Asset Management

  Maintenance Organization

Organizations, in general, have different formats which derive, in turn, from their own cultures. Regarding Maintenance, not disagreeing with this governing principle, it can be seen that it may depend operationally of many different departments and has also dissimilar functions according to the company.

Our concept is that, retaining the basic philosophy and limited by the accepted boundary conditions, it is possible to construct an organization that fits the functions as it can be seen in the most successful companies.

This issue needs a detailed analysis of the organization as it really is and not as idealized, by means of an assessment or a structured audit, and later of the elaboration of alternative proposals based on functions.

The maintenance organization requires operating procedures and an information system with some basic modules, such as Master Data or Work Orders, among others. This task is carried out by working teams, in which the direct users have the chance to create what they will later take to practice. This one is a suitable area, also, to improve the efficiency of the tasks by analyzing them in detail and applying techniques as those derived from the SMED method, mentioned in Operations.



  Reliability Analysis

Reliability analyses are carried out on the equipments and systems from the historical information and other data available from the manufacturers, and also using (this is a very important point) the productive configuration of the company. In that way the availability of equipments and lines can be predicted and decisions are subsequently made on where improvements need to be done in order to reach some previously required availability figures.



  Audits

The word audit, typically referred to the conventional book-keeping one, has a connotation of conducts judgment. Maintenance audits have a different objective. The idea is to come to know the present condition of the system and to compare it with an attainable one in accordance with the goals of the organization, and to define the policies to make the transition. With a base questionnaire as the beginning step and an “in situ” report we make the evaluation and then, in collaboration with the people working in the site, the action plan is designed and its development is later followed up.



  Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)

RCM is a technique originated in the aviation business, which passed to the industry and services. It allowed the creation of maintenance strategies aligned with the requirements of safety, environment protection, products or service quality, as well as productivity.

This transference was made possible when SAE developed a standard in 1999.

In many processes, not only productive but also auxiliaries, it is seen the phenomenon of dependent events. In turn, these events present variations of statistical nature. The conjunction of both factors causes productivity to go down and lead times to go up.

For example, to a stamping process it may follows another one of washing and then a final one of galvanic covering. If the stamping press stops unexpectedly, for whatever reason (machine failure, lack of raw material, lack of operator's, etc.) and there is no stock of the stamped material so that it is possible to wash and to galvanize, these lines will also stop. These effects, always present, are diminished by maintaining intermediate stocks, or inventories of materials in process (Work in process - WIP).

It is clear that if the objective is to produce in conditions of minimum stock and lead time, as it is the case in Lean Manufacturing, it is necessary to reduce these statistical variations.

RCM helps to reduce an important part of these variations improving the reliability of the equipments and, also its availability. By applying this method, the user can develop a maintenance plan which, in the end, allows an effective application of Lean Manufacturing.



  Planned Maintenance Optimizing

PMO, unlike RCM, is a process that is not still fixed but it is rather in a development stage and, certainly, it has not yet settled down.

PMO is a metodology created for the reviewing of already existing maintenance plans, formal or informal, in order to eliminate the ineffective tasks or without the desired return, to eliminate the duplication of tasks between different specialties or between maintenance and operation departments, distributing them rationally and with consensus, and to promote focusing in monitoring tasks as opposed to substitution or repair.

In this way, though PMO and RCM have the same objective, which is the definition of maintenance policies, the applicability of one and another method is different. They also share the same concepts, the same statistical support and the same language.

Nevertheless PMO needs the existence of a maintenance plan, whereas RCM must begin from scratch.

When the first condition is fulfilled, PMO is more efficient in the use of the resources, since it use the experience already in place, needs fewer multidisciplinary meetings and analyzes fewer failure modes. Moreover it motivates the participating people because it requires a lesser level of abstraction.



  Key indicators

To measure and to compare, so much be against standards as against historical values, it is essential to define future courses of action. Paraphrasing Lord Kelvin, “…when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge…”.

But it is necessary to be judicious when defining the indicators, since not all of them (actually few ones) are conducive to the goal of the company. Even more, some of them are misleading, promoting actions that are opposite to those really required.

It is for these reasons that, although there are general rules that can be followed, it is necessary to critically analyze the whole company operation to establish the indicators that must be basically followed. It is also possible to select another group that, as a whole, allows taking sound decisions aligned with the goal of the company.



  Budgeting

The budget sets the limits for any part of an organization and, in this case, for Maintenance. A conscientious elaboration is essential to contribute to the achievement of the operation objectives.

But, typically due to restrictions in human resources, maintenance budgets tend to be lax, almost a mere formality, that is obtained extrapolating historical values without special considerations. Our support, in this topic, consists of complementing to the regular personnel, contributing with our work and experience and helping them with a refreshing external vision.



  Training

The required training to the members of the participative groups prior to each of the activities is accomplished by means of courses. In addition, these courses are given as independent units, under the modality "in company" or opened to the public.

  • Maintenance Organization and Practice
  • Introduction to the Reliability
  • Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
  • RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance)
  • PMO (Planned Maintenance Optimizing)
  • Management audit
  • Key Indicators