The basics of good maintenance management are the same across all industries and institutions. The process of getting the right materials, tools and information to the right people at the right place at the right time is universal.
However, there are two physical factors which can greatly affect the maintenance management process.
The first is the operating schedule. The dairy products plant which shuts down for 1-1/2 hours per 24 hour day, 365 days per year will have very different maintenance demands from a manufacturing facility that operates 9 to 5, 5 days per week, or a paper mill that shuts down for maintenance one day per month. The planning of the work to be done will be similar, but the scheduling of shutdown and non-shutdown work will differ greatly. The operating schedule affects not only the way maintenance is managed, but also the plant design. In-process storage, redundancy and equipment selection are all driven by the operating schedule.
The second factor is the distance, or accessibility to equipment to be maintained from the place where tradespeople report to work. In a compact manufacturing facility, work which is not well-planned may still be completed in a reasonable time because the Storeroom, tools and other resources are close at hand. However, where tradespeople have to load their materials and tools on to a truck and drive some distance, or transport them between “clean” and “dirty” areas, work delays resulting from poor planning may be very expensive. The value of excellent planning increases with increasing distance or difficulty of access to job sites. Examples of organizations where planning is of great importance include municipal maintenance, school districts, utilities, pipelines and food processing.
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Don Armstrong, P.Eng, President
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