HOW TO REDUCE DOWNTIME AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY
By Larry Bush
Documentation mined for maintenance information "gold".
All maintenance activities of the workforce must be documented, this includes
breakdown repairs, callouts, preventive maintenance, replacement maintenance,
overhauls, and Testing & Inspection work. Maintenance work by production
employees must be included, whether or not the employee is listed as in
maintenance. These activities can then be mined for maintenance information
List all repetitive work
One of the first things that a maintenance supervisor should be concerned
with is repetitive work. Any and all repetitive work should be identified and
isolated. This list can then be prioritized as to criticality to Production and
After the list has been rearranged, each task item must be analyzed to determine
if the repetitive work is actually aimed at fixing a problem or fixing a symptom
of a deeper problem. Fixing symptoms has the immediate effect of allowing
production to rapidly resume, but does nothing for the underlying problem(s). In
fact, the underlying problem may get worse.
Development of a solutions
As soon as a high priority problem has been identified and analyzed, work
should begin on development of a solution to the problem. Once the solution to
the problem has been developed, plans can be made for purchasing required parts
and material and then scheduling the manpower and production time to implement
Maintenance planning of machine repairs
Complete documentation is absolutely essential for control of the maintenance
process. How can the process of maintenance be under control if the person in
charge has no complete idea of what the total maintenance activities and costs
are? If needed repairs are not documented and planned for, a considerable
portion of these needed repairs and modifications will be forgotten or ignored
until production tries to run again.
Justify machine repair cost
Planning essential repairs and modifications requires documentation. It is
easy to say that we need a modification to this particular machine and output of
this line can be increased 25%. However, with no planning, six months later no
work has been done on the idea. Even if the idea were actually to be somehow
implemented, the output increase may not come to fruition.
If no research was carried out on the rest of the line equipment, there is no
certain way of determining line and equipment capacity. How would the machine be
able to increase output 25% if its current output was already 100% of the lines
actual output capacity? All the costs associated with increasing the one
machine's capacity would have been wasted, unless additional work was undertaken
to bring the rest of the production line up to the output of the one machine.
A production line's output capacity is only as great as it's least piece of
equipment. That bears repeating. A production line is only as fast as it's
slowest piece of equipment. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Prioritize your maintenance planning list
With documentation, the list of priority work problems to solve can be
reduced fairly rapidly, at first. The list of easily solved problem areas will
gradually be replaced by higher cost work items. Research and planning may
reveal that the costs involved with eliminating some repetitive repairs are more
than living with the repetitive repairs.
Compare production downtime after solution
After implementation of the solution, production downtime for that particular
item can be documented and compared to pre-implementation production output.
Maintenance time not spent on working on that solved problem can also be
documented for the same time period. These savings can then be extrapolated for
an entire year and presented to management to justify the cost of repairs.
Without documentation, research, and planning, the person in charge of making
the decisions is working in the dark. With documentation, research, and
planning, the great wall of China can be built, or the Panama Canal, or the
Aswan Dam, or a world-class maintenance organization.
Maintenance Policy and Procedures is a plan to organize your maintenance
department. Following the plan will cause you to document your department's
activities. Other department's maintenance activities and interactions with the
Maintenance Department will also be documented. With the documentation, planning
can begin. For information on this article and Maintenance Policy and
Procedures, see link below.
About the Author: Larry Bush has
been an electrician for 47 years, and in maintenance management for 22 years. Download
his new e-Book "Maintenance
Policy and Procedures Manual" !!