Three Keys to Establishing Best Maintenance Practices at Your Facility

As a plant manager, you probably know the difficulty of time management. Especially in older plants, there is nearly always a balancing act between putting out maintenance fires and meeting production quotas, so it can be difficult to find the time to design a maintenance schedule, much less put it into effect. To learn more about three ways to establish best maintenance practices at your facility, read on.

Build Your Equipment List

Whether you have a full team in-house or you hire out your mechanical services Southeast, the first rule of building a preventative maintenance program is having a list of every piece of equipment. Depending on your facility you’ll need this for your OSHA PSM standard, but regardless, you can’t know what to review if you don’t know what you have. Consider an investment in a good computer maintenance management software, CMMS, system to track the smallest solenoid to the largest tank.

Schedule Standard Preventative Maintenance

Too many plants spend their time putting out fires instead of using a schedule to assign maintenance duties on a regular basis. In one example, the cost of accumulating small leaks in a supposedly closed system could be $10,000 a month. That doesn’t include catastrophic failures where an initial fix of a few thousand dollars can suddenly run up into the hundred thousand range because damage extends up and down the line instead of being isolated.

Get Buy-In From Upper Management

Nearly every business has at least one management team member who is penny wise and pound foolish. To make sure that is not the management person making decisions for the whole team it is imperative to track time and expenses for maintenance. Work on predicting the cost of future failures. No one likes to see a production line go down for maintenance, but track production lost from scheduled maintenance, and if necessary, compare it to the cost of unforeseen maintenance. It won’t take more than an example or two for the C-suite to understand that any type of maintenance can stop production, but unforeseen maintenance is almost always more expensive in parts needing replacement and takes longer because the needed parts may not be on hand or more damage has been done to the system.

Getting your team to be as invested in preventative maintenance may be another struggle but with a complete list, a schedule and buy-in from upper management, you will set your facility on a path for reduced costs and downtime.

Author: Giuliano Forti