Marshall InstituteMarshall on Maintenance


Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs. This blog, authored by experts at the Marshall Institute, will point the way to effective, efficient maintenance that adds value to your manufacturing operation.


PM optimization as a routine

March 28, 2013

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Anyone that has ever tended or raised livestock , be it rabbits, chickens, goats or cattle, knows that routines are important. Without routines, you run the risk of causing undue suffering on the part of your animals or end up with a monumental mess to clean up.

Unfortunately, when Preventive Maintenance Optimization (PMO) is considered, most people immediately revert, in their mind, to the concept of a workshop. However, the fact is that the most effective form of PMO is that which takes place incrementally, over time, via routines and feedback.

One of the routines involves regularly scheduling a planned PM. Planned, meaning that the conduct and materials involved in the PM are well laid out and itemized. Scheduled, meaning that this work was known, at least 72 hours in advance.

Another routine that optimizes the PM is the routine of feedback. The feedback of your maintenance personnel is the most valuable form of intelligence reinforcing the continuous improvement of your maintenance systems.

Using the livestock example: if you were new to tending animals, over time, you would change the way you did things to limit trauma to your stock, increase the efficiency of the process and leave yourself as little a mess to clean up, after the fact, as possible.

In the same light, your maintenance personnel will have valuable input to the planning and scheduling of any given PM task after having to put tools to the equipment. They will have a better sense of the order of tasks, frequency, efficacy of the lubrication process, effectiveness and discipline of the basic equipment care standards (autonomous maintenance), necessity or obsolescence of certain checks, frequency of replacement, and the quality of parts/storeroom supplies.

This knowledge often goes to waste for the organization as a whole, because there is no routine in place to take advantage of this information in association with the closeout of the PM. This is the most powerful and effective form of PMO and it is also the most neglected. Remember, things that you do as a form of common sense in your personal life require standardization in business because there is more than one person involved in the activity. Your team members can’t read your mind.

There are times where priority and time make the PMO workshop the best option, but establishment of effective routines equate to a culture change. Positive culture changes will always outdistance the benefit of periodic workshops over time.

The more effectively you capture the wisdom and experience of your people, the better the optimization of your PM program.


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