Precision maintenance is a strategy to maintain work quality and streamline routine activities. Any service technician can respond to emergency or routine maintenance tasks and deliver high quality work. Building a successful precision maintenance program takes time as the business must perfect work order management and instill a culture of best practices, adherence to established maintenance procedures, and continuous improvement.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are at the heart of precision maintenance programs. The company chooses a maintenance specialty that it needs to perfect and develop relevant procedures to achieve its maintenance objectives. Precision maintenance has several benefits, including:
-Increased reliability of assets;
-Long equipment life;
-Reduction of operating and maintenance costs;
-Better safety standards;
– Improved productivity; and
– Motivated and highly qualified maintenance personnel.
The company must meet specific requirements to implement a successful precision maintenance program. This requires a dedicated mindset among employees, embracing proactive maintenance at all levels of the organization. The company then trains its employees, develops detailed workflows and procedures, invests in relevant work tools and perfects the documentation of maintenance work.
Build a precision maintenance program
Choosing to establish a precision maintenance program is an indication that the company is focused on maximizing asset productivity, streamlining maintenance work and eliminating waste. Precision maintenance focuses on cultural change rather than maintenance planning. What steps can companies take to implement effective precision maintenance programs?
Carry out skills assessments and train maintenance personnel
The first step is to equip the entire maintenance team with the required skills. As the business moves to precision maintenance, it must ensure standard quality regardless of existing maintenance workloads. Therefore, all team members must understand how to repair equipment faults.
The company should perform a skills audit and identify skills gaps. Identify the challenges that employees face when performing maintenance work due to a lack of particular skills. Assess whether technicians are confident working both as a team and individually. The company may also conduct a survey to gauge employees’ willingness to follow standard work procedures.
Once the company has identified the professional challenges and existing skills gaps, it develops relevant training programs. Training improves the technical capabilities of employees. It helps them internalize new regulations and adapt to changes in maintenance schedules.
Audit facility to identify equipment requiring high maintenance
Production assets have different maintenance requirements. Some require regular maintenance that takes little time. Others have longer hours but with huge workloads and use hard-to-find spare parts. The business must balance maintenance schedules to avoid downtime of critical production assets.
When starting a precision maintenance program, companies should perform an audit to categorize and prioritize each piece of equipment in the facility. They need to identify expensive and critical assets. In addition, they must classify assets according to their frequency of failure and the intensity of maintenance work (planned and unplanned).
By identifying high maintenance equipment, the business can identify an area of maintenance that requires perfection. He can also start scheduling maintenance, prioritizing critical assets and those with higher ROI potential. Data from these audits provides insight into labor needs and work
Develop standard operating procedures and detailed maintenance workflows
At this point, the company has a clear idea of the maintenance goals it expects to achieve. Each member of the team is equipped with the necessary technical skills and the maintenance needs of each piece of equipment are defined. The company writes its standard operating procedures and detailed maintenance workflows. The idea is to provide a step-by-step guide that technicians can follow to perform high-quality maintenance work.
Standard SOPs and workflows eliminate errors that would negatively impact maintenance work. There are no assumptions about what steps the technician should take to resolve machine faults. Regularly update SOPs and workflows to reflect changes in the number of production assets and technological advancements.
Invest in appropriate technological solutions
After organizing everything from workflows to maintenance needs, the business needs to identify the appropriate technology tools. These solutions improve the consistency of routine workflows and improve data management. Precision maintenance is about leveraging data to extend proactive maintenance into a facility. The most popular technological solution that unifies the management of personnel, tools and equipment is a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).
CMMS solutions are essential for employee collaboration, maintenance scheduling, maintenance work tracking, work order management, and tracking of maintenance, repair, and operating costs. Other digital tools such as condition monitoring sensors remain essential for monitoring the real-time performance of assets.
Businesses can take advantage of technology solutions to track maintenance work. They can identify difficult situations and resolve them immediately, preventing the transfer of errors that would compromise the quality of the maintenance work carried out. The choice of digital solutions is dependent on the company’s budget and the objectives of its precision maintenance program.
Create a culture of continuous improvement and review program progress
The success of the precision maintenance program is never final. Technological advances and production dynamics affect the reliability of maintenance programs. Every company should focus on continuous improvement through strategic implementation of digital solutions and technical training of maintenance employees. Companies should review these programs to verify their effectiveness. Do precision maintenance programs reduce equipment downtime? How much does the company spend on maintenance?
Companies can encourage continuous improvement by involving employees in decision-making. Encourage innovation among team members and reward maintenance champions.
Precision maintenance as a philosophy is an essential ingredient that ensures consistent maintenance work. It ensures that maintenance personnel deliver high quality work. Accuracy reduces equipment downtime, increases productivity and extends machine life. Establishing a precision maintenance program can be hectic. It is a long process that requires good planning. Build a successful program by training employees, creating standard work procedures, using appropriate digital tools, and performing periodic reviews to phase out outdated workflows and standards. MRO
Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS (a mobile CMMS software company). He can be reached at [email protected].