Equipment Life Cycle is Important to Good CMMS Performance

new equipment for CMMS

New equipment needs to be evaluated and entered into the CMMS before being put into service.

One of the keys to keeping your calibration and maintenance systems in compliance and working smoothly is to have a defined Equipment Life Cycle. The Equipment Life Cycle should cover the period from concept to retirement of equipment. In GxP applications, this will typically be mandated by your Validation Master Plan (VMP) anyway, but the details can make a big difference in how well your validated (or even non-validated) (Computerized Maintenance Management System) CMMS will work for you.

The CMMS is only as good as the data it contains. As such, it is important that trained operators enter data that has been approved for entry. The key data entry points include (in the case of GxPReady! Suite) and most other systems:

  1. Entry of initial Equipment Records
  2. Entry of schedules for validation, maintenance, and calibration.
  3. Entry documenting work performed
  4. Retirement of Equipment

The Equipment Life Cycle is critical because it ensures that, during the normal process, equipment is evaluated to determine the calibration, maintenance, and validation requirements as soon as it is received and before it is put in to service. In GxPReady! Suite, an Equipment Assessment form is provided for this purpose. Alternatively, you could use whatever form is approved in your facility. Once the equipment is assessed, and the form approved, that information can be put into GxPReady! Suite in a few minutes and the schedules for calibration, validation, and maintenance can be defined. Then, based on those schedules, you can determine when to put the system into service. In this way you avoid having equipment that is not ready for use on the floor where it may inadvertently be used by operators.

During routine operation, calibration, validation, and maintenance work are completed as required and, once approved, that data is entered into GxPReady! Suite. In this way you always have the current status indicated within the database, and it helps that it only takes a few keystrokes to enter this data. This prevents data entry from getting backed up.

When equipment is no longer to be used, or during any other significant change in the use of the equipment, this information can again be documented on the GxPReady! Suite Equipment Assessment form. The final calibration, validation, and maintenance can be entered to indicate that there is no subsequent due date, and the equipment can be taken out of service.

With a defined Equipment Life Cycle, a company can maintain control over the use, documentation, and status of equipment as well as keeping documentation and schedules in sync. During any potential inspection, records will be easy to access and status changes easy to explain. This is key to having a well operating system and being ready for a stress-free inspection now and then.