Last week I was at a client’s worksite, speaking with the foreman about what we considered to be good Preventative Maintenance. We went back and forth, differing on some details, however we both agreed it is an issue of great importance for the longevity and management of company assets.
Most companies practise some sort of preventative maintenance – or, at least, try to – however, this is usually limited by distractions in the workplace. Servicing, routine change outs, manufacturer specifications and shut downs at Christmas affect the regularity maintenance can be carried out.
To combat this I’ve come up with a small, easy to remember piece of advice.
“If something has a repetitive cycle of failure, use preventative maintenance.” It’s that simple.
Here’s a quick’n’easy example. A pin on an actuator arm falls off every week or so, which requires the mechanic to be called to repair. Thus, the preventative maintenance solution is to replace the pin weekly.
Here is another example. If a motor overheats every three months due to rubbish build-up, then, every month the engine must be cleaned down.
Preventative maintenance is looking at what causes failures and applying the remedy proactively. It is about minimising loss. These losses can occur through; downtime, double handling, decreased customer satisfaction, operational health and safety and asset damages.
Your program should be revisited constantly to assess what is working and what is not. This becomes a balancing act of maintenance versus cost. Which, in time, can be perfected through experience, testing and automated services.
How do you define Preventative Maintenance? Do you have any of your own examples?
Don't be shy, sound off in the comments!