Training Level Requirements For Different Maintenance Strategies
There are a lot of moving parts involved in creating an efficient maintenance department. One of the crucial factors in achieving production efficiency lies in choosing the right maintenance strategy.
While I would argue that the best approach to plant maintenance is implementing a mix of maintenance strategies, it is perfectly understandable that organizations that plan to move away from reactive maintenance focus on a single maintenance strategy in the early days of their proactive maintenance journey.
Let’s make a short overview of what kind of training you will likely need to implement depending on the maintenance strategy you want to use.
General training for proactive maintenance
Most successful proactive maintenance programs are supported by a CMMS. While the training requirements will depend on the complexity and intuitiveness of the software you’re using, keep in mind that some degree of training will always be required.
Of course, the software itself will not solve all of your problems. To be good at proactive maintenance, you need to be able to recognize underlying problems , set maintenance KPIs, organize needed training, and most importantly, change the departments’ mindset from ‘fix it when it’s broke’ to ‘maintain is so it doesn’t fail in the first place’.
This last point is really important because if people do not embrace change and strive for continuous improvement, this is a futile exercise. One good way of getting technicians on board is to show them how a CMMS and proactive maintenance strategy will actually make their job easier in the long run.
Preventive maintenance training
It goes without saying that maintenance technicians should know how to perform all inspection techniques they need to use on assets that are on your preventive maintenance program . Depending on the size of your maintenance department and their existing skillsets, there will be more or less training needed to get all technicians up to a satisfying level.
From the side of a maintenance manager, they should know how to create balanced maintenance schedules, how to create preventive maintenance checklists, organize maintenance training to fill in knowledge gaps, and have the necessary people skills to balance their relationship with maintenance techs and communicate their issues to upper management.
Predictive maintenance training
What is unique about predictive maintenance is the incorporation of condition monitoring sensors and predictive analytics into the maintenance workflow.
This means that technicians need to learn how to install and use the CM equipment and read off the data from a variety of measuring instruments. If anyone’s wondering this level of skill is also required if you’re looking to implement condition-based maintenance.
Since predictive maintenance goes a step beyond CBM, there’s further training needed.
As sensors feed data into a CMMS or some dedicated predictive analytics software, companies often hire data scientists to design prognostics algorithms capable of predicting points of failure. Some of them proceed to train the maintenance managers to maintain those algorithms so the company does not have to have a data scientist on hand at all times.
Total productive maintenance training
TPM training is unique in a way that puts more responsibility on machine operators. Implementing autonomous maintenance (the first step in implementing TPM) will require all of the same skills you need for running preventive maintenance.
However, for TPM, maintenance training doesn’t stop with maintenance technicians. It includes training for machine operators because they need to understand the machines they are working with and learn how to perform basic maintenance tasks such as inspection and lubrication.
This is best accomplished with a combination of formal classroom training and on-the-job training (OJT) - which is something that is true for most maintenance training initiatives covered in this article.
Author of the article Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO at 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.
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Across a range of industries around the world, Plant Operations have heavy investments in expensive machinery that are critical to their success. Meticulous planned and reactive maintenance of this machinery and infrastructure is a key component of continuous and efficient operations. And in today’s environment, any advantage can mean the difference between gaining new work and losing a customer.