Continuous Improvement Requires a Proactive Maintenance Approach

Maintenance should be a constantly improving activity, which enhances the quality of service, streamlines processes and optimizes operating costs. A continuous improvement environment includes the necessary elements to assess situations and determine improvement opportunities through the application of the following:

Defining maintenance processes and how critical equipment will be maintained with a focus on failure modes for critical components
– Every maintenance task needs to be directly aimed at creating the best “value” from the assets.

Assessing the available resources and required tools necessary for proactive maintenance jobs
– Work needs to be executed efficiently and effectively which requires a meticulous work management process to prevent wasteful reworks.

Establishment of overall objectives with KPI’s for progress checkpoints
– The development and implementation of a ‘balanced scorecard’ of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the support and communication from management are the keys to delivering improvement.

Integrating the process into a maintenance management system to capture all data points, track activity, and provide reporting analysis
– All data points related to equipment, critical assets, work orders, backlog, labor/man hours, costs, PM schedules, spare parts and more should be monitored and measured to identify where improvements have been made and where they are needed.

Expect the Unexpected
Planning and scheduling is an important element that contributes to maintenance productivity and continuous improvement. However, unexpected failures will occur and disrupt the completion of planned and scheduled work. With this in mind, increased planned work that is focused on eliminating defects (the causes of unplanned work) will result in efficiency gains.

It Continues – as it Should
Ongoing improvement means it continues without ending. The maintenance process requires regular reviews, modifications and adjustments when things change. Taking this approach to continuous improvement will increase uptime and throughput, reduce safety incidents, increase equipment reliability and planned maintenance work resulting in lower maintenance and operating costs.

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