How do you develop your organization’s maintenance program? Classic Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM), RCM II, any other variation of RCM, Preventive Maintenance Optimization (PMO), Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) recommendations, gut feeling or do nothing? Do you utilize Predictive Maintenance (PdM), strictly time-based Preventive Maintenance (PM), Evidence-Based Maintenance, none of these or a combination of several?
The right answer is; it depends. As long as you make a Conscious Technical Decision. So, what exactly is a Conscious Technical Decision? Conscious can be defined as, “aware of and responding to one's surroundings.” Technical is, “having special knowledge especially of how machines work or of how a particular kind of work is done.” And Decision is, “a choice that you make about something after thinking about it.”
When all of this is put together, I define a Conscious Technical Decision as a decision that has been made after specific thought and with specific knowledge of the equipment involving specific knowledge of how the equipment and system operates. This decision must also involve an understanding of the impact of that decision upon the entire organization (cost, manpower, skills, operation impact, etc.).
In order to make a Conscious Technical Decision, you have to have knowledge and understand how to apply that knowledge. Too many times, the maintenance program implemented after new equipment is installed is an after-thought; the equipment has already been installed and is in operation. It is definitely not conscious nor technical. I may even say it is not really a decision, as there has been no thought that has gone into the choice.
In order to develop the right maintenance program for any equipment or system, I propose you must have specific knowledge of the equipment (how it works, what it does, how it does it) and of the people in the organization that will be asked to implement this program. It must be made with specific awareness of the impact of the equipment upon the entire organization and the impact of the determined maintenance program. And finally, it must be made with a specific thought process.
How do you get to the right decision for implementing the right maintenance program for your equipment? You have to get the right people involved. The people with the knowledge of how the equipment is operated, how the equipment works, what it was designed to (and not to) do, knowledge of the skill sets of your people and knowledge of the capabilities and restrictions of the various maintenance tools that can be applied.
It cannot just be the Maintenance Guy sitting at a desk developing your maintenance program. Actually, it can and often is, but then, that is what we are trying to get away from to ensure a cost effective and efficient manner for maintaining our equipment is developed.
Don’t just let your maintenance program happen; let Commissioning Agents, Inc. (CAI) help you make the right Conscious Technical Decisions.