On the road to a world-class maintenance program there’s one additional maintenance strategy: condition based. Also often referred to as predictive maintenance, it’s a proactive approach with the goal of removing repairs from the equation as often as possible.
Condition based maintenance aims to predict potential issues, and eliminate them at the root before they ever grow into a problem.
When it’s decided to implement a new or improve an existing program, many asset managers are at a loss for where to begin. It doesn’t have to be a hassle or headache. Rather, simply following a few tips and approaching the process with thought and planning will ensure desired end-results are achieved.
Each operation will have its own variables dependent on each machine’s application, servicing facilities, service people and site management practices. Before developing a new program or improving an existing, it will be beneficial to gather and review all information and documentation regarding the current PM practices.
In the event no official documentation exists, it must be created. The manager in charge should meet with the appropriate team members, including those who are actually performing PM tasks, to determine what is actually being accomplished versus perceptions of what is being accomplished.
When this information has been organized, it can be used as the base for a world-class program.
PARTICULAR PM PRACTICES
In order to be effective, PM practices must be developed for each machine model and each machine application. Using one set standard across machine models and applications may result in over-servicing or under-servicing a machine, both of which may be detrimental to the machine and the associated cost of maintaining the machine.
As a starting point, managers should look to the equipment manufacturer’s guidelines. Most major manufacturers have developed and documented inspection programs for various intervals on their machines. The inspections are based on average machine applications, assume proper operation, and that machines are using all fluid, oils and filters that meet or exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations.
After looking at individual manufacturer guidelines, the next step is to look at hour intervals. These are generally established as eight hours per day, five days per week, and 176 hours per month, and generally repeat every 2,000 hours. The manufacturer’s criteria must be considered as a starting point and modified to fit each individual’s application and circumstances to be effective.
The intervals that are selected and established for each individual’s operations must be designed to the company’s machines, specifications, policies and a host of other variables.
DEDICATED POINT PERSON
When the PM program has been clearly defined, the final step - aside from actual execution - is to establish the point person for implementation. Whether it’s an appointed technician, shop foreman or the asset manager, tasking one person with implementation and follow through ensures the program won’t fall off or become nothing more than a manual that ends up at the bottom of a desk drawer.
Technology has made it easier to ensure PM programs are successful. Telematics allows precise monitoring and delivers real-time data even when the machine and fleet manager are out in the field.
It’s all in how much the fleet manager chooses to utilize the technology and delegate tasks.
The value of a strong, proactive PM program can’t be overstated. From excessive and unnecessary repairs to added costs from lost productivity when a machine goes down, PM is one of the most important investments an asset manager can make in his or her fleet.
With a small upfront time investment and ongoing commitment, any asset manager can implement a PM program, or take a current one from average to world-class.
Stan Orr, CAE (Certified Association Executive), is president and chief staff officer (CSO) of Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP). It is the premier organization serving those who manage and maintain heavy equipment. www.aemp.org.
Formed in 1980, the Association of Equipment Management Professionals represents fleet professionals working in construction, government, utilities, energy, mining and more. AEMP maintains...
The starting point is the equipment manufacturer’s guidelines