1660240342596 Joeanderson3

Is effectiveness killing maintenance teams?

March 18, 2020
Without the right basics in place, you and your department can wave goodbye to being effective.
Your Space

This article is part of our monthly Your Space column. Read more from our Your Space series.

Effectiveness in management is doing the right things or getting the right things done. However, much of our focus is on efficiency and less on becoming effective first. You can do all of the wrong things more efficiently, so should efficiency be our focus? This begs the question, what are the right things? In maintenance, there could be a long list of items that could be considered the right things. So how are the right things determined?

To determine the right things that should be occurring, we have to ask a series of questions:

  • Do you know what right looks like? “Right” is an understanding of what works and what does not work within a given situation.
  • Are you a reactive organization? Being reactive means that you respond to a situation rather than creating or controlling it.
  • Does this definition fit the current situation within your organization? This would mean that people respond, normally with a knee-jerk reaction, to any change in a situation. For example, by adding another PM to an asset after a breakdown, or by ordering 12 gearboxes because one failed and there wasn’t one in stock.
  • Is your maintenance department reactive? Being reactive in maintenance means that you repair equipment after a breakdown.
  • Do you know what you own? Have you defined a proper equipment hierarchy, and is all equipment entered in the CMMS?
  • How critical is each piece of equipment to achieving our goals? For critical equipment, how does it fail?
  • What will we do to ensure that equipment does not fail, and/or how do we know when it is likely to fail?
  • How will we ensure that we continue to improve?
  • Do you know how to properly find and address potential failures?
  • Do you know the difference between a potential, functional, and catastrophic failure?
  • Do you have a failure mode driven strategy? Do you know what a failure mode is?
  • Do you plan and schedule work for your maintenance mechanics on a daily basis? Do you know the functions of a planner? A scheduler?

These are just a few questions to determine if you have a few of the right things in place. If you do not have the right things in place, how can you possibly be effective?
How do I know these are the right things? Well, I have read about, studied, and executed on the things that others before have tried and were successful at implementing. I have also learned through this what does not work, and have multiple case studies showing that these things work.

To be truly effective, here is a list of a few things that must be in place:

  1. Organizational goals and objectives. Knowledge of both of these sets the direction for you and your ability to execute within them. For example, if a goal were to cut funding, it will be very hard for you to plan on spending more money this year over last year.
  2. An understanding of plant losses.
  3. A failure mode driven maintenance strategy. What does this mean and what does this look like?
  4. Planning and scheduling of work.
  5. Job kitting and job plans for work to be executed.
  6. Use of predictive maintenance (PdM) technologies.
  7. Use of precision maintenance.
  8. Use of failure analysis/Root Cause Analysis.
  9. Proper lubrication management.
  10. Proper PMs. What are you checking it for, and what condition constitutes replacement? What measurement tools are being used to check condition? What is to be done if the condition is out of tolerance?

Once these basics are in place, you can then shift your focus to making them more efficient.

About the author: Joe Anderson

Sponsored Recommendations

Arc Flash Prevention: What You Need to Know

March 28, 2024
Download to learn: how an arc flash forms and common causes, safety recommendations to help prevent arc flash exposure (including the use of lockout tagout and energy isolating...

Reduce engineering time by 50%

March 28, 2024
Learn how smart value chain applications are made possible by moving from manually-intensive CAD-based drafting packages to modern CAE software.

Filter Monitoring with Rittal's Blue e Air Conditioner

March 28, 2024
Steve Sullivan, Training Supervisor for Rittal North America, provides an overview of the filter monitoring capabilities of the Blue e line of industrial air conditioners.

Limitations of MERV Ratings for Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
It can be complicated and confusing to select the safest and most efficient dust collector filters for your facility. For the HVAC industry, MERV ratings are king. But MERV ratings...