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Preventive/Predictive Maintenance

Tip #8  Rather than risk the expense and effort (e.g. equipment, training) required to implement predictive maintenance technologies, try a small pilot project using an outside contractor. With the lower initial expense and the capabilities of an experienced contractor (you did do your homework on checking out the contractor didn't you?), the likelihood of success is much higher. The program can be expanded on an incremental basis. If eventually there is sufficient work to make it worthwhile to do it in-house, justification is easier if the program has already proven itself.
Tip #7  To help change the attitude of maintenance being a "necessary evil" to a value added part of the process, post your Thermographic Analysis pictures on the bulletin boards on internal websites within your company. In most cases no one knows maintenance is providing this service except maintenance and maybe an engineer. The colors of the thermographic analysis pictures will certainly grab peoples attention.
Tip #6  Is there a Predictive tool available to allow the condition of your Production equipment to be monitored while running? PMs can be invasive, requiring the equipment to be taken down for inspection. There are many tools available at reasonable costs that allow you to inspect the machine while running, and actually require that the machine is running to perform the inspection.
Tip #5  Use your local supplier of oils and lubricants for oil analysis. Reputable vendors will many times offer this value added service at no cost to their customers. They can also come in and perform an audit of all your current oils and lubricants, provide a cross reference of these, and make suggestions on consolidating to minimize carrying so many varieties. You may be able to reduce your inventories considerably!
Tip #4  Minimize the invasive problems of PMs. Modify guards to have expanded metal so the working parts can be viewed while running. Paint the expanded metal flat black instead of yellow. This will reduce glare so you can see down into the space more effectively. You can also replace solid guard fronts with clear Lexan or tempered glass allowing you to see inside while running.
Tip #3  Is your PM/PdM system dynamic? It is critical that you review your system on a regular basis, reviewing needed changes to tasks, frequency, etc. To help in the review process, start by reviewing your equipment histories, looking for repairs and breakdowns that repeat often. Then look at your PM and determine if there is a task that should find and prevent this problem. You may need to add or edit the tasks, or change your frequency, to identify the problem sooner to enable you to plan and schedule the repair.
Tip #2  Why change your oils at all? There are filtering technologies in the field now that allow you to hook to the machine and continually filter while the machine is on line, reducing the need to change the oil at all.
Tip #1  Understand first and foremost what Preventive Maintenance is. Many people misuse this term. PM is NOT a rebuild! A rebuild is a rebuild! Preventive maintenance is process of inspection and monitoring of the condition of the equipment to detect impending failures before they occur. Once detected, the corrective measure can be determined, planned and scheduled for repair, thus minimizing the impact to Production.

Updated March 27, 2008

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