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Automate Your Plant Maintenance Work Orders Today

In this Article

    Information quality on documentation like plant maintenance work orders can be a challenge. Missing information can lead to extended downtime, human error, and even accidents. Using an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system like SAP that automatically collates and produces plant maintenance work orders can speed up the process and cut down on errors.

    Types of Maintenance Work Orders

    Plant maintenance work orders will vary by organization, but generally, they are formal documents that lay out the work to be completed as it was requested. They often contain complex instructions so that the person in charge of executing the work order fully understands the task at hand. There are four primary types of plant maintenance work orders.

    • Preventative Maintenance – This type of maintenance covers tasks completed regularly as part of upkeep.
    • Corrective Maintenance – Corrective maintenance occurs when something breaks down to restore it to optimal conditions.
    • Predictive Maintenance – This is essentially preventative maintenance with the addition of data that alerts plant management when something needs to be tended to.
    • Condition-based Maintenance – Condition-based Maintenance also uses data collected from equipment and machines to alert management when something is about to break down.

    Work orders can originate from many sources, including systems and employees. The decentralized sources for work orders can result in information inconsistency, involving the source it came from, the work order number, job description, job location, required parts, instructions, the people assigned to the job, when it’s to be completed, the time to completion, costs, and supplemental materials.

    Whether your system didn’t manage to transfer all the data or an employee was unaware of the information you need, putting a standardized process to the task and automating it can help reduce work order-related challenges.

    Benefits of Automated Work Orders

    Maintenance work order management and execution can benefit greatly from full automation. To start, the appropriate automation can yield all the information a work order needs, even if it is filled out by an employee that doesn’t know all the information.

    In this manner, automation can also help reduce entry errors by correcting information that does not match what is in the database. In addition, automation can quickly pull up the specific instruction manuals needed to finish a job correctly and calculate the time it will take and the costs by looking at historically similar jobs.

    Automated work order processes will assist with time costs, accuracy, and record keeping and tracking.

    Time Costs

    The major time costs associated with traditional work order management are related to downtime. The longer it takes to get information, like manuals, cost, parts needed, and a person assigned to the job, the longer your piece of equipment is out of operation.


    Automation improves accuracy because it can cross-check input information and be programmed to automatically pull up the documents needed to complete the work order. Manual work order processes require an employee to spend time doing this work.

    Record Keeping and Tracking

    When using an automated work order process, all records associated with the order are labeled and stored for later use. So, time tracking, costs, downtime, etc., are all tracked and organized for you. This data can even be used to identify patterns and reduce downtime.

    If you’re interested in learning more about automating SAP Plant Maintenance tasks, contact one of the members of the team at SEAL Systems today. You can also view the video below to learn even more about the benefits of our plant maintenance work orders!