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Are You Proactive? A Day in the Life of a Maintenance Technician

To ensure success, a proactive maintenance technician is proactive in everything he or she does. This person constantly reviews information to ensure procedures are accurate and issues are resolved quickly and does what is required to ensure the work is repeatable. Such a professional leads by example and takes responsibility for training new employees on how to be a proactive and effective maintenance technician.

A successful proactive maintenance technician follows known best repair practices in all tasks and has a suitable reference book as part of his or her tool set, such as Industrial Machinery Repair: Best Maintenance Practices Pocket Guide from MRO-Zone. A proactive maintenance technician is certified as a lubrication specialist and knows and follows best lubrication practices.

On a daily basis, a proactive maintenance technician begins work on time, ends work on time, takes the allotted break(s) without taking additional time and always makes the best use of time. He or she knows the applicable planned and scheduled work for the week and inspects the next day's tools and parts for the scheduled work. Wrench time is high (55 percent and greater), as shown in Figure 1, because the maintenance technician identifies scheduling delays and makes recommendations for improvement. Additionally, a proactive maintenance technician makes sure the work site is clean and safe when completing work. Work safety is always a priority.

Perhaps most importantly, a proactive maintenance technician is always proud of the work he or she conducts or influences. No pat on the back is required, just the personal satisfaction in knowing that the job was completed successfully.

What Does a Typical Day Look Like for a Proactive Maintenance Technician?

A proactive maintenance technician begins the day by pulling a job package from the scheduled work box, goes to where the parts are kitted, pulls the required parts and tools, and leaves for the job site. Because the planner has made sure that all special tools, parts and procedures are at the job location, the maintenance technician can begin on time since all the equipment, parts, tools and procedures are ready to execute.

The maintenance technician arrives at the job site and is greeted by a production worker, who has cleaned and cooled down the equipment per the maintenance schedule so the maintenance technician has the optimum amount of time to perform preventive maintenance, corrective maintenance, etc.

At this time, the maintenance technician performs the particular work to specification. Following all procedures, the maintenance technician cleans the area and releases the equipment back to production in a "like new" status according to the definition of maintenance:

Maintenance: To Maintain

Keep in Existing Condition

Keep, Preserve, Protect

Once production operates the equipment to standard, the maintenance technician closes out the work order with the proper failure codes, failure causes, time taken to complete the job and any other information required in the synopsis.

Before Shift Ends

Prior to leaving for the day, the maintenance technician reviews the work scheduled for the next day from the job plan package left by the planner/scheduler. This ensures that the proactive maintenance technician knows the job and validates that the parts are in the kitted area. The maintenance technician also participates in a tool box training session (Figure 2) concerning safety, new work instructions, or technical training ideas to increase his or her knowledge base and help teammates by sharing this knowledge.

What Value Does a Proactive Maintenance Technician Provide to a Proactive Organization?

As previously discussed, a proactive maintenance technician is always on time, performs work to standard, makes recommendations to improve work for the next time it is executed, ensures tools are operational, verifies production has started up the equipment to standard and on time, and performs all work in a safe environment. In addition to all of this, a proactive maintenance technician adds value by working with production and operations as a team to resolve equipment problems, whether maintenance or production related, to optimize asset reliability and increase capacity.

The effect of a proactive maintenance technician's ability to conduct preventive maintenance as a "controlled experiment." Because the proactive maintenance technician always takes the time to make repairs accurately, they are more often than not sustainable with no rework required.

A proactive maintenance technician is capable of correcting defects and making repairs using repeatable, effective procedures that reduce rework. A maintenance technician also has the ability to write effective, repeatable procedures following company guidelines to ensure other technicians have the tools to perform quality work.

With a focus on safety, the proactive maintenance technician ensures all work places are free of hazards and is skilled at using the tools required to reduce potential hazards. In-depth training in the identification of failure modes and their causes for all equipment in the maintenance technician's area and vast knowledge on how to prevent or identify failures early are key components for preventing a failure. Furthermore, the proactive maintenance technician is trained and can execute specific advanced maintenance tools, such as ultrasound, infrared and laser alignment tools, with precision when needed, thus reducing the need for additional personnel.

A proactive maintenance technician is confident in providing management with metrics that show asset reliability is improving. Further, he or she has the ability to make recommendations for equipment improvement based on failure reports and metrics (Figure 3).

Measuring the Effectiveness of a Proactive Maintenance Technician

The metrics listed in Table 1 should be used by the maintenance technician solely to expand knowledge and improve skill sets in a certain area. If a metric is going in the wrong direction, the maintenance technician should go to the maintenance supervisor for guidance. Management must ensure that all areas listed in Table 1 are fully supported by the maintenance supervisor, production supervisor, storeroom manager and planner/scheduler, as well as reliability and maintenance engineering.

Ricky Smith, CMRP, CPMM, is the Senior Technical Advisor for GPAllied. Ricky has over 30 years experience in maintenance as a maintenance manager, maintenance supervisor, maintenance engineer, maintenance training specialist and maintenance consultant, and is a wellknown published author.

Ricky Smith

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