipment maintenance operation varies by several factors:

  • Needs of the maintenance program.
  • Personal or company dictates regarding equipment maintenance.
  • Capabilities of the CMMS software in use.
  • Organizational structure of the entity using the CMMS.

Needs of the Maintenance Program

In some cases the equipment being maintained is such that a comprehensive CMMS program is unneeded. An example might be a small machine shop that needs to maintain maintenance records for servicing and warranty but doesn't need to perform sophisticated reliability analysis or manage and track purchasing.

Company Dictates Regarding Equipment Maintenance

There are companies and organizations that have equipment that requires maintenance but do not need a CMMS. Typically these are either very small operations where the equipment operator performs minor service and other maintenance is performed by outside contractors.

Capabilities of the CMMS Software in Use

The capabilities of the CMMS software system plays a large role in how CMMS is implemented and used. Some of the simpler CMMS software programs contain only basic work order capability. Others like MaintSmart contain the basics but go much further in providing automated work issuance based upon schedules and equipment demand. Work order triggered by the equipment itself is accomplished by a network connection between MaintSmart and the equipment PLC.

Other important differences in the role CMMS has is dependent upon the analysis capabilities of the system. MaintSmart has a query-builder that works for all data entered into the database. Reliability analysis, OEE and drag and drop data cube analysis and charting are so easy to use yet yield powerful, accurate answers to issues regarding equipment. At this level a CMMS can be a tool used by all members of the organization at some level.

Organizational Structure of the Entity Using the CMMS

A CMMS should have role-based permission so that users at various levels in the organization can access the system at some level of use. In the example of a manufacturing plant the ability of rank-and-file production employees on the floor to be able to submit a formal work request is important. Not only is the message conveyed in a dependable format but the original requester can monitor the status of their requests. This leads to less equipment down time and more satisfaction between department.

Some companies with multiple locations prefer to keep all locations in the same database. By doing so top-level managers can compare the locations and get an overall view of how their maintenance programs are performing. With MaintSmart this is possible because up to 900 "Plants" or other top-level entities may be contained in one database. When a user logs into the program they log into their own plant and only see their plants data though.

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