Your questions answered: How to Become a Preventive Maintenance All-Star

On September 11, Plant Engineering presented a webinar, “How to Become a Preventive Maintenance All-Star,” sponsored by Dude Solutions.

By Paul Lachance and Bill Hoff September 24, 2019
Courtesy: Dude Solutions

A preventive maintenance all-star or “PM All-Star” has an organized maintenance program, with the most work falling on the less-chaotic PM side. Dude Solutions asserts any manufacturer can move from a firefighting mode to a more stable and efficient proactive mode – and even if the manufacturer is already operating proactively, there’s always room to take it to the next level.

Following the Sept. 11 presentation led by Paul Lachance, senior manufacturing advisor at Dude Solutions and Bill Hoff, director of facilities and environmental services at JMA Wireless, the two answered questions from the webinar attendees.

A sampling of the Q&A appears below.

Question: What if a company has one of best CMMS systems, but the maintenance team is not entering valuable data because they are too busy or they are loath to spend time on the computer rather than in the field?

Answer: Implementation services are key, including training and consulting, including establishing goals and objectives, work prioritization, configuration and implementation. Buy-in is needed at all levels, especially the maintenance staff. Make sure they understand the importance of the fact-gathering prior to implementation – hear all voices and get buy in.

Q: Isn’t increasing preventive maintenance increasing the chances of human induced failures? How to control preventive maintenance overdose while keeping higher reliability of assets?

A: The key is solid preventive maintenance instructions, including text, pictures and video. This needs to be matched up with human training and observation. Software can fix poor staff training. “PM Overdose” sounds like a poorly implemented preventive maintenance system. You need to have intelligent scheduling, calendar-based or better yet, meter-reading based preventive maintenance, with possible evolution to IoT [Internet of Things] enablement.

Q: How can management attitudes be changed?

A: Assuming they mean “change management attitude to acquiring CMMS,” the key is to show the value – NOT the cost. What does downtime or stockouts cost an organization? Probably 10-20 times the cost to implement CMMS. If they have CMMS, it’s probably not implemented correctly. Services will do that. Again – get everyone to move away from the cost conversation to the ROI conversation.

Q: In 24/7 operations, case can we have one machine stand-by and rotate them and keep maintenance?

A: This does not sound like a CMMS question, but for sure AE (asset enablement?) can manage maintenance on all assets in a production line – whether active or standby status. The system is intelligent in terms of asset status, suspending PMs where appropriate. This conversation should occur during the consulting phase.

Q: For preventive maintenance programs, what do you feel is best? date scheduled, or based on machine-run hours?

A: Machine-run hours will be more accurate and effective but takes more time to implement and gather data. It has better return on investment (ROI). However, it’s always fine to start with calendar-based at first – get SOMETHING going (crawl/walk/run).

Q: Should spare parts inventory be managed inside or outside of a CMMS system? What are the pros and cons?

A: Inside, but this is not your first priority. Start with other basics (assets, periodic maintenance, work orders, etc.) and get that solid. Parts soon after. For sure it should be in the CMMS – curbing “stock outs” critical and should be closely aligned with CMMS. There are others areas that profit from integration with the CMMS. Integration with outside procurement is a good idea, but even then, the CMMS purchasing area can prove really helpful.

Q: How to handle PM activities during 24/7 operations?

A: You must get access to those assets at some point. The better you can coordinate/schedule with production the better and CMMS can totally help with that. Unexpected downtime is a killer in 24/7 operations, avoid if at all possible. So the x hours production has to give up likely save x3 hours of unexpected downtime and likely way more dollars. You can also do tricks like “pitstop maintenance” – an asset is down for some other reason – (corrective) – if safe, knock off PMs while you have the asset, CMMS totally helps with pit-stop maintenance.

Paul Lachance and Bill Hoff
Author Bio: Paul Lachance, senior manufacturing advisor at Dude Solutions and Bill Hoff, director of facilities and environmental services at JMA Wireless