There is something to be said for old-fashioned ingenuity, but in today’s modern world, completing maintenance in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines is undoubtedly a better option. Although Plant Scherer was certainly not limping through life held together by twine, the 35-year-old facility had begun showing its age when Johnny Howze III took over as plant manager in 2014.
The plant is situated on a 12,075-acre site in Monroe County, Georgia, between Atlanta and Macon. The station has four coal-fired units with a combined capacity of about 3,600 MW, making it one of the largest power plants in the United States.
Howze said one of his fundamental beliefs is that maintenance planning and maintenance strategy are key drivers for successful plants. He believed that if the station could improve its maintenance, more than just equipment problems would be solved.
So Howze directed his team to focus on improving the plant’s maintenance strategy. The idea was to get employees working on the right things at the right time. Managers took a good look at preventive maintenance tasks that were recommended by equipment manufacturers, and they ensured the work was being scheduled appropriately.