5 Tips For Improving The Quality Of Performed Maintenance Work
Maintenance guarantees the availability and reliability of production facilities and equipment. Slight breakdowns or production stops can plunge a company into irreversible financial losses. By adopting a specific maintenance strategy, a company can improve the safety of its operations, monitor compliance with statutory regulation, and improve the overall equipment efficiency (OEE).
Apart from applying the right mix of maintenance strategies, a company must continuously monitor its programs and find ways to improve the quality of performed maintenance work. Here are a few tips on how that can be done.
1) Standardize maintenance operations
The maintenance department can develop several standards for streamlining operations. They are essential for quantifying and defining the scope of maintenance work. By establishing standards, the company differentiates emergency and routine or scheduled maintenance work. It helps in formulating timelines for inspections, preventive maintenance work and even distribution of tasks to technicians. Additionally, the company can provide the requisites for generating and approving work requests. Maintenance standards permit the company to create machine-specific checklists, as well as appropriate measures for capturing and archiving maintenance records.
A standard maintenance program allows the company to draft and enforce lockout and tagout programs to facilitate safe maintenance operations. When creating LOTO procedures, the company may assign leadership roles to specific technicians to simplify post-maintenance follow-ups. The company may adopt maintenance procedures based on the manufacturer manuals or modify them to suit its maintenance strategies.
Standard maintenance procedures guarantee uniformity of performed maintenance work and the safety of technicians irrespective of the composition of the maintenance team. It limits erroneous maintenance work and thus eliminates rework or recurrent equipment failures. KPIs are essential for monitoring progress.
2) Establish KPIs
Developing key performance indicators (KPIs) helps the company track maintenance progress, evaluate the efficiency of its programs and quantify maintenance workloads over time.
KPIs enable the company to improve its maintenance standards, identify maintenance bottlenecks, and create accountability among the technicians. You can learn more about setting proper maintenance KPIs and metrics here .
3) Continuously train technicians
Companies prefer to hire the most qualified teams to perform maintenance work. However, it is difficult to find such talent owing to stiff competition. To bridge this gap, companies hire who they can get and expose them to continuous skill development through on-the-job training. Technical training improves the thoroughness of the technicians and sharpens their cognitive abilities. It empowers a technician to be a multi-skilled individual who can handle diverse maintenance tasks.
As technology transforms, so do the production floor operations. Modern equipment incorporates several technology solutions. With these changes, maintenance operations cease to be hand tool-based operations. Technicians require basic computer skills for remotely monitoring equipment and processes, troubleshooting asset failures, performing predictive maintenance, and analyzing maintenance records.
Companies must safeguard the health and safety of all the occupants in their facilities and the environment. To guarantee equipment and facility safety, the companies must adhere to statutory codes and regulations that are bound to change over time. Training acquaints the technicians with these regulations and allows elaboration on how they apply to maintenance operations.
Well-trained technicians can complete maintenance tasks quickly, accurately and efficiently, minimizing process stoppage time while observing the prevailing safety regulations.
4) Utilize the specified OEM parts
When performing part replacement, the company has to choose between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or aftermarket alternatives. The latter is alluring given the lower market costs. However, they can compromise on equipment reliability and performance as they fall short of the OEM factory standards. OEM parts have a manufacturer’s warranty implying that they are replaceable at no extra cost.
By utilizing OEM parts, the company can predict the time required before the next replacement based on previous maintenance records. Aftermarket parts do not last long like the OEM parts increasing the likelihood of equipment failures which affect production cycles, increases wrench time and maintenance costs.
Adhering to manufacturer maintenance recommendations and using certified OEM parts enhances the quality of maintenance work, eliminates rework due to size or tolerance deviations or premature asset failures.
5) Embrace technology solutions
The intensity of maintenance work increases with the number of used production assets. It complicates maintenance scheduling operations, inventory control and allocation of work to technicians. Technology solutions enable companies to organize, automate and streamline maintenance operations , converting floor activities into lean, transparent, and autonomous work.
Applications like Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) improve collaboration between maintenance teams while ensuring timely execution of maintenance.
CMMS plays an important role in improving maintenance work by offering instant access to a wide variety of important data. From maintenance logs that can be used to improve and speed up the troubleshooting process to O&M manuals and maintenance checklists that help technicians execute routine and corrective tasks.
Having access to checklists and similar documents helps companies reduce human errors and, when combined with proper training, ensures the correct execution of maintenance tasks.
To achieve maintenance cost-savings, companies need to periodically evaluate their maintenance strategies, update key performance indicators, empower their technicians through targeted training, and leverage technological solutions. Just like production, maintenance demands continuous quality improvement.
Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS . Limble is a modern, easy-to-use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations.
Digital technology revolutionizes maintenance strategies across industries by providing several automation tools and simplifying workflow management. Production assets are getting more interconnected as modern maintenance technologies find their way into the plant floor, facilities, and mobile equipment. Companies are leveraging digital technologies to combat predominant maintenance challenges, control maintenance costs, and enhance the quality of maintenance work.
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