How to develop an predictive maintenance programme
There are no easy solutions to reducing the costs of maintenance. The amount of time and effort required to select predictive methods, that will provide the most cost-effective means to evaluate the operating condition of critical plan systems; establish a programme plan; create a viable database; and establish a baseline value, is substantial.
For a small company, the time required to develop a viable programme will be about three man-months.
Here are 10 steps that can help you implement a successful total plan predictive maintenance programme.
1) Determine costs
The most difficult step in the initial justification of a predictive maintenance programme is the determination of actual maintenance costs. Most plants do not track all controllable costs that are directly driven by the maintenance operation. In most cases, the costaccounting function does not include the impact of maintenance on availability, production capacity, operating costs, product quality and myriad other factors that limit plant effectiveness.
Your evaluation should include all maintenance-related costs associated with delays, reduced capacity operation, overtime premiums, and product quality.
Accuracy and completeness of this data set is critical to the long-term success of your programme. The majority of programmes that failed in the first two years following implementation can be directly attributed to the lack of quantified results.
2) Select systems and vendors
A contributor to programme mortality is the selection of either the wrong predictive technologies or a vendor that cannot provide long-term programme support.
A total plant predictive maintenance programme must use a combination of monitoring and diagnostic techniques to achieve maximum benefits. None of the individual technologies, such as thermal imaging and vibration, provide all of the capabilities to evaluate critical plant process and systems. What combination of technologies is best for your plant?
The predictive requirements of each plant are different. As a minimum, your programme should include (1) key operations processes analysis, (2) thermal imaging, (3) process parameters, and (4) visual inspection.
Lubricating oil and wear particle analysis (tribology) should be used only where the added information derived will justify the costs.
3) Training requirements
Most predictive maintenance vendors will offer some level of training. However, most of these training programmes are directed toward the use of a specific system, i.e. software and instrumentation, rather than comprehensive use of the technology.
There are a number of vendors that offer technical training that can support your predictive maintenance programme. However, you should carefully evaluate the merit of their courses before electing to use them as training support. In general, independent training companies with no association with equipment manufacturers, can provide high quality training with an unbiased approach.
4) Management support
Lack of a total commitment from plant or corporate management to provide the resources required to implement and maintain a programme is the single largest reason for failure of predictive maintenance programmes.
There are a number of reasons for lack of long-term commitment. However, in most cases, it stems from the lack of planning and justification in the preprogramme effort. Management must know the true cost and potential benefits of the programme before it begins.
After implementation, they must be continually informed of the progress and actual benefits that the programme provides. Therefore, it is imperative that a viable means of quantifying the actual results of the programme be developed and the ongoing status of the programme communicated to all key management staff.
Management support should include implementation of a formal maintenance planning function, a viable information management programme and craftsman skill training in order to gain maximum benefits from predictive maintenance.
5) Develop a programme plan
A definite programme plan that includes all activities required by a total plan predictive maintenance programme must be developed before implementing your programme. The programme should include: specific scope of programme, goals and objectives,
methods that will be used to implement and maintain and evaluate the programme.
The plan should also include specific return-oninvestment (ROI) milestones that can be used to measure the success of the programme.
6) Dedicated personnel
The programme cannot be implemented or maintained with part-time personnel. Regardless of the predictive maintenance techniques used for the programme, regular, periodic monitoring of critical plant parameters is an absolute necessity. Most programmes implemented with part-time staff have failed because activities required to maintain the programme have been delayed or ignored because of other pressing demands on staff time.
7) Establish accountability
Staff commitment is an absolute requirement for a successful programme. Without this total commitment, the programme will probably fail. Division or area managers must accept responsibility for programme success. In most plants, these managers control the resources, both financial and personnel, within their departments. Without their full support, little can be accomplished.
8) Develop a viable database
All predictive maintenance technologies depend on a clear, detailed definition of the critical equipment that is included in the programme.
Database development requires a tremendous effort in both manpower and time. A typical microprocessor-based predictive maintenance programme may require an average of 1 to 3 man-years. The initial investment will greatly reduce the manpower and time required to maintain your programme.
9) Maintain the programme
Many programmes fail because the staff did not follow through after the development stage. Follow the programme plan. Meet each of the schedules and milestones developed in the programme plan. Constantly evaluate the programme’s progress and correct any errors or problems that may exist. A successful predictive maintenance programme must be dynamic. Follow through.
Communication is absolutely necessary for long-term success. All successful programmes have a well-defined communications plan that includes transmittal of corrective actions identified by the programme; feedback from manufacturing; and a regular programme status report that is circulated throughout the plant and corporate management team. Programme justification is a never-ending process. Failure to communicate will severely reduce the potential for a successful programme. The Payoff
Predictive maintenance can transform the maintenance operation from an expensive support function to a full member of the profit generating team. Like all things of value, a certain amount of effort is required to gain positive results.
Source: Fluke white paper.
Developing and implementing a successeful and worthwhile predictive maintenance programme takes time, effort, resourses and full management support.