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Create a Maintenance Policy that works!

Unplanned maintenance activity can be defined as an activity in which maintenance team manages machine repair upon partial failure or when system stops completely, failures occurs due to degradation of parts or components.  Normally, no corrective measures are taken to avoid such failures till the equipments fails by itself. In other words the maintenance work is required to be carried out in case of an emergency basis, when such unexpected necessary repairs are carried out to bring back the equipment to its original working state, there is productivity and financial loss to the business.

There are 70% of the manufacturing companies who rely on such un-stable maintenance process, were by repair or maintenance is done only on failure. There is a general believe among top management that maintenance is an expensive money consuming process mainly when it comes to replacing certain critical components to avoid un-expected breakdown, agreed that some parts are expensive and business don’t want to spend cost in replacing until it fails.  Business forget to understand that un-expected machine breakdown due to poor maintenance is not a smart production management strategy in this twenty first century.

Just imagine your machine fails and when you have temperature sensitive raw material which turns into waste due to machine un-ability to process, there is loss of production time, delay in finished product delivery to end customer, all this compound to bigger cost compared to maintenance team to spend on  preventive maintenance planning.  By building strong Preventive maintenance strategy you will be able to reduce un-expected failure. We have noticed Preventive maintenance is not always about replacing parts, most of the time simple maintenance task improves critical component life cycle,  as an example say your molding machine uses ball bearing, if you are greasing it regularly and keep any debris entering into the rotation area your life cycle expectancy will be much higher compared to un-maintained bearing.

In order to build a robust preventive maintenance policy it is advisable that your production and maintenance team jointly conducts an audit for entire machine which are used in manufacturing process and study manufacturers user manuals and define preventive maintenance policy.  In addition checking past maintenance history built a machine list and define preventive maintenance policy, it is advisable to use CMMS Software (computerized maintenance management software) for this task to avoid any laps of PM procedure, generally by managing manually on excel or check list you will not be able do it efficiently.  CMMS cloud tools are available and are not very expensive, they are now available fully hosted in the cloud; you just need to add your asset list, define user’s responsibility and start creating Preventive maintenance schedules.  You can also use CMMS for managing all types of maintenance task at the same time you are centralizing your maintenance knowledge for faster access of past failure records to make quicker repair decisions.

Studies have shown companies who are organized in their maintenance policy trend to see improve in machine life by 25% and reduction in failure by 50%, this saving translates into higher productivity and profits, during the study it was also noticed that people were initially reluctant to organize their maintenance policy and responsibility, but once they accepted CMMS Software based preventive maintenance policy they found ease of use, saved time and reduce maintenance work.

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