The challenges facing the business of Reliability Engineering & Maintenance Management are both extremely complicated and challenging. That is why it is very important to measure what did not happen in a proactive environment.
Reliability Engineering & Maintenance Management is big business in today’s industrial environment. The temptation for management to cost cut in these areas are there and they are real. If Maintenance Management can not quantifiably show results from proactive initiatives, like condition monitoring for example, then those activities are under a big risk to be cancelled.
The reason for this factor of maintenance activities to be cut out is simple, for management looking at these activities without understanding them fully see it as a “nice to have” feature of maintenance and it is not contributing with addressing the current issues, break downs etc. so to them this is a great move to get added resources to focus on the break downs that are facing them ever more increasingly because of maybe previous cost cutting.
Cost cutting in maintenance usually also has a rather lagging response time, if management is cost cutting extensively in maintenance activities the true results of that often do not appear until even 3 years after the initial decision.
To address this issue Maintenance Management needs to focus hard on measuring what did not happen because proactive initiatives prevented the issues. Make agreements with production on equipment downtime, for example if a specific pump will brake down during production it will cost X$ per hour. If it happens unexpectedly it will take Xhours to repair, however if the failure is detected in time and repair is planned there will be no unexpected downtime.
In PAS 55-1:2008, 4.6.1 Performance and condition monitoring, this issue is addressed and hopefully will be addressed even better in ISO55000. There are also harmonized KPI’s that focus on this issue developed by SMRP and EFNMS.
Once quantities KPI’s have been set in place and maintenance has the ammunition to fight against the dangerous cost cutting initiatives of management then maintenance can also claim it’s rightful place as a profit contributor!
It is my hope that all of us join hands and start to be even more proactive in our Reliability Engineering & Maintenance Management profession so others can see what a great & profitable business it is to be in.