Maintenance Resources

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Maintenance Process - Common Points For Improvement

The methodology of TPM  is all about eliminating machine related losses and to use the machine to produce good parts up to its possible design limit and to increase the limit through continuous improvements. 
Maintenance is one of the most critical business function which plays a crucial role in plant output, product quality and product cost. But unfortunately, it is one of the most negligible functions in most of the small and mid-size companies.
Because of Lack of resources, “operate to breakdown” and fix it quickly attitude (Band-Aid maintenance) put the whole department in to reactive mode,  which slowly becomes the part of organization culture. And due to lack of accountability and vision, it is hard to identify or address it.
Generally, in such companies, due to inadequate resources, non-reliable machines, gradually reduced  maintenance technicians,  quick fix maintenance is obvious and unavoidable(Which further becomes the mountainous work to restore it's basic condition). this is common practice to have the PM schedule in record and for record only. 
Quick fix maintenance  triggers frequent future breakdowns, which means, resources are more consumed by breakdowns, considering the budget, resources for PM shrinks, results more preventable failures.
 And the whole team goes in to reactive mode.

As in reactive mode, Employee morale dooms down, stops thinking of innovative ways to be pro-active and come up of backlogs. Finally, either quit or give them up to the situation and dis-engaged , don’t add any further value to improve the process.
Here are few  points to  reduce non-value adding activities from maintenance.

 Common Ways to reduce MUDA from maintenance process:

     1.  Operator reaction time, - Can reduce by Proper knowledge about abnormalities
     2.  Maintenance technician's lead time – Need adequate manpower,
     3. Diagnostic time – Arrange training on machine knowledge
     4.  Search for require tool time – Improve 5S, Try to keep require common tools near to machine and technician to come with special tools,
     5. Don't Leave breakdown solved but unattended – Every breakdown is a learning opportunity. Analyze it for root-cause and either eliminate it if possible or take action to detect it. Every diagnosis consist of other non-value added checking also. Eliminate it for future by making proper FTA .
     6. Off line maintenance – Wherever possible, try to replace the faulty unit rather than to repair it online. 
     7. Generalize the spares -  Same machine from different manufacturer means different spare for same functions. Go for modification to make common spare for all. It will reduce spare carry cost.

Operational Excellence - Go beyond the boundaries

1)  TPM – Make production people responsible for first line maintenance for the machine they use. Educate them to break the barrier. Go for TPM
2) Fix maintenance  strategy – submit the cost model for “operate to breakdown maintenance”, Time base maintenance and condition base maintenance and let all be commonly agreed on maintenance strategy and Then never let in down.
3) Periodical validation of PM points – I have seen few PM models which are static and have no change for a long time. Keep it dynamic. It need to be reviewed after every decided interval for its effectiveness.
4) Learn from breakdowns, Let other to learn – Lesson learning, fault tree analysis Make available. Initiate Kaizen. Make improvement ready for all new coming machines.
5) Alternate source of spare : Go for performance spare for imported or costly spares (In terms of money and lead time )

See you again..