There is NO valid excuse for not doing scheduled Preventive Maintenance inspections

By Owe Forsberg, Vice President and Senior Consultant , IDCON INC a reliability and maintenance management consulting firm

Preventive Maintenance inspections, in particular Condition Monitoring, is executed to detect problems early. The compelling reasons for detecting problems early is to minimize the cost of the repairs and to reduce or manage the risks involved in making those repairs. 

Minimizing costs has many components – 

  • Reduce the number of lost production hours through good planning and scheduling of the work to minimize repair time
    • Correct repair procedures
    • Right skill set of crafts
    • Crafts have the opportunity to preview the work
    • Production has the equipment maintenance-ready for the repair work to be done
    • Right tools are available and ready 
  • Reduce the cost of the repair parts/components through good planning and scheduling of the work 
    • Minimize delivery costs – e.g. no “hot shots” to expedite parts/components
    • Availability of parts/components for the repairs
    • Kitting and staging of parts/components for the crafts
    • Minimize the cost of repairable components to be rebuilt

Reduce and/or manage the risks involved in executing the work –

  • Planners preview the work ahead of the scheduled repair and consider the hazards involved as they build a job plan
  • Crafts preview the work ahead of the scheduled repair to consider the hazards they will encounter as they execute the job plan
    • Right tools for the job
    • Correct rigging for the job
    • Positions of people as they execute the job

Very few of these proactive activities occur when doing reactive or emergency repairs. And the key to minimizing reactive or emergency repairs is to detect problems early. To detect problems early, PM inspections must be executed and executed well. 

Until PM work is considered the highest priority activity in any overall maintenance program, you can be assured that maintenance is not being done at the lowest possible cost and work is not being executed with the lowest possible risks.