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In a recent issue of Plant Services, the editor-in-chief Boyles [2] makes an analogy of plant maintenance as weeding a garden. Both practices ensure nothing goes wrong with plant production. Neither activity is glamor­ous, but both are essential. Proactive performances will minimize garden weeds and equipment failures and sup­port goals of improved productivity up to the optimum capacity of the garden plot and production equipment.

The purpose of this paper is to .discuss current develop­ments in the area of maintenance performance manage­ment. Increasingly, the maintaining function is being recognized as a key component in the strategic manage­ment planning and control process. Maintenance is emerg­ing in its own right as a contributor to business objectives and competitive priorities. Asset productivity, a key con­cept for economic performance, is impacted by the effec­tiveness of the maintaining function. Both growing a gar­den and producing goods and services have cycles of opera­tions and best practices that should be followed for the best output. Performance management of garden-weeding and equipment care best practices will ensure the production cycles are completed as scheduled with planned yields at acceptable levels of quality. Effective performance man­agement survives on performance measurement and timely response to the results of the measurement process. The following discussion will focus on performance measure­ment of maintenance best practices and the benchm arking process as a framework for continuous improvement.

Maintenance Best Practices

Equipment reliability is a function of multiple life cycle activities. Design, fabrication, installation, operations, and maintenance activities collectively determine the level of reliability. The maintenance element of equipment reliability will be more efficient, effective, productive, safe, and profitable when best practices are followed. Seven categories of maintenance best practice include:

• Organization Management
• Planning and Scheduling
• Preventive/Predictive Maintenance
• Reliability Improvement
• Material Management
• Human Resource Development
• Contract Maintenance Practices

Each best practice category has basic activities essential to the success of the practice. The scope of this discussion is to focus on performance management of the best practices with a measurement system rather than discussing the details of how each best practice is managed.

Variances between best practices and actual performance represent opportunities for improvement. Opportunities cannot be fully achieved, however, without quantifiable measures of performance. Measures in the maintaining function should be balanced between functional measures within maintenance and the larger scope of business mea­sures impacted by maintenance. More discussion on the measurement process and measures will follow.

To be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 01


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