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What is Preventative Maintenance?

What is Preventative Maintenance? 

Put in simple terms, Preventative Maintenance is a maintenance strategy. Applicable to any business that operates machinery, it is intended to ensure that asset life is as full as possible, reduce the cost of unavoidable maintenance and increase productivity.  

We apply Preventative Maintenance when we own everyday items such as a car. We regularly have our MOT and Service and some of us go a step further and book ourselves in for seasonal checks. Some of us even check our oil levels on a regular basis. These checks are intended to identify any major problems before they arise in your vehicle and enable you to be proactive and make educated decisions about any work that may need to be done on your car. You really would want to run out of oil in your car and cause serious and expensive damage that you ultimately result in the need for new parts and time that you will not be able to use the vehicle. 

If you would do this for your car, then why would you not do this for assets that work together to be the core of your business? 

Preventative Maintenance has another name. You may hear it described as Planned Maintenance.  

It is important, as part of a maintenance strategy, to include regular Preventative Maintenance. This can be dictated by the asset life cycle or even recommended by manufacturer of the asset. Sometimes these can be recommended to be more frequent than needed but if they are planned, it allows for companies to assign budget to these activities, reserve additional funds for any assets that may need replacing/fixing and allows for the scheduling of the physical work to be undertaken.  

There are systems available to help with Preventative Maintenance which can help to streamline any maintenance which will inevitably reduce the need for emergency work, reactive responses, increase the efficiency of machinery and work toward the safety of the workforce.  

The main incentive for Preventative Maintenance is to reduce the cost of avoidable downtime and expense of repairs and parts, which in many cases, can be a significant amount 

What are the benefits? 

There are several benefits that come from a successful strategy: 

  • Extended asset, lubrication, and machine lifetime 
  • Increased efficient uptime 
  • Reduced unavoidable downtime 
  • Greater productivity and increased efficiency 
  • Lessened unexpected breakdowns 
  • Diminished administration and manual data entry 
  • Effective execution of work 
  • Enhanced audit compliance 

What does a Preventative Maintenance strategy look like? 

A Preventative Maintenance strategy is just one strategy that can be practiced by a maintenance team. The best type of Maintenance strategy is Proactive. 

An ideal maintenance should reflect the goals and objectives of an organisation. The strategy should demonstrate the actions and results required to meet these goals through effective planning, implantation, and finally, evaluation. A Preventative Maintenance strategy is intended to increase the asset lifetime, reduced unscheduled downtime, avoid costly repairs and maintenance, and much more. The main benefit is to increase the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).  

Preventative Maintenance allows organisations to move away from Reactive Maintenance, a type of “firefighting” where maintenance is only undertaken when an issue arises. Through planning, scheduling and coordination, Preventative Maintenance can successfully shift an organisation towards a more efficient maintenance strategy.  

Creating and successfully launching a Preventative Maintenance strategy does require time and effort. There are several activities that must take place to ensure an effective strategy. From developing procedures, to training, from communication within the maintenance team to creating schedules for the maintenance to take place, all these activities are vital to ensure a Preventative Maintenance strategy can succeed. 

How do I design this type of strategy? 

There are several steps that we would advise undertaking to make sure that your Preventative Maintenance strategy is successful. 

  1. Identify your goals and objectives
    These should be in line with your organisation’s overall goals. 
  2. Complete an asset critically assessment 
    This will help you identify all your assets and enable you to efficiently coordinate your Preventative Maintenance strategy accordingly. Looking at all your assets and how unexpected failure of these may affect your organisation are a priority 
  3. Review workforce resources 
    Assessing the manpower and tools to undergo the Preventative Maintenance is essential. 
  4. Scheduling 
  5. Long-term 
    Planning which assets will be maintained and when is the core of the Preventative Maintenance strategy. 
  6. Short-term 
    Creating weekly schedules breaking down activity, and also including the option for any emergency work to take place will help strengthen a Preventative Maintenance strategy 
  7. Training and resources 
    Before a successful Preventative Maintenance strategy can take place, you will need to make sure that all your staff that may be responsible for undergoing the maintenance are enabled to do their job. If the resources are not available in-house, it may be worth considering outsourcing the support for companies that can support your Preventative Maintenance strategy 

How can PCMS Engineering help you? 

At PCMS Engineering we believe that Preventative Maintenance is the most successful and rewarding type of maintenance. Our company mission is to support organisations with their maintenance strategies through whatever means necessary. Whether this is to work closely with you as an extended part of your maintenance team to complete your asset assessment or supply you with the tools to understand your asset condition, we can offer varying levels of support to you and can tailor any service we offer to suit your needs. 

We have an extensive workforce that consists of experts from a wide variety of industries with a wealth of knowledge and skill sets, that will undoubtedly be an invaluable addition to help with your maintenance strategy.  

We even have our own independent Condition Monitoring Laboratory where we can assess your lubricants and give detailed reports that can be accessed 24 hours a day through our online reporting tool, OMEGA.  

For more information about our services please contact us:

T: 01709 876712 E:info@pcmseng.co.uk

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What is Condition Based Maintenance (CBM)?

At PCMS Engineering, we have the expertise and resources required to implement cost-effective Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) programmes that help organisations of all sizes move from reactive maintenance to predictive maintenance by using a combination of tools, products and technologies

What is Condition Based Maintenance?

Condition Based Maintenance is a maintenance strategy which, simply put, measures operational parameters in assets to determine a change in their condition, performing maintenance only when the need arises.

By using instrumentation to monitor equipment performance in real time, maintenance personnel can identify an adverse change in one or more operational parameters and trigger corrective action to ensure ongoing performance – preventing in-service failure.

Similar to an overall health check at the doctors to detect any underlying issues that might arise with age, or regularly maintaining your car to keep it running, CBM uses various process parameters (e.g. pressure, temperature, vibration, flow, noise, visual, thickness etc.) and material samples (e.g. oil) to monitor conditions in machines.

Engineers can then measure equipment health, performance, reliability and integrity to understand how machines perform, as well as predicting and preventing failures before they happen.

How does CBM work?

The techniques used to monitor the performance of machinery or a component whilst in operation is known as condition monitoring. Condition monitoring techniques – such as vibration analysis, ultrasonics, thermography and oil analysis – can be used solely or in combination and are vital in making sure maintenance is only performed when absolutely necessary.

Generally, condition monitoring techniques are used on a variety of assets such as pumps, electric motors, internal combustion engines, gearboxes, fans, electrical control panels, compressed air and hydraulic systems etc.

What are the benefits of CBM to my organisation?

The main benefits of applying an effective condition based maintenance programme are that repairs can be scheduled during non-peak times, machine productivity and service life are enhanced, and repair costs due to a loss of production time are eliminated.

How do I identify my most critical assets?

The key to having a cost-effective and balanced condition based maintenance programme is to assess which machines are most valuable by performing an asset criticality audit. This addresses the impact of temporary or permanent loss that a key asset would have on your business. The characteristics that make an asset valuable aren’t always obvious. It’s important to rank assets based on the significance a failed asset has on your business.

For example, a small motor gearbox with a replacements cost of a few hundred pounds, which can be sourced quickly, is not critical equipment that needs constant monitoring.

In contrast, a motor gearbox that powers a major conveyor belt with a replacements cost of thousands of pounds, which could take weeks to source and halts your production line until it’s repaired or replaced, is a critical piece of equipment that needs to be monitored around the clock.

Condition based maintenance

How do I implement a CBM programme?

The first phase to implement a condition based maintenance programme is to identify your critical assets by conducting a CBM survey. Our reliability experts will discuss your maintenance requirements, identify critical assets and pinpoint maintenance resources to where they are needed most.

If you are looking to increase productivity, lowers costs and improve the bottom line throughout your entire organisation, then contact us to discuss how we can implement an efficient and effective CBM strategy.

If you would like more information about how we can help you with your CBM programme please get in touch.

T: 01709 876712 E: info@pcmseng.co.uk

 

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Review of Equipment Maintenance (REM)

Review of Equipment Maintenance (REM)

Due to the problems encountered implementing the RCM technique in small and medium sized process and manufacturing industries, PCMS Engineering developed an alternative technique known as a Review of Equipment Maintenance (REM), which concentrates on improving the availability of existing equipment.

This was in response to the trend towards larger, more integrated production facilities for which the cost of downtime is a major factor in the cost effectiveness of the facility as a whole.

This methodology aims to develop an optimised maintenance plan through a review of the existing maintenance tasks already carried out on the equipment. These maintenance tasks will have generated a large volume of maintenance information on the plant’s historical performance.

The quality and location of this information will vary considerably from plant to plant, but will usually be available from maintenance and production records, or by interviewing plant personnel. For the purpose of an REM study, information on breakdowns is often more useful than information on Fixed Time Maintenance.

The information gained from different maintenance strategies can be summerised as follows:

  • OFM: Learning by damage and disgrace;
  • CBM: Learning by measurement and knowledge.
  • The learning effect from FTM is virtually non-existent.

The primary steps undertaken as part of an REM review are shown above.  It can be seen that this is a similar process to RCM, but with an emphasis on the maintenance audit as the main source of failure information.

Ideally, REM is not a process which should be carried out once for a particular plant but should be a continuous process which reflects changes to the operating characteristics of the plant such as product mix, changes to the production cycle or changes to the equipment itself.

For more information about our services please contact us:

T: 01709 876712 E:info@pcmseng.co.uk

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Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)

Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)

During the development of the Boeing 747 a Maintenance Steering Group was formed to look at the maintenance requirements of the aircraft. This steering group carried out a survey on the failure characteristics of aircraft components, which revealed that 94% of failures were not time dependent.

Up until this time, all aircraft maintenance had been based on flying hours, therefore a new method of maintaining aircraft had to be devised. The method chosen was a systematic analysis of the components which made up the aircraft based on a Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) technique originally developed by the United States Military. The basis of an RCM analysis follows the structure shown in the diagram below.

Moubray took this process and adapted it to suit industrial applications, using it to select the correct mix of maintenance strategies to maximise maintenance effectiveness. He called his process RCM II. RCM as a process has two primary objectives:

  • To determine the maintenance requirement of each item of plant and equipment in its operating context.
  • To ensure that these requirements are fulfilled as cheaply and as effectively as possible.

The application of RCM has proved to be time consuming and has been applied with little success outside High Intensity Process Systems (HIPS) industries, with notable success mainly in the Nuclear, Oil, Aircraft Manufacturing and Electricity Generation industries.

For more information about our services please contact us:

T: 01709 876712 E:info@pcmseng.co.uk

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Maintenance Planning

Maintenance Planning

The 4 maintenance strategies are not mutually exclusive. For any given piece of equipment appropriate maintenance strategies should be sought to counteract each identified mode of failure. The strategies are then combined together for the equipment to create what is known as the “Asset Maintenance Plan”.

The selection of a maintenance strategy for any given mode of failure should take into account the failure characteristic, the frequency of failure (mean time to failure) and the lead time to failure.

The “Maintenance Plan” for a site or organisation is produced by co-ordinating the individual unit maintenance plans in order to make the best use of available resources and time. In effect, the unit maintenance plans identify what is to be done, and the site maintenance plan identifies when and how it is to be performed.

There are a number of methodologies which can be used to produce a maintenance plan, including Reliability Centered Maintenance and Review of Equipment Maintenance. Many sites are still operating using a maintenance plan which was generated when the plant was first installed, based on the plant manufacturer’s servicing information.

These plans often do not reflect the current maintenance requirements of the plant as the equipment, production cycle, operating conditions and/or product mix may have changed radically since the plant was commissioned.

For more information about our services please contact us:

T: 01709 876712 E:info@pcmseng.co.uk

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Fixed Time Maintenance (FTM)

Fixed Time Maintenance (FTM)

Maintenance which is carried out at regular intervals of either time, output, cycles of operation etc. is known as Fixed Time Maintenance. To minimise disruption Fixed Time Maintenance is, where possible, carried out off-line i.e. when production has stopped.

Fixed Time Maintenance will only be effective where the failure characteristic is time dependent with the failure occurring within the life of the equipment, and where the total cost of the repair is substantially less than the cost of allowing the equipment to breakdown.

Unfortunately, time dependent failures are a relatively uncommon characteristic in a complex plant, resulting in FTM having a negligible or occasionally detrimental effect on improving equipment performance.

The more predictable the time to failure, the more effective Fixed Time Maintenance is. This does not necessarily mean that FTM is the optimum strategy to use for time dependent failures, as Condition Based Maintenance can sometimes be more economic if it can be applied.

For more information about our services please contact us:

T: 01709 876712 E:info@pcmseng.co.uk

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Maintenance Objectives

Maintenance Objectives

In British industry, the maintenance plan has often evolved rather than being consciously set-up resulting in an over reliance on breakdown and fixed time maintenance (planned maintenance). Historically plant equipment has been robust and less automated than modern equipment making it relatively easy to work on. These plants have relied on large and expensive maintenance departments to enable rapid attention to breakdowns. Single-line single-product plants with no standbys have allowed profitability to be increased through the economies of scale. On the downside, this has resulted in ever increasing breakdown costs. In this changing environment, historical maintenance plans cannot provide the required level of plant performance.

Maintenance Goal

The goal of any well run maintenance organisation is to have the lowest cost of the sum of two quantities, i.e:

  • Maintenance labour and material
  • Production loss reduction resulting from an inadequate maintenance programme (which includes lack of ability to produce, and value added material that is lost as a result of a breakdown).

Maintenance itself can result in excessive downtime and costs. This results from the requirement to take the machinery off-line to carry out (possibly unnecessary and invasive) maintenance. The danger of infant mortality after it has been put back on line again and also the cost of the maintenance action itself contributes to costs. Achieving the lowest cost is an optimisation technique shown graphically in the diagram below.

For more information about our services please contact us:

T: 01709 876712 E:info@pcmseng.co.uk

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Maintenance Work Control

Maintenance Work Control

Once a maintenance plan has been determined, it is the task of the maintenance department to ensure that it is carried out. This function is known as Maintenance Work Control, and covers all aspects of day to day maintenance management activities. This is a separate function from activities designed to improve the maintenance plan, such as REM or RCM analysis. The figure below shows how these two aspects of the maintenance department function relate to each other.

One of the primary challenges in maintenance management is balancing these two aspects of maintenance, namely long term improvement in the reliability of the assets employed and managing the work force to ensure that maintenance tasks are carried out. Many companies expend much effort on the day to day management of maintenance, with the result that potential reliability improvements suffer. This is often extenuated by the erroneous view held by many that maintenance costs companies money. This view was confirmed by a survey of maintenance managers, 67% of whom responded that their senior management regarded maintenance as an overhead rather than an investment.

The maintenance improvement cycle is often ignored or under resourced. Many companies concentrate effort on the maintenance work control cycle to the detriment of plant improvement activities. This can be due to a number of reasons, including budget or labour constraints or too much “fire fighting”. Clearly any time saved on day to day management by maintenance engineers could be more effectively utilised in planning and implementing reliability improvement policies, which in turn will lead to both higher plant availability and lower operating costs. However, lack of time is the most common reason quoted for not undertaking plant improvement studies.

For more information about our services please contact us:

T: 01709 876712 E:info@pcmseng.co.uk

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Operate To Failure (OTF)

Operate To Failure (OTF)

Operate To Failure involves no advanced planning other than ensuring that enough resources are available to carry out appropriate repairs following plant failure. This is usually the least desirable strategy to employ, as the planning and control becomes very difficult to predict and the equipment can breakdown at any time.

All of the other four maintenance strategies, to some extent, allow for repair or overhaul to be scheduled so that production loss is minimised. Operate To Failure by its nature will result in breakdowns occurring when the equipment is in use.

The correct strategy to employ on non-critical equipment, or where suitable standby equipment is available.

For more information about our services please contact us:

T: 01709 876712 E:info@pcmseng.co.uk

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Design Out Maintenance (DM)

Design Out Maintenance (DM)

If the maintenance cost or downtime cost of equipment is high, then the Design Out Maintenance strategy can often be effective. This strategy differs from all the others in that it is a one-off activity, as opposed to a repetitive activity designed to prevent failure. Design Out Maintenance aims to redesign those parts of the equipment which consume high levels of maintenance effort or spares cost or which have unacceptably high failure rates.

The high maintenance costs may have been caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Poor maintenance
  • Operation of equipment outside of its original design specification
  • A poor initial design

The Design Out Maintenance strategy can only be implemented effectively if high maintenance cost items can be identified and the reasons for the high cost understood. It is often the best strategy to take when breakdowns are too frequent or repair is too costly.

Some examples of where this concept has been applied successfully are disposable razors, cigarette lighters, ball-point pens, disposable syringes, etc.

For more information about our services please contact us:

T: 01709 876712 E:info@pcmseng.co.uk

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