It sometimes gets lost in the shuffle that the job of maintenance isn’t to stay busy performing preventive maintenance (PM) and predictive maintenance (PdM) procedures and fixing anything that goes down anyhow.
The job of maintenance is to improve overall uptime for the flow of realizable revenue. The last part of that statement means you prioritize the support of the equipment that makes your company the most money (after, of course, taking care of issues involving safety or the environment).
These tips will help you fulfill the mission:
- Remember the mission. Don’t get sidetracked by special projects that some other department wants to task you with. And don’t abandon a higher priority in favor of a lower priority just because someone involved in the lower priority makes a lot of noise. If there’s a conflict, refer back to the mission and the data used to support it. Which data? The production department’s own revenue numbers.
- Monitor for compliance. Plans don’t help if people don’t follow them. Ensure maintenance procedures are being followed correctly.
- Anticipate failure and prepare for it. You know that critical equipment will fail, eventually. Develop a service restoration plan for each line or major component that is critical. Prepare a spare parts kit, special tools kit, and anything else needed “now” to address the failure quickly. Make sure you have all the needed documentation already assembled.
- Train a response team for key equipment such as plant air compressors, fire safety systems, and any production line considered to be critical. Have a well-developed, well-rehearsed plan. This minimizes the need to think things through during critical windows of time—making response faster, safer, and more accurate.
- Review for improvement. Continually review both maintenance and downtime response for what is going well, what can be improved, and what has gone wrong. Try to eliminate errors at their source. Simplify, automate, and educate.