Get Ready for Shutdown!

annual maintenance using validated CMMS

A validated calibration management system can help you get the most out of your short maintenance shutdown.

It’s that time of year again where many companies are preparing for their annual shutdown.  This is one of the best opportunities to get your systems ready for the next year of reliable, trouble-free operation.  A well managed scheduled shutdown can allow you to perform calibration and maintenance of your validated systems as well as providing the opportunity to schedule upgrades. This can significantly improve the efficiency and availability of the equipment in the future by optimizing performance and preventing unscheduled (and costly) down time.

The key, of course, is to use the down time to the best advantage.  Often, this comes down to being organized so that you can schedule scarce resources optimally to get the most work fit into the available time.  One problem is that many companies schedule this for the end of the year, so you are also competing for external resources.  If you have a validated CMMS system, you will have a much better chance of meeting your goals.

A well managed scheduled shutdown can allow you to perform calibration and maintenance of your validated systems as well as providing the opportunity to schedule upgrades

A validated CMMS system will allow you to track the maintenance that has been performed and generate reports of the work that needs to be done during a specified time period, or work that is overdue.  It can also help you track which change control numbers (if any) apply to work being performed.  Often you can export this information into a spreadsheet and organize it using all the tools you generally use for this purpose (e.g. Excel, Project, etc).  Some validated CMMS systems (e.g. GxPReady! Suite) allow you to customize the due dates so that you can adjust them to fit within the period of the planned work before you export the data, so that it can more easily be used with your project management system.  For any validate systems, however, you should make sure that any extensions of due dates beyond their normal range are appropriately reviewed and approved in compliance with your company’s written procedures.  You don’t want to get an audit observation for inadequate justification of extensions of your intervals.   Luckily, some of the validated calibration and maintenance management software systems out there include forms you can print to document extensions to due dates for equipment with a justification that you can easily reference in the future.

Some validated CMMS systems (e.g. GxPReady! Suite) allow you to customize the due dates so that you can adjust them to fit within the period of the planned work.

This is just a little reminder that as Halloween approaches, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about the gremlins in your systems that have been causing you headaches all year and how you can start planning to get things in tip-top shape for the new year.  And, if you are still using paper based or spreadsheet CMMS systems, you may consider that for the time, effort and expense that you are putting into all of this planning, you could quickly and easily upgrade to a validated software system to track your calibration, maintenance, and validation activities to help you stay organized going forward.  In fact, it is likely, if you chose the right system, you can get up and running in time to start the new year with your most organized system ever, and in your next audit, you will have all of your documentation at your fingertips for easy review.

…it is likely, if you chose the right system, you can get up and running in time to start the new year with your most organized system ever…

So grab a coffee, sit back, and make your shutdown plan and prepare for a nice, boring, smooth 2020.  And don’t forget to document the improvements in system performance so you can get that big raise you deserve!  If you need additional ideas, please have a look at our other blog articles or contact us!  We look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great shutdown!