Technical Maintenance: How to take the right decision?

Seeveral Tips for Best Technical Maintenance Decisions

It is not always an easy task for a maintenance service to make the right decision, however this article will provide you with several tips which will help you optimize your decision making process. 

 

Maintenance activities diagnosis 

Preventive or scheduled maintenance 

This method is based on the statistical analysis of machines failures and of their main organs. The Industry 4.0 CMMS Mobility Work’s community enables you to access these data from your maintenance history, your manufacturers’ or other members’ of the community.

These statistics enable you to determine the average lifetime of a part or its average MTBF (mean time between failures). These can be worked out automatically with the Analytics tools.

Sometimes, failure probability has nothing to do with operating time; but some other times, the frequency histogram is clearly centered on an average time with a shorter standard deviation.

Predictive maintenance 

Statistical data also enable to draw a correlation between the shutdown probability and the evolution of a measurable operating variable (temperature, vibrations, etc.). Is is called predictive maintenance.

Vibrations, noise and heat are symptoms of a potential problem; this is why they are so important to analyze. Operators are essential since they know the machines better than anyone else. Automatic maintenance interventions may also be easily scheduled from value thresholds in the Mobility Work maintenance app.

Perfective maintenance 

This aims at getting rid of any failure symptoms. There are several forms of actual maintenance.

Repairs enable to restore the equipment, and are usually carried out after shutdowns due to failures.

Corrective maintenance 

It enables to eliminate the core reason for a failure. Data gathering systems relative to failures are often confronted with limitations.

There is no need to collect too much information about failures if the reasons are not analyzed in order to get rid of them: it is a fundamental issue.

To improve a machine’s reliability, first it is necessary to have a good knowledge of the incidents happening on this machine, which requires implementing a monitoring system.

It enables to work on the most common problems first.

Defining the emergency 

It is essential to communicate with the different stakeholders. The selection criteria have to be defined beforehand. The client obviously prevails. The tagging feature for critical machines available on the Mobility Work CMMS enables to rapidly inform the maintenance teams about which machines require more attention.

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Interventions

Repairs

It is the most usual maintenance activity.

Improvements and new operations 

Activities to prevent repetitive failures

Improvements on a case-by-case basis to reduce repetitive failures:

This aims at identifying weaknesses in the installation and participating in the elaboration and the implementation of improvement programs.

Improvements on a case-by-case basis to improve the lifetime of the machines 

These improvements require analyzing the materials used to manufacture the parts in order to identify the strongest ones, to select parts of a better quality and to design new systems or organs.

Activities to reduce repair time 

- Analysis of the failure diagnosis

Using self-diagnosis devices enables to gain a precious time on researching the cause of failure.

- Study of the part replacement methods

It consists in replacing sub-assemblies rather than isolated parts.

Trials 

It consists in trying the new equipment to check its capability.

Availability

It consists in communicating a machine’s availability, and potentially giving instructions in order to avoid issues.

Management of the spare parts store

Managing spare parts belongs to stock management techniques, although there are some distinctive features:

Spare part availability 

Sometimes, the machine is no longer manufactured and the supplier no longer has the piece in stock. The company has to take the risk to order in one time the whole quantity it thinks it will need throughout the equipment’s lifetime. If the part is expensive, it is possible to store mechanical parts as blanks. Finish machining is carried out only on demand.

Bottlenecks

Sometimes it can be necessary to double the equipment to avoid interrupting the production.

 

Define the 5 key roles  

There are five different roles in every decision process. RAPID is a loose acronym for the five key roles in a decision: Recommend, Input, Agree, Decide, and Perform.

RAPID, a practical tool for allocating decision roles:

Recommend (R)

Some people are responsible for recommending a particular course of action, for making a proposal or offering alternatives.

Input (I)

Some people have responsibility for input; they are consulted about the proposed alternatives, and they provide relevant facts and judgments from their vantage points.

Agree (A)

Some people must agree to the recommendation. They must sign off on it before it can move forward. People in this role have a veto power, and should think of their job as determining whether a particular course of action can be taken, not as determining whether it should be taken.

Decide (D)

Eventually one person must decide.

« The courage to decide is a virtue not many people have ».

Once decision roles are clear, you can see whether your people have that courage or not! For making difficult decision one has to prioritize core values: shareholders, employees or customers? Courage is about standing for values.

Perform (P)

Last but not list, some must perform or carry out the decision.

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