Maintenance Scheduling – Part 2

Continuing from the Part 1 on this topic

Step 4.  Most of the larger institutions and industries prefer some redundancy built into their systems to achieve uninterrupted optimum work environments. Redundancy costs money (sunken capital for idle machinery and systems). For capital-intensive, but easy to maintain systems may not be provided with standby equipment. In such cases critical spares / sub assemblies may be provided for quick hot swapping, thus reducing the down time.

Step 5.  Assess maintainability of equipment and systems. In any commercial set up, the accessibility of systems and machinery components may not be a serious problem. In some cases, working at heights may be required. Accessibility of sub components, system elements, modular construction, removal route for major assemblies, availability of special stands, jigs, lifting appliances, lifting strong points, trolleys or other mobile equipment etc would come under this scope.

Step 6.  Assess the components that are static and dynamic. For example, static items are electrical power panels, transformers, light fittings, system pipe lines, heat exchangers, control stations etc. Dynamic elements would be motors, drives, pumps, fans, compressors, conveyors etc. Assess the maintenance needs according to the above categories. Dynamic components may need more frequent maintenance than the static components.

Step 7.  Assess criticality of equipment or systems. In a building maintenance environment, the availability of electrical power may be deemed critical. In a process industry there could be other items such as availability of treated water that also may be critical. In an automobile paint shop, the dust free controlled environment may be the most critical aspect. The equipment or systems identified as critical would require more close monitoring and maintenance effort.

Step 8.  If provision for online vibration and other parameters monitoring and analysis is possible, the maintenance effort could be termed as predictive, based on present condition and probability of future deterioration.

Step 9.  There are a few statutory requirements to be met periodically. Inspection and certification of pressure vessels, lifting appliances, electrical installations, pollution control systems etc are mandatory irrespective of extent of usage and their current condition. There could be some related maintenance also that would need to be scheduled as part of the inspection.

Step 10.  Instruments and controls calibration, specialised equipment maintenance and a few highly specialised jobs may have to be offloaded to external agencies since setting up in-house capability may not be cost-effective. Assess in-house employee skills and facilities to decide on:

  • Work to be done by external agencies
  • Work to be done by OEM
  • AMCs to be resorted to and scope of such AMCs
  • Work that could be done in-house
  • Manpower planning and training requirement

Safety, Health, Employee training and Environmental Aspects

Safe working environment and accident free record could improve employee satisfaction and productivity. Safety and health of the maintenance staff and all those using the premises are of prime importance. Job Hazards Assessments need to be done to identify requirement of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and other safety systems applicable to each job group. Work instructions and Checklists should indicate the possible hazards and precautions to be taken to mitigate these.

Employee training on technical and logistics aspects of maintenance is essential. All of them need to be trained on basic safety. Those employees carrying out special tasks need to be trained on related safety aspects such as “working at heights”, “hot work”, “hazardous environments”, “confined spaces”, “work permit system” etc.

Hazardous waste management, its impact to the environment, personnel handling them etc need to be taken care to avert mishaps. Legal disposal of all hazardous waste would be part of the logistics related to maintenance management.

Waste reduction, re-use and recycling also become part of cost-effective maintenance management.

Wishing you all effective maintenance scheduling and management.