To create a maintenance plan is generally not difficult. However, creating a comprehensive maintenance programme that produces the desired result can pose some interesting challenges for the facilities manager.
There are several elements involved in having a performance-driven and result-oriented maintenance plan. These elements include but not limited to maintenance policy and maintenance strategy. For instance, in sporting terms, the maintenance policy defines the ‘rules of the game’ whereas the maintenance strategy defines the ‘game plan’ for that game or season.
Therefore, the following will assist in designing a very effective maintenance plan for efficiency and optimal performance
Maintenance policy – Highest-level document, typically applies to the entire site.
Maintenance strategy – Next level down, typically reviewed and updated every 1 to 2 years.
Maintenance program – Applies to an equipment system or work area and describes the total package of all maintenance requirements to care for that system.
Maintenance checklist – List of maintenance tasks (preventive or predictive) typically derived through some analysis.
It is good practice to conduct some form of analysis to identify the appropriate maintenance tasks required for your facilities, but there are many variations. The analysis will result in a list of tasks that need to be sorted and grouped into workable chunks, each of which forms the content of a checklist.
Sometimes, it may be necessary to do some fine-tuning and streamlining of these groups of tasks in a manner in which repetition of a sequence of operations yields results successively closer to the desired goal.
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The most obvious next step is to schedule the work orders generated by the system into a work plan for the maintenance teams. When this schedule of planned jobs is issued and work is completed, feedback from the work orders together with details of any equipment failureis capturedfor historical reporting purposes.
A logical response to this feedback is that the content of the checklists should be refined to improve the quality of the preventive maintenance, especially to prevent the recurrence of failures.
A common mistake is to jump straight from the feedback and immediately change what is on the checklists. When this happens, the integrity of the maintenance program is immediately compromised because the revised words on the checklist have no defendable basis.
This should be avoided wherever possible. The better approach is to route the checklist amendments through the same analysis as was used originally to create the initial checklists. This means that the integrity of the maintenance programme is sustained over the long term. To make this approach efficient, there is need to have a robust system which captures and updates easily the content of the analysis.
Also, the information that gets captured from the feedback must be put to good use otherwise it becomes a waste of time. This is the value of management reports that can be created from maintenance information.
Of vital importance is the clear identification of the root cause of each problem, as this will affect the selection of a suitable maintenance task.
Additionally, from a planning perspective is the need to identify the time required to carry out each task independently. The sum total of these task time gives a good indication of how long the total work order will take. Frequencies and estimated times for each task must be accurate and meaningful.
Finally, it is advised that, wherever possible, only plan shutdown time for ‘non-running’ tasks. Ensure ‘running’ tasks are done during periods of normal work. Structure the maintenance programme to allow for this.