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Written By Tom Morarity

Stockholders and corporate boards want  their management teams to get every last bit of productivity and capacity from resources currently available. With regard to the maintenance function, the average plant can improve labor effectiveness by more than 20 percent by establishing control and stability of work management practices. The result would be getting the same amount of work done with 20-percent  fewer labor hours. For a typical 100-person maintenance shop that would be 20 x $50/hr x 1,750 hrs/yr = $1.75 million/yr. Those resource hours could be used to do other value-added work; such as taking contracted work in-house, doing more preventive maintenance (PM) or reducing overtime.
How do you know if you have room to improve? You can be reasonably sure you’ve driven out most of the waste from your work management system if the following performance measures have been achieved:

• Emergency and urgent work orders are under 10 percent of the total labor expended.

• PM completion rates are routinely more

• More than 95 percent of your maintenance work force hours are scheduled several days in advance.

• You have greater than 90-percent work order schedule compliance.

• 100 percent of all labor hours are accounted for on work orders.

If you aren’t achieving these performance levels check your opinion of the maintenance function. Do you believe that the maintenance function is just an overhead cost, or do you believe the maintenance function exists to increase production availability and capacity?

The maintenance function’s purpose is to preserve or improve availability of production systems. Availability of production systems increases production capacity. It is typically 2.5 to 4 times costlier to run-to-failure and deal with unplanned corrective maintenance than to do planned and scheduled maintenance.

In order to be efficient, your organization must establish control and stability lifts, scaffolding, etc.), permits, material safety data sheets, task descriptions, etc. identified

• Have a well-defined work management process, and require process discipline.

• Know what work needs to be done, and prioritize the work.

• Plan the work; have the right parts, tools, support equipment and skills identified and available.

• Coordinate the work with operations to minimize impact on production.

• Complete the work and document what was done.

A well-defined work management process includes flow charts and assignment of responsibility and accountability for each activity. Process discipline must be established so supervisors and managers have the foundation for consistent performance expectations.

Identifying and prioritizing work focuses efforts on the important tasks. A good criticality and prioritization model should be applied so only true emergency or urgent tasks are allowed to break coordinated work schedules.

Planning the work means having all the and ready to go. When all the planning is done, the task is ready to schedule. PM tasks are of high importance and must be scheduled ahead of other routine planned maintenance. Other planned maintenance is placed on the work schedule behind the PMs.

When items are placed on the schedule they are not locked in until after the proposed work is coordinated with the operations function. Once the coordination is completed and the schedule is agreed on there needs to be discipline in carrying out the schedule. Only true emergency and urgent requests should be allowed to break the schedule.

As work is completed, care should be taken to ensure the history gets captured in the maintenance management software system. This will provide a way to retain knowledge as personnel retire, analyze impacts of planned and unplanned maintenance on production, and apply reliability engineering tools (failure modes and effects analysis, reliability centered maintenance, and root cause analysis) to reduce impacts on capacity.


March 2011 BIC Increase Capacity