The Cost of Maintenance 2 – Overview

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We are going to take a number of the issues developed in the last Blog one step at a time. This week, we are going to focus on the reason why technology has been ineffective in many motor management programs.

Maintenance Needs

The present trend in maintenance involves reduced staffing, reactive maintenance and far too much unplanned downtime. In addition, new staff is often not exposed to experienced staff before they retire, transfer or pass away. The initial purchase of technology is often done to fill the holes left behind.

With reduced staffing occurring due to perceived profitability improvements, the shift away from planned maintenance is inevitable. The best priority for maintenance is, in order:

  1. Condition-Based Maintenance/PdM (CBM – corrections based upon actual condition)
  2. Preventive Maintenance (Lubrication, servicing, other periodic maintenance)
  3. Reactive/Corrective maintenance practices

However, it is often seen that managers, planners and maintenance personnel will often respond to reactive maintenance as a priority. I have actually observed one of the worst conditions that could be considered:

A production line was to be brought offline for eight hours to perform planned maintenance. The maintenance planner released personnel to provide planned maintenance only after they would complete reactive maintenance (that did not impact production) and pulled other personnel off of condition-based monitoring duties. In effect, the priority was: Reactive; Preventive; then, CBM. The result is a purely reactive environment, which is ineffective.

Through a focus on reactive maintenance, due to the need for personnel (pulling personnel off CBM), planned maintenance quickly moves towards breakdown maintenance. Breakdown maintenance does not involve any CBM, planned maintenance, or otherwise, and instead is an ineffective and expensive, let alone frustrating, method of performing maintenance.

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