Mindfulness Maintenance. It's the new ideal for efficiency in production for many industries. Preventive maintenance is a key ingredient in the reliability of equipment and essential systems for industrial operations. To effectively manage a preventive maintenance program, there are several best practices to build rigor and discipline into your program and achieve overall system and equipment reliability.
Preventive Maintenance Concept #1: Gather Data Regularly
Data is paramount in a preventive maintenance program. It not only serves as a historical record but also is the core of predictive analytics statistics that help you plan for future maintenance. Knowing when equipment and components were installed, repaired or maintained, provides useful information. Such data tells you which parts were changed, when, where, and why. It helps drives future decisions and enables you to budget, plan, and spend wisely.
Preventive Maintenance Concept #2: Use the Data You Gather
Often maintenance managers will go to extreme measures to gather and record data, but then fail to put it to use. Think ‘Analysis Paralysis’. Calculate the time between repairs, replacements, failures, and servicing. Build averages and mean-time-between failures or repairs, as a guide to stocking part inventory levels and planned shut downs. Use it to build predictive analytics that can tell you when to schedule equipment overhaul, change a filter, fluid, or other material.
This will pay great dividends by allowing your spare parts inventory levels to be lean and right-sized, while preventing disruption from failures, unplanned maintenance, and interrupted operations.
Preventive Maintenance Concept #3: Understand the Lifecycle of Your Equipment and Systems
Preventive maintenance pays the most dividends when a lifecycle approach is applied. Don’t just focus on the next few months or years. Instead focus on the lifespan of equipment and how it can achieve a full-service life. It costs far more to replace a machine or process than it does to maintain it properly and keep maintaining it. What are the long-term needs of the equipment or system you're maintaining? What actions can and should you take to help it reach its expected service life? This often means scheduling maintenance at its mid-life or even 20 years forward. Think lifecycle, and adjust your maintenance activities to achieve a longer service life.
Preventive Maintenance Concept #4: Understand What Failure Looks Like
Knowing when faults occur is a very important part of crafting your preventive maintenance program. In gathering data and recording performance, record when parts fail or wear to the point of replacement. Recording failures and replacements will help develop the discipline to narrow down what parts and subsystems are most prone to failure.
These days, a motor rebuild because of a worn component probably doesn't make sense, but having indicators that tell you when the motor is getting close to failure is critical to having the right spare on hand for a quick replacement.
By accurately capturing and recording failures, faults, and worn parts, you’ll discover how to repair and maintain equipment, now and well into the future. If you know where your risk of failure lies, by conducting fault-finding discovery, you'll be greatly rewarded with leaner inventories and less time wasted repairing something that doesn't need an extensive repair.
Preventive Maintenance Concept #5 Be Mindful of Time Dedicated to Maintenance
This leads to another very important attribute of any preventive maintenance program for your auxiliary equipment and machinery: your maintenance culture. Train personnel in Preventive Maintenance. Planned, Preventive Maintenance is far better than reactive maintenance.
Share data across your Maintenance Team about repairs, failures, and maintenance schedules. Educate them about equipment lifecycles and solicit their input to help parts and equipment last longer and wear less. Make them part of the overall preventive maintenance program by using their feedback, educating them on historical maintenance data, and training them to take actions that will prevent premature failures. Get them excited about preventive maintenance by building a culture where everyone thinks long term, without waste in material and time, and with a great appreciation for lifecycle extension and reliability.
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