April 17, 2024

Key factors for successful life cycle planning

Life cycle planning includes the design and commissioning of equipment, as well as the actual period of use, ending with decommissioning or extending the life cycle through modernization and basic renovation investments.

During the actual years of usage, life cycle management includes, among other things, the management of the life cycle costs of machines and equipment, production efficiency, operational reliability, preventive maintenance, and spare parts and material management. Life cycle management of spare parts can be examined separately, in the form of inventory and title management, supplier cooperation, and reliability maintenance methods.

Understanding the overall picture at the level of an individual production plant is essential to build a cost-effective and clearly prioritized reference framework for life cycle management together with the customer, which also provides the necessary information to support investment planning. Maintenance therefore plays a significant role in terms of successful life cycle planning.

High-quality life cycle planning and cost forecasting

In a factory environment, where machines and equipment operate at a high utilization rate, the availability of spare parts and use according to the plan are basic requirements for high-quality life cycle planning and cost forecasting. At Quant, we have developed our processes in such a way that maintenance functions and procurement work in close cooperation in the development of proactive maintenance, which is complemented by the reliability maintenance process.

– During the pandemic, the world saw significantly longer delivery times in almost all material groups, but especially in automation spare parts. This situation has still not returned to the pre-pandemic level in all respects. Many alternative channels and supplier relationships have been built and inventory levels have been raised, but surprisingly, availability and delivery time problems are still seen in some material groups. With the rapid development of technology, certain spare parts can also become obsolete quickly, which places new demands on life cycle planning and procurement, says Antti Ketola, Development Manager, Quant Finland.

When spare parts management is approached from the perspective of life cycle planning and proactive maintenance strategies, downtimes can be minimized, and production reliability can be improved. Ensuring the availability of critical spare parts not only protects against production disruptions, but also contributes to long-term sustainable competitiveness.

What benefits can be achieved with spare parts life cycle planning?

Life cycle planning plays a crucial role in maximizing efficiency, reliability, and productivity in an industrial environment. Anticipatory strategies support the optimization of spare parts availability, minimize downtime, and improve operational performance.

  1. Minimized downtime: The availability of the right spare parts reduces time spent on equipment maintenance and repairs, minimizes production downtime, and improves overall operational efficiency.
  2. Cost optimization: By optimizing inventory levels and strategically managing spare parts throughout their life cycle, a maintenance organization can reduce costs associated with emergency orders and unplanned downtime.
  3. Improved reliability: Proactive management of spare parts ensures the reliability and longevity of automated systems, reducing the risk of unexpected failures and improving overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).
  4. Compliance with requirements and minimizing risks: Compliance with life cycle planning also supports compliance with industry regulations, standards, and safety requirements. Life cycle planning reduces the risks caused by component failures and malfunctions, as unexpected malfunctions can cause safety risks, which can lead to accidents or equipment breakdowns.

Close cooperation is key to success

A close cooperation between the customer and the maintenance team is key to successful life cycle planning of spare parts. One example is our local unit operating in Mikkeli, Finland, which is currently focusing on the life cycle planning of our customer’s production machines and equipment, but there are plans to expand the life cycle planning to the real estate side in the future.

– The concrete goal of spare parts life cycle management is to secure the operation of the factory. Together with the customer, we make a long-term plan to secure the availability of production-critical spare parts and monitor the situation monthly in joint meetings, says Jukka Kaunetsalo, Site Manager, Quant Finland.

The most critical areas have been identified through risk analysis and prioritization.

– We cooperate closely with our customer and the expertise of both parties has influenced our success in terms of life cycle planning. It is a continuous operating model in which we observe and carry out surveys, through which we identify potential risks and determine the most critical focus areas, measures, and suppliers. Based on the information we collect, we then look for the most cost-effective solutions, says Kaunetsalo.