Maintenance

A Real Life Example of Proactive Maintenance

By Mark Hungerford
19 Sep 19

Do you dread going to your morning tier startup meeting? Does it seem all too often they are highly reactive, and operations and maintenance can’t seem to get along? The topics always seem to be focused around yesterday’s "fires," leaving you with little to no bandwidth for proactive maintenance

 

Why Proactive Maintenance Matters

The challenge I see is that when you don’t have accurate real-time data, it's very easy to judge and blame, and everybody is looking to cover their own butts--not conducive to proactive maintenance. 

The reality is there are going to be breakdowns in manufacturing, that’s just the way it is. The problem I often see is leaders becoming totally consumed by every breakdown. This firefighting mentality is a losing battle. I can assure you, no matter how hard you try, you will never get ahead of it.

 

Proactive Maintenance in Action

I was in a plant, and the Maintenance Manager Ron was eager to show me their reduction in downtime and how they had recently had a record production month.

I couldn’t wait to find out how they had done it. Ron explained that all he did was identify their top five breakdown areas. He utilized a simple problem solving process to identify root cause and potential solutions similar to 8D, and then had a cross functional team of Operations and Maintenance work together to solve one or two of the problems. "When they solve a problem, I have them share their success with others."

He went on to say that for a long time he wanted to implement proactive maintenance, but had never been able to find the time.

Do You Need Proactive Maintenance?

If what you are doing isn’t working, do something else. I have visited a lot of plants and large percentages really have no proactive maintenance plan. And by plan I don’t mean some elaborate Hoshin process or month long strategic go-forward planning session.

I’m talking about a simple plan.

A plan to solve problems like Ron did with his team. The good news is that maintenance teams are full of good problem solvers. They often simply don’t take the time to practice.

Ron mentioned that since taking a more proactive maintenance approach he and the operations manager have formed an alliance and now are working together vs. always looking to point the finger.

Working in maintenance is a tough job, and there aren’t a lot of bouquets thrown around. When things are quiet operations gets a pat on the back and when things get tough they will all come running to you. It’s important to stay focused on solving problems at all times. Whether in a rare quiet moment or faced with one or more “fires” to put out, this steady focus on proactive maintenance will do more to drive improvement than anything else I’ve seen.

L2L's CloudDISPATCH software is built with this in mind. As a result, proactive maintenance becomes second nature. See how when you schedule a demo with us. 

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