What is the "right" maintenance regime for YOUR enterprise?

There is no simple, universal answer. Defining your optimum maintenance practices demands an understanding of the business contribution required from the asset and the cost consequences when it fails.

The "right" maintenance may:

  • vary over time, as the cost impact to your business varies;
  • vary for the same equipment used by different businesses; and/or,
  • vary for different applications within the same business.

With all this variance, it makes sense to preface any maintenance selection process with a business analysis exercise specific to YOUR business.

Likewise, it makes sense not to rely on the standard maintenance tasks defined by manufacturers (or even those sourced from libraries).

When is the "right" time?

The "right" time for Preventive Maintenance (planned refurbishment, replacement, lubrication, cleaning or adjustments) depends on the failure behavior characteristics and rate of deterioration. Where there is a measurable degradation mechanism then the optimum interval will be when the cost of intervention is less than the cost of no intervention. Again, the cost impact of failure is important in determining the optimum frequency.

The timing for Predictive Maintenance (inspection, regular monitoring or testing) depends on the warning time that these activities allow so that a planned maintenance task can be performed. Again, the cost of such maintenance needs to be justified against the "do nothing" option ... the cost of action versus the cost of in-action.

Optimum Maintenance - dollars and sense

Under an Optimum Maintenance regime, each task is performed at the least cost (where cost incorporates the maintenance expenses PLUS the impact cost of failure). In this context, cost of failures includes risks such as safety, environmental and operational incidents.

Defining maintenance for new plant involves a systematic analysis of requirements, consequences and likely behaviors.

With the YOUR unique assumptions as the foundation:

  • others will know why each maintenance task was selected; and
  • the regime can be evolved as things change or real data is generated.

It is important to define Reliability Improvement as a business process, with someone championing the quality of data, measuring performance and making continuous improvements.

Enterprises that approach the development of maintenance plans as a one-off project will soon lose the ability to steer their asset management system towards proactive behavior. Their systems will revert back and become reactive - not a desirable or cost-worthy position.

Are you defining Optimum Maintenance plans for existing plant?

Learn more ways to Combat Reactive Maintenance practices by clicking here to listen to our latest iPresentation or have a chat to one of our Reliability Consultants in North America: (+1 512 795 5291) or Australia: (+61 3 5255 5357)

Tip provided by by Brian Heinsius, ARMS Reliability Engineers

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