Could your Preventive Maintenance (PM) program use a tune-up?
by Terry Taylor
We commonly work with clients with a high amount of "Reactive" maintenance. In the worse-case scenarios, this translates in to unscheduled downtime and lost production. The million-dollar question is "why does this occur"?And the next question is, "What unscheduled downtime costing my organization"? Whatever the costs might be, it will be high, and you need to do something about it. But how?
The answer is not as elusive as you may think. It’s usually found in a spot that is not an intuitive place to look – the backlog. Let’s start with what exactly is the Backlog. Backlog is simply the work that is to be executed in the future. And this is exactly why you need to look in the backlog for the answer to the question,"Could your PM program use a tune-up?"
A detailed review of your backlog should reveal a large quantity of work orders that were derived from doing Condition Monitoring inspections of your equipment. A well-functioning Condition Monitoring program will detect problems early giving you time to plan and schedule the necessary repairs.
Condition Monitoring is that part of Preventive Maintenance relating to the Detection of Failures. This is analogous to checking the wear profile of the tires on your car. The wear profile of the tires can be how you detect failures (i.e. problems) with front-end components. In industry these tasks are generally divided into one of two categories:
Objective tasks usually involve some type of technology and a physical tool that once applied to the component, with the knowledge of a trained and competent person, impending failures can be detected. Subjective tasks usually involve the human senses of hearing, seeing, smelling, feeling, etc. The detection of failures is subjective but none-the-less important to document and correct.
If your Condition Monitoring program is not detecting problems (i.e. failures) early, you can expect to have a high degree of reactive maintenance and the corresponding unscheduled downtime. Preventive Maintenance is a complex subject and involves the application of the right maintenance tasks, at the right time and by qualified personnel. If you need more resources to help you manage your PM program we have several more articles, books, training, and can even review assess your PM program so you can uncover the gaps in your process.