Parsable Blog

How to Improve Your Clean/Inspect/Lubricate (CIL) Jobs?

Anisha Padamshi


Autonomous maintenance (AM) is a critical part of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). The idea here is that autonomous maintenance provides operators with the responsibility to carry out preventive maintenance tasks. According to traditional maintenance programs, typically a machine runs until it breaks or reaches the point where it’s due for maintenance. In comparison, autonomous maintenance allows machine operators to perform simple maintenance tasks, such as cleaning, inspections, lubrication and bolt tightening – to prevent such breakdowns from occuring in the first place.

A clean/inspect/lubricate (CIL) job is often routine or time-based. In a paper-based environment, an operator takes a list of tasks and ensures they’re completed. The operator logs the process details on paper and files it away. Yet, despite consistent reports of the CIL process being completed in full and on time, unplanned stoppages and downtime still occur (check out these interesting stats on downtime). 

If the goal of CIL, and autonomous maintenance in general, is to help prevent stoppages and breakdowns – why isn’t this process effective, and what’s really happening? Keep reading to learn how connected work can help.

The Missing Data in Clean/Inspect/Lubricate

The way most manufacturers document tasks like CIL, they suffer from a few common failure points – a lack of data, lack of visibility into issues raised and lack of standardization. 

According to a recent Parsable survey of frontline workers, 79% of people still rely on paper to follow work instructions and track tasks.

When paper-based processes or standard operating procedures (SOPs) are used to capture information, those data points die on paper.

This leaves manufacturers without any visibility into who actually completed a task versus who didn’t, how thoroughly tasks were performed and whether there were any other issues that came up. Additionally, without the right data, manufacturers miss out on continuous improvement opportunities because insights can’t be easily accessed across lines, shifts or plants.

When your operators uncover issues, they’re reported and documented on a piece of paper and don’t receive immediate attention. Reports can get lost, or machinery isn’t triaged appropriately. Without visibility into the issues reported or a way to collaborate to resolve them, problems can fester and boil up creating an even bigger mess – and this can negatively impact your production.

Finally, not every member of your team will complete the same task in the same way. Often this lack of standardization indicates a need to further train team members, to share best practices or to fill in knowledge gaps.

These inefficiencies can impact critical aspects of production like throughput and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

The Role of Connected Worker Technology in Clean/Inspect/Lubricate

With Connected Worker® by Parsable, frontline workers have access to the information they need, such as training or step-by-step procedural tutorials. Connected Worker also empowers frontline workers to digitally log job details. Those data points can be fed into your systems of record, or reviewed by other team members – providing the visibility needed to overcome some of the common issues mentioned above.

Connected Worker by Parsable allows manufacturing teams to react faster to issues and, ultimately, to standardize knowledge sets.

By providing up-to-date work instructions to your frontline workers, this means not only are they performing work according to spec, but it leads to more consistent work performed across teams and sites.

Let’s explore Connected Worker in action.

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Capturing Relevant Clean/Inspect/Lubricate Data for Greater Visibility

With data collected at every step of the way, information is either entered by an operator or frontline worker for every task and job performed. As soon as data is captured, it’s immediately available to be shared with operators and frontline workers and integrated with other business intelligence systems. 

With Connected Worker by Parsable, operators can see what tasks are completed and note which ones weren’t, and why. All workers associated with that job have real-time visibility into any issue and can receive an alert via text, phone or email. Within the app, if there’s an issue, a frontline worker can capture a photo and markup the image directly to highlight the equipment issue. 

With this data visibility, frontline workers have a complete view into the activities that are happening on the floor. For CIL, teams can see an overview of all the CIL jobs completed throughout the month, the types of machines filtered by line and more. Not only can manufacturing teams see what’s getting done, but they have visibility into what isn’t getting done so that they can respond appropriately.

Further detail can show the team members that performed each task, as there can be valuable data points in understanding differences in the way one frontline worker completes a task versus another. Having this visibility can ensure all team members are performing tasks correctly and are up to standard, allowing the opportunity to know where further training or upskilling may be needed.

Ensuring Safety on the Floor During Clean/Inspect/Lubricate Jobs

Frontline workers can also see open service tags on line equipment. With that visibility, team members can understand what’s happening and can respond quickly to address issues before they impact production. The ability to respond in a timely manner is critical. As part of CIL, a hose leak might leave the floor wet, which can lead to slips or injuries. Viewing that tag in the Connected Worker by Parsable mobile app allows operators to send a message to all frontline workers on the floor to make sure they’re aware of the leak, and notify a maintenance team member to clean up the mess – ultimately maintaining a safe environment for everyone.

As part of a CIL job, it might be important to ensure frontline workers are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as compliant safety boots. The operator can input a tag to have frontline workers take a photo and upload it to the app to ensure they’re wearing the appropriate PPE. This tag will automatically push live the next time anyone completes a CIL job. Uploading a photo can also be used to verify that something has been cleaned, or to identify a problem during the CIL process.

Empowered by Data

By implementing a digital, mobile-first connected worker solution, operators can provide their team with one tool that can be used for a variety of different activities. This lets frontline workers respond and work together effectively, while gathering the information and data needed to ensure the tasks are completed. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how Connected Worker by Parsable can help improve your CIL jobs, check out our webinar for more detail.

Ready to revolutionize your operational workflows? Experience the power of Parsable’s Connected Worker® software firsthand. Schedule a demo today and discover how our solution can streamline your operations by digitizing your frontline.