Plant Engineering 2015 Maintenance Study

9 key findings on plant maintenance strategies


Respondents to the Plant Engineering 2015 Maintenance Study identified nine important high-level findings impacting the manufacturing industries today:

  1. Source: Plant Engineering 2015 Maintenance Study, CFE MediaMaintenance strategies: 85% of manufacturing plants follow a planned maintenance strategy; while 62% still follow a run-to-failure method and 51% use predictive maintenance (PdM) with analytical tools.

  2. Strategy advantages: Planned maintenance is most popular due to numerous factors, including improved safety (81%), decreased downtime (80%), better productivity levels (80%), and overall efficiencies (76%).

  3. Shutdown schedule: Specialized and standard production machinery and less automated systems are generally shutdown once each year for schedule maintenance, while conveyor and production line systems are shutdown twice a year, material handling equipment is shutdown quarterly, and packing systems are shutdown every other month.

  4. Maintenance support: More than half of survey respondents indicated that their facilities’ rotating equipment and plant automation systems receive more maintenance support than fluid power systems, material handling equipment, and internal electrical distribution systems.

  5. Outsourcing: On average, 17% of maintenance services within a facility are outsourced, with top reasons for outsourcing being lack of time/manpower to dedicate to maintenance (50%), lack of skills among current staff (45%), and the requirement of too many specialized skills for particular tasks (41%).

  6. Training: 62% of respondents indicated that their maintenance teams receive basic mechanical and electrical skills training. Other training received includes lubrication (55%), PdM (43%), and welding and fabricating (35%).

  7. Technologies: Top monitoring/managing technologies used for maintenance include computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS, 58%), in-house created spreadsheets and schedules (48%), and clipboards and paper records of rounds (42%).

  8. Unscheduled downtime: The most popular cause of unscheduled downtime within respondents’ facilities is aging equipment (45%), followed by operator error (20%) and lack of time to perform maintenance (14%).

  9. View of maintenance: 41% of survey respondents believe that maintenance as a whole is a cost center, but understand that they need to spend in order to keep equipment running. Another 39% disagree, saying maintenance is a profit center there they can deliver greater capacity to their facilities.

Access the full Plant Engineering 2015 Maintenance report with additional findings and insights.

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