How QR codes can improve maintenance

QR codes and tags revolutionise maintenance by streamlining access to equipment information. Instead of manual searches, a simple photo scan provides instant data retrieval. This saves time, boosts productivity, and eliminates the need for physical documents or software navigation.
How QR codes can improve maintenance
Written by
Darren Stewart
Published on
June 12, 2023

How QR Codes can improve maintenance

QR codes and tags revolutionise maintenance by streamlining access to equipment information. Instead of manual searches, a simple photo scan provides instant data retrieval. This saves time, boosts productivity, and eliminates the need for physical documents or software navigation.

QR codes also enable real-time updates, aiding proactive maintenance planning and reducing equipment downtime. They simplify data collection during inspections, eliminating transcription errors and creating a digital record. In summary, QR codes enhance accessibility, efficiency, and accuracy in maintenance operations.

What is a QR code?

A QR code, short for Quick Response code, is a two-dimensional barcode that can be scanned using a smartphone or other QR code reader. It consists of a pattern of black squares on a white background, which can encode various types of information, such as text, URLs, contact information, or other data formats. 

A sample QR Code

When scanned, the QR code is decoded, and the encoded information is quickly accessed or displayed on the user's device. QR codes are already widely used for marketing, product information, authentication, and facilitating quick access to digital content or websites.

Certain maintenance software, such as a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS), can generate individual QR codes for each asset registered within the system.

Why use QR codes?

QR codes can help streamline your maintenance processes in comparison to using pen and paper or other manual processes. The main benefits of using QR codes are:

  • Easy and quick access to information
  • Streamlined data management with real-time updates
  • Improved efficiency and faster response times
  • Enhanced accuracy and consistency of data
  • Simplified audits and inspections with automated data collection
  • Cost-effective solution with reduced reliance on physical documentation

The Drawbacks of using pen and paper:

  • Time-consuming and inefficient to search through physical documents
  • Manual data entry is prone to errors and inconsistencies
  • Limited accessibility, especially for remote or on-the-go scenarios
  • Difficult to maintain up-to-date information across multiple locations
  • Lack of automation hinders efficiency and may lead to delays
  • Potential for loss or damage to physical documents

For maintenance teams relying solely on pen and paper you open yourselves up to the greater potential of human error, data loss and more time spent on admin.

How to start using QR codes

Before you start implementing QR codes, it's important to consider their purpose, placement, and the information you want to access using them. Here are some factors to keep in mind when determining which assets should have QR codes:

  • Focus on assets that are highly valuable or crucial to your operations or safety. These should be prioritised for QR coding.
  • Give priority to assets that require frequent maintenance or inspection.

When deciding what information to include in QR codes, consider the following:

  • Include details such as the make, model, serial number, location, repair manuals, and diagrams. These are crucial for the maintenance and operation of the asset.
  • Store information about past maintenance and inspection activities. This helps in tracking equipment performance and aids in future maintenance planning.
  • Include details about spare parts inventory levels, ordering history, and vendor information. This facilitates efficient management of storeroom supplies.
  • Consider including ownership information, cost data, and equipment age or any other information that may be useful or necessary.

By carefully considering these factors, you can ensure that the QR codes provide valuable information for the maintenance and operation of your assets, helping streamline processes and improve overall efficiency.

Four ways maintenance teams 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 codes to improve your operation:

Asset tagging & tracking
One of the most popular ways to utilise QR codes is to place the QR codes on key equipment or assets for quick identification and tracking. This could be anything from staff laptops and iPads to a bed in a care home or a running machine in a gym. Technicians can then simply scan the code from their mobile device or tablet and access information related to the asset.

Log maintenance tasks to specific locations

Another great use case for QR codes is to generate them for specific rooms or locations on a property. That way when a maintenance technician wants to log an activity in a certain room (for example fixing a light fitting) they can simply scan the QR code in the room and the log the task against that room. This is great because it means you don’t need to tag every single thing in a room. It also means you can report a fault from a specific location by scanning the QR code to log that specific fault.

Access Maintenance History Quickly
Quickly access the maintenance history and audit report with a simple QR code scan. Having easy access to this information ensures tasks get completed efficiently and without error.

Inventory management
One of the best other use cases for QR codes is also for inventory management. Having QR codes displayed on the aisles and shelves in your stockroom makes it quick and easy to access and update inventory levels, make purchases, and find parts.

How do I use QR codes with a CMMS?

Many CMMS systems like FaultFixers use QR codes to help maintenance teams improve their processes. Typically a QR code feature has some form of functional hierarchy, this means that an asset can be assigned to a location, within a building. 

What this means for staff and reporters is that if the asset is associated with a location within a building on the system, when they scan the QR code it will recognise that asset as being in that location and building. The same goes for the locations, if someone scans a QR code in a specific location to report a fault. It will report that fault against that location in the system.

Printing your maintenance QR Codes

To implement QR codes across your estate and its assets you’ll need the ability to print QR codes on site, this is useful when you expand your operations or need to add new assets into the system as things are updated/replaced.

For the best results it’s recommended you use a professional thermal printer to print off your QR codes, this is because they offer improved print quality – they create higher quality, more durable images than normal office printers. Thermal printers produce clear, long-lasting images that are more resistant to factors such as oils, climate, UV rays, etc. The images created by thermal printers are also more legible because there is no ink to smudge.

sample maintenance QR codes

Thermal printers can also print on different surfaces that are more durable and they are widely used in logistics and shipping for the labels that need to be scanned multiple times by delivery companies.

It is therefore worth investing in a thermal printer initially because you will save time and money in the long run. Some thermal printers recommended for QR code printing are: 


Implementing and using QR codes for your maintenance team is a ‘no-brainer’ if you want to save time and money and generally improve your maintenance operations. All of the best maintenance operations now utilise some form of QR code tagging so we highly recommend it is something you look to implement for your own operations soon.

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