Proactive maintenance is a combination of different maintenance strategies which, once they are all joined together, give a much more comprehensive maintenance plan.
Proactive maintenance is a key part of reliability engineering, which is now an integral part of the maintenance plan of advanced factories, so knowing how to create a proactive maintenance plan is essential.
Here are our 8 top key steps to creating a proactive maintenance plan.
- Get organised. Create a list of all pieces of equipment and systems you want in your facility maintenance program — include images and all relevant information. CMMS systems may be helpful or use previous lists created by vendors or contractors. This list could then be populated later on in the process with the maintenance plans designed for it.
- Prepare to fail. Carry out a FMECA (Failure mode, effects and criticality analysis) on each item. This is done on a scoring system and — as the name suggests — it rates items in levels of how critical they are to the facility and the most likely way that they will fail. This gives great guidance when deciding if the consequence of failure outweighs the cost of monitoring the machine and helps us decide the approach to how important each item is and how to look after it.
- Decision time. Now we know how critical our pieces of equipment are and their failure mode, we can decide which maintenance tasks to carry out. When we are deciding on what maintenance tasks to carry out, we must always try to balance out the need to combat the failure mode against the cost of monitoring the technology. Using 50 hours a year to monitor a machine that will take one hour to replace and has minimum impact isn’t cost effective.
- Do your research. Once we have decided on what actions to take, check to see if there is history available on the machine you are working on. This is important to establish how reliable the machine has been in the past. What were the consequences of previous failures i.e. safety issue, environmental impact, inventory, secondary damage and cost to production.
- Choose your strategy. Because proactive maintenance refers to a number of strategies, it is important to ensure you are using the correct ones. Using the appropriate techniques, it inspects, tests and determines the condition of a machine and then acts to prevent the failure.
- Choose your method. Once you’ve decided what maintenance to do on each piece of equipment it is then important to decide the method of how to actually fix/detect the fault. This is where training and knowledge sharing is so valuable. Having all personnel carrying out the task in the same way is so important because it leads to consistency in the results. If this wasn’t done the results would deviate and give misleading information and probably bad diagnosis of faults.
- Repair defects quickly. Ensure that if a unit fails that has been categorised a “Run to Fail”, you are prepared to repair it quickly. The repair should be quick or/and have minimal impact on the facility. Also, the part should be readily available in stores or from a supplier.
- Keep reviewing. Once a program is up and running, a periodic review of all elements should be carried out. You would know the system better one year into a program than at the start so you may be able to make more informed decisions how to improve the program. Also consider changes made to the facility and different maintenance innovations.
Anthony Whitty is a Condition Monitoring Consultant working with LotusWorks.