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9 ways to achieve best practices in factory maintenance

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:factory maintenance? best practices? production maintenance? OEMs?

It is possible to establish best practices in production maintenance, but to achieve this requires great effort from electronics original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). What makes this goal so difficult and why are manufacturers still running at a reactive model?

Many blame it on the age of their manufacturing assets and the repairs they require. More blame goes to not stocking the critical (and expensive) spares needed to sustain production. And still more can be blamed to today's fast-paced manufacturing that doesn't allow for proper planning or time management.

So what steps would be needed to reach world-class maintenance in this reactive environment? Here are nine easy steps to better maintenance practices.

Step 6

Step 6

Moving from reactive requires planning for your technician's time as well as planning for having the right part at the right time. That's why introducing a scheduler planning function can be one more way to drive out downtime by maximising machine PMs.

Step 7

Step 7

So now we are moving from a reactive model to a more proactive model. But where do we go next? Introducing predictive tools. Along with a good PM checklist, it's important to develop a predictive PM checklist as well. Electrical equipment should have a thermography PM included to look for overheating issue. Rotating equipment should be scheduled for vibration analysis. And airlines need ultrasound scanning for air leaks.

Step 8

Step 8

So where do we go after predictive? Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) takes the maintenance to the next level by involving the operator. No one knows the day-to-day operation of a manufacturing asset better than the operator. So why not provide some simple ways that the operator can assist with maintenance? These could be a simple as installing sight gauges to monitor fluid levels or cleaning and repainting the asset to make leaks or malfunction more visible.

Step 9

Step 9

Now we are on the road to reliability. Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) puts it all together. Through this concept, your operation becomes more experiential. Individual machines are no longer brought down for scheduled PMs on a scheduled basis; rather they are run to the threshold of failure to assure the most productivity possible. In some cases, run to failure is permitted based on cost and mean time to repair.

- Jeffrey Owens
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