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.