Collecting information on your equipment can be time-consuming, but once you have that data, it shouldn’t be difficult to access it. QR codes can help you get this information by just snapping a photo from your phone or tablet. This saves you the time and effort it takes to shuffle through binders, scroll through Excel spreadsheets, or even click around the software.
In this article, you’ll learn all about QR codes and how to set them up in your facility.
What is a QR code?
QR codes are the taller, wider cousin of the barcode. By using a pattern of dots and squares, they let you store and access information. They provide shortcuts to web addresses, numbers, or text documents.
Some types of maintenance software, like a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), will generate unique QR codes for every asset you put in the system.
Why use QR codes?
QR codes can reduce or eliminate the following problems from maintenance:
- Inefficient manual processes
- Lack of real-time information
- Inaccurate tracking and documentation
- Training and onboarding new technicians
How to start using QR codes
Before creating QR codes, think about what you want to use them for, where you plan to put them, and what information you want to access while using them.
Here are a few factors you should take into account when deciding which assets should get QR codes:
- Critical assets: Look for high-value or critical assets. These are essential to your operations or safety and should be at the top of the list for QR coding.
- Maintenance frequency: Assets that need frequent maintenance or inspection should also be prioritized.
When deciding what information to store on a QR code, consider the following:
- Store information that is essential to the maintenance and operation of the asset. Some examples include make, model, serial number, location, repair manuals, and diagrams.
- Store records of maintenance and inspection activities to help track equipment performance. This information can be easily accessed and used to improve future maintenance planning.
- Store information about spare parts and supplies in your storeroom, such as inventory level, ordering history, and vendor information.
- Store any additional information that may be relevant such as ownership information, cost data, and equipment age.
Four ways maintenance can use QR codes
While there are hundreds of ways you can use QR in your maintenance program here are four of the quickest ways you can start using QR to improve your operation:
Place the QR codes on equipment or assets for quick identification and tracking. Technicians can simply scan the code from their mobile device or tablet and access information related to the asset.
Managers can use QR codes to access equipment schedules and history quickly. They then can make decisions and plan maintenance tasks based on previous repair data without having to search their entire database for a specific repair log.
Work order management
Quickly create and track active work orders with a simple QR code scan. Having easy access to work order information ensures tasks get completed efficiently and without error.
One of the best use cases for QR codes is inventory management. Your storeroom must be organized, up-to-date, and stocked at all times. Anything else puts your team at risk for delayed work and stopped production while they search or wait on parts to be ordered. Having QR codes displayed on the aisles and shelves in your storeroom makes it quick and easy to access and update inventory levels, make purchases, and find parts.
How do I use QR codes with my CMMS?
Now that we know how to access QR codes and all the benefits that come with them, we need to know how to connect them with the system(s) that you and your techs use. Use a QR code generator or the one in your CMMS to create QR codes for your assets.
Just follow these four steps to start using QR codes in your facility:
- Print your QR codes. Each asset will have a unique code associated with it.
- Attach your QR codes to their corresponding asset.
- If your maintenance software doesn’t have QR reading abilities, download a free QR code reader onto your internet-enabled mobile device or tablet.
- Scan any asset with an attached QR code to connect directly to the asset to request work orders and look up helpful information.