Your tax money at work

Many times that phrase is used to disparage some government boondoggle that can sometimes boggle the rational mind. You wonder, "What were they thinking?"

Then again, the government is perfectly capable of coming up with something of value. In this case, your praise should be directed to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. That organization developed a document that can be of interest to everyone involved in industrial maintenance as well as the care and feeding of buildings of all sorts.

The O&M Best Practices Guide, Release 2.0, originally published in 2004, is available online. Running more that 200 pages, its 11 chapters include the typical opening salvo — an introduction and an explanation of the potential to be gained by using the practices outlined in the document.

The other chapters cover what one would expect to see in a high-class maintenance operation. You’ll see solid information about O&M management, computerized maintenance management systems, the types of maintenance programs and predictive maintenance technologies, including oil analysis, ultrasonic analysis, vibration analysis, and motor analysis. But it goes beyond that by discussing performance trending, commissioning existing buildings, and metering for operations and maintenance. Each chapter has its own introduction, describes the technology, gives a listing of the types of equipment and the systems to which it can apply, addresses equipment cost/payback, and winds up with case studies and references/resources.

Later in the document you can find O&M ideas for major equipment types, including boilers, steam traps, chillers, cooling towers, energy management/building automation systems, pumps, fans, motors, air compressors, lighting, and O&M frontiers (such as they were at the time of the document’s publication). The document ends with a chapter giving ten steps to operational efficiency.

I would be surprised if you didn’t learn something new in reading this offering from your government.