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Maintenance Facts and Mantras

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Some basic facts and mantras about ‘Maintenance Function’ are noted below for your information:

» Maintenance is all roots where production and profits are all fruits.

» For most maintenance engineers -‘Maintenance is a thankless job’. But, the true fact is that maintenance people themselves are responsible for such an image.

» Though many maintenance engineers prove to be good engineers, yet a few only are found as better managers.

» Avoid the need of maintenance in the first place and do maintenance efficiently when needed in the next place.

» Avoid under-maintenance and so also over-maintenance – both are uneconomical.

» “Right things first, then do right things, and further innovate better right things” is the right philosophy not only for maintenance department but also for any other department.

» Doing ‘Right first time and every time’ should be in the habit of maintenance personnel.

» What you do and how you do in maintenance is of insignificant value if you are not cost effective.

» Higher production workload means higher production performance. On contrary, lower maintenance workload means higher maintenance performance.

» Maintenance is one function that often witnesses significant abnormalities, losses, waste, delays & inefficiency in various resource areas.

» Sometimes cheaper items are more economical and other times costlier items are more economical. It’s the economics that matters, not the initial price.

» The less visible indirect maintenance cost in many large plants is substantially much more than the direct maintenance cost.

» Proper selection of machines at design / selection stage is the beginning of good maintenance.

» As much as 80% of the total life cycle costs of a machine get decided at the design / selection stage only. After this stage, even the best of maintenance can hardly control these costs until unless certain design modifications are incorporated at the operation stage which may either result in too much cost or simply prove unfeasible on economic grounds. It’s therefore machines should be selected like healthy babies in the first place as otherwise in case of a handicapped machine, most of the physical and mental burden is borne by the company’s maintenance department throughout the life cycle till the machine finds replacement.

» No amount of good maintenance can take care of bad design. The only way out is to improve reliability of the machine by incorporating appropriate corrections in the existing design if feasible economically.

» Somehow if reliability of an existing machine can not be improved, the only alternative left with maintenance department is to improve its maintainability as far as possible in order to realize reasonable availability of the machine.

» Lubrication is basically the blood stream of plant and machinery. Half of the maintenance problems already get over once the plant lubrication programme is carried out effectively.

» Effective lubrication programme depends on five right things, commonly known as 5 R’s that include “Right Type” of lubricant in “Right Quantity” to be used at “Right Place” by following “Right Method” at “Right Frequency”.

» Develop effective layout, such as – ‘a place for everything and everything in its place.’ Follow 5S tool for visual workplace and better house-keeping.

» Maintenance should be considered as a management activity to develop & grow, increase productivity, control waste and plant losses, reduce costs, raise performance standards, earn profit and generate adequate return on investment for the company.

» Like other management functions, learning and unlearning in maintenance is equally important if an organization must undergo productive changes and grow all the times.