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The Value Of A Maintenance Audit

Wed, 01/09/2008 - 4:45am

The Value Of A Maintenance Audit By Vlad Bacalu, ATS Product Manager

A maintenance audit, designed to objectively evaluate best practices in maintenance organizations, is an excellent tool to drive continuous improvement

Auditing a maintenance organization provides a mechanism to identify deficiencies, measure progress over time, and drive improvement.

World class maintenance organizations are those that consistently demonstrate maintenance best practices to produce bottom line results. A maintenance audit, designed to objectively evaluate best practices in maintenance organizations, is an excellent tool to drive continuous improvement.

The content of the audit is divided into ten basic categories of maintenance best practices.

Maintenance Organization

This section refers to the maintenance office, repair area, parts storage area and/or any other areas used by maintenance technicians. The objective is to determine the level of organization, structure and professionalism of the maintenance team.

Maintenance Practices

These are the methods, strategies and actions that can make maintenance operations more efficient, reduce maintenance costs and improve reliability. Best maintenance practices include work order control, preventive/predictive maintenance technologies, routine equipment care and Reliability Centered Maintenance.

Equipment Maintenance

This focuses on the programs and technologies used to prevent or detect failures. Maintenance directly influences the core aspects of modern business, safety and environmental integrity, energy efficiency, quality, uptime and costs. Focusing on equipment reliability is the core of any effective maintenance strategy.

Safety

These questions complement the more detailed safety audit conducted by the safety team, and provide an overview of the safety practices in the maintenance organization.

Planning and Scheduling

Planning and Scheduling improves workforce productivity and work quality by eliminating, in advance, potential delays through proper planning and coordination of resources (parts, machine time, labor, etc). The planner/scheduler is responsible for the planning and scheduling of all maintenance work performed in the area to which he/she is assigned. He/she serves as a liaison to and maintains coordination between the operations and maintenance, and maintains appropriate records that permit meaningful analysis and reporting of results or work done.

5S

5S is a methodology for eliminating waste. It is a visually-oriented system of cleanliness and organization, an arrangement designed to facilitate greater productivity, safety and quality. It is a foundation for more responsible and disciplined behavior on the job.

The central objective is to create a cleaner and safer work environment that promotes quality and efficiency. It will create habits for cleanliness and organization, making work more standardized and reducing errors. 5S is not a onetime event; it is a discipline.

Cooperative Maintenance

Companies are constantly struggling to improve the productivity of their operations, as improvement results in higher profitability. This constant struggle has led to the advent of several techniques such as TPM, RCA, 5S, benchmarking and so on. The maintenance organization needs to be fully engaged to the level necessary to support the asset care program.

Training

The development and implementation of a maintenance skills training program must be part of a well developed maintenance strategy. The program must be customized to develop proficiencies around existing equipment at the site.

Once an individual is trained in a new skill, he or she must be provided with the time and tools to perform this skill and be held accountable for his or her actions.

Document Management

Maintenance management is driven by information. How a maintenance department manages this information conveys its proficiency and reliability. Proper document management can significantly enhance the effectiveness of a maintenance organization.

Maintenance Inventory/Purchasing

Purchasing and control of spare parts inventory is a critical component of an effective maintenance management program. If the correct parts are not on hand when needed for routine maintenance or repairs, downtime is prolonged. If there are too many parts on hand, the department suffers excessive costs and the overhead of carrying the inventory. Parts and material management are essential in asset maintenance, which, in turn, keeps the operation running.

Auditing a maintenance organization in each of these categories provides a mechanism to identify deficiencies, measure progress over time, and drive improvement.

Advanced Technology Services, Inc. (ATS) improves productivity and profitability for many of the world’s most respected manufacturers through the managed services of production equipment maintenance, information technology and spare parts repair. For more information, visit the ATS website at www.AdvancedTech.com.

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