Asset Intensive Organizations, in particular those in Manufacturing, would have a process and systems in place for development, implementation and management of their Maintenance Strategies and Tasks for various Assets. Best Practices of Asset Strategy Management helps ensure that Maintenance Strategies maintained current, based on the Risks, Costs and Performance of Assets, using the Continuous Improvement Cycle.
The Maintenance Strategies and Tasks for individual or group of Assets are typically implemented in Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) as Preventative Maintenance ((PM) Plans (Preventive Maintenance (PM) – Time/Usage/Cycle based, Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) with Condition Monitoring/Predictive Maintenance (PdM) Tasks), Tests & Inspections, Calibration etc.)) intended to mitigate the Risks of Asset failure(Risks). Some of the Tasks for CBM are also implemented outside CMMS, in Solutions for managing Periodic Rounds.
With the advent of several effective offline and online Asset Condition/Health Monitoring Techniques and Solutions, Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) is playing an increasingly dominant role in the Maintenance Strategy of today’s organizations.
Risk-based Maintenance Strategies
The evolution of Software Solutions has made it easier to progressively adopt Risk Analysis and have the Maintenance Strategies more Risk-Based. The Risks and their Mitigation Actions (Maintenance Strategies and Tasks for Individual Assets or Groups of Asset) are typically determined in Solutions for Asset Strategy Management (based on RCM/FMEA etc.) or the Suite of Solutions for Asset Performance Management (APM) and optimized for Risks and Costs (of Actions). Based on a combination of Asset Criticality (e.g. VED), Asset Type (Identical/Similar Vs Unique Assets), Operating Contexts and Risks, a differentiated approach is adopted for the development of Maintenance Strategies. The Maintenance Strategies and Tasks are subsequently packaged and implemented in CMMS as Generic or Equipment Specific Maintenance Plans.
Further depending on the Solutions used for developing Risk-Based Maintenance Strategies, and their level of integration with CMMS, the Maintenance Strategies can be Packaged and Implemented as Maintenance Plans either automatically or manually in CMMS.
Asset Strategy Management Cycle
The simplified Asset Strategy Management cycle comprises a) Development of Maintenance Strategy and Tasks traditionally in the domain of Reliability Function and b) Execution of Maintenance Strategy and Tasks typically in the domain of Maintenance Function (Specialised Condition Monitoring Tasks and Maintenance Tasks are typically executed by Reliability Function).
Maintenance Planning acts a crucial link between the two functions and completes the Cycle by implementing the Risk-Based Maintenance Strategies in CMMS (Preventative Maintenance Plans, typically by Centralized Planning Team), Planning and Scheduling of the Maintenance Work in CMMS for Execution by Maintenance (Planner/s could be located Centrally or at the individual Plant/s, with combined or split roles for Planning/Scheduling) and providing feedback on Strategy Execution to Reliability Function (Work Completion, Costs, Catalogued Codes, Analysis and Reports, Asset Performance Measures, depending on the Responsibilities defined by the Organization) for Continuous Improvement (P-D-C-A) of the Asset Strategy Management Program.
Reliability and Maintenance (Partners in Progress, through Risk Management)
In simple terms,
Reliability Function Focus is essentially on
- Strategy Development & Management
- Do the Right Work
The Maintenance Function Focus essentially focuses on
- Strategy Implementation and Execution
- Do the Work Right
Gap between the Intent and the Action
Now let’s see where the Potential Risks due to Gap between the Intent (of Reliability Function) and the Action (of Maintenance) are…
Although Maintenance Strategies are developed and implemented for Assets with the best intentions, their execution as specific Maintenance Tasks on the Assets (as Planned Work/Tasks, through Maintenance Notifications/Work Orders) is where the rubber meets the road.
Let’s examine the following two scenarios at the Field/Plant that, in my view, have the potential to increase the Risks by widening the gap between the Intent (of Reliability) and Action (of Maintenance) :
Preventive Maintenance (PM): When Planning and Scheduling the PM Work triggered (the best practice is that PM Jobs are already planned in CMMS as part of implementation of Maintenance Plans), the Maintenance Planner (Planner) has visibility of When to execute the Work and also, in many cases, knows How to carry out the Work. Does the Planner know the “Why” of the Work (Intent)? The Risks that are intended to be mitigated by timely execution of the Work?
In most situations, the Planner will likely have no clear and upfront visibility, in the Notifications / Work Orders, of the Risks vis a vis the Maintenance Work to prioritise his efforts w.r.t. other Maintenance Work. When PM Jobs are deferred beyond the permissible time limits and rescheduled to a future date there’s a potential for the Risks to increase further.
Corrective Maintenance (CM): Similarly, when CM Work is triggered from Condition Monitoring/PdM Task Execution (mostly by Reliability Engineers) or from Online Condition/Health Monitoring Systems, the Planner, in most situations, may not have clear and upfront visibility of the Risks against the mitigation Actions (Condition-Based Maintenance Tasks) in Maintenance Notification/Work Order.
Effectiveness of Risk-Based Work Prioritisation at Plants
Though Selecting, Prioritising, Planning, Scheduling and Executing all the Maintenance Work based on Risk is the endeavour at all times, the potential gap between the Intent (by Reliability) and Action (by Maintenance) from the perspective of Asset Strategy Management could render the Risk-Based approach inadequate in many situations. Risk Assessments of the System-Generated Preventative and Corrective Maintenance Work, if and when carried out at the Plant may not adequately capture the insights of the Reliability who had developed the Risk-based Maintenance Strategies and also generated the CM Work based on Offline/Online Condition Monitoring.
Similar to Routine Maintenance, without clear and upfront visibility of Risks against the Mitigation Actions, in the PM/CM Maintenance Notifications/Work Orders, the TA Planner would be, in most cases, hampered in correct prioritization of the vast no. of Maintenance Work in TA Scope for further planning and scheduling.
In many Organizations, Deferred Maintenance Work (Routine and Turnaround) is routed through a formal Deferral Management System. Here again, clear and upfront availability of the Risks w.r.t the Work proposed to be deferred would help the stakeholders take the right decision at the right time.
How can we endeavour
- to bridge the potential Gap between the Intent and Action?
- to ensure that the Right Maintenance Work is done at the Right Time (and every time)?
Let me share my thoughts on these in Part-2 of this article… Thanks