Plant Maintenance: Deciding if Components should be Inspected or Not?

Have you ever been in a situation where someone says: “we don’t have time to inspect this equipment; there are just not enough people in our plant maintenance department”, or perhaps: “Why would we start inspecting the equipment now, it’s never been done before.”

You feel in your gut that the equipment should be inspected, but how do you present a compelling argument for your plant maintenance organization? Here is a simple analysis of the situation IDCON uses.

First, there are only three ways of maintaining any component in your plant, they are:

1. Operate To Break-Down (OTB)
2. Fixed Time Maintenance (FTM)
3. Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) – Some call this inspection.

Therefore, if an inspection is skipped, we end up with either changing out the equipment on a set frequency (FTM), or operating the equipment until it breaks down (OTB). Now, OTB and FTM will be more cost effective in some cases, but not very often because:

1. We don’t know the life of most components in order to apply FTM.
2. OTB is usually more expensive than FTM and Condition Based Maintenance (But not always)

To make a long story short, next time someone decide to skip an inspection or not to add an inspection, ask if that component should be operated to Break-Down, or if Fixed Time Maintenance should be used, and if so, on what frequency.

There are instances where it is not obvious which Maintenance method is most cost effective. A financial estimate should be performed in these instances. A three page description of the simple calculation is outlines in chapter two of our Preventive Maintenance Manual.

More articles on the subject Preventive Maintenance:

At IDCON, we understand the pressure you face trying to build a reliable plant.
We provide side-by-side reliability and maintenance consulting and training designed to keep your equipment running.

For over 45 years, we’ve partnered with 100s of manufacturing plants around the world to eliminate the costs and the pressure caused by unreliable equipment. And we’d love to do the same for you.

Contact us today to see how we can help you keep your plant running.

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Torbjörn Idhammar

President & CEO, IDCON Inc. Reliability and Maintenance Consultant

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