31 Maintenance Management Tips to Successfully Improve Your Plant Maintenance Performance and Lower Your Maintenance Costs

Here is a simple checklist of 31 maintenance management tips that you can use to improve your reliability and maintenance results.

Use it as a guide to start you thinking which maintenance management improvement strategies to use to lower your maintenance and operational costs.



31 Maintenance Management Tips to Improve Your Maintenance and Operating Performance

The 31 maintenance management tips list below takes the form of a bullet-point list so it can be quickly reviewed. Should you wish more information in detail on any of the 31 maintenance management tips, then please read the PDF article 31 Sure Ways to Lower Operating Assets Maintenance Costs and Improve Reliability. If you have any questions from the article please contact us on the email address shown in the Contact Us page.

The list below is divided into three time scales. The first section of the 31 maintenance management tips is what you can do immediately to improve your situation. The second section is what to do in the next few months. The third portion of our 31 maintenance management tips is what to do to get benefits from long term initiatives. Every one of these 31 maintenance management tips work and each one will give you more reliable equipment, more certain production, and lower maintenance costs.

Actions For Immediately Improved Results.

  1. Have a lubrication regime where everything is lubricated when due and you know the right lubricant gets all the way to where it should.
  2. Have 50% of the plant or maintenance engineer’s time spent working with the plant operators and maintenance trades teaching them engineering and learning from them about the problems they have to work with.
  3. Have shaft alignments done on all pumps and gearbox drives including eliminating ‘soft foot’.
  4. Get to know vendors and supplier’s best technical people and get their advice on fixing problem plant.
  5. Introduce equipment watch-keeping lists and trouble-shooting check sheets for plant operators and read them regularly to see what they notice.
  6. Make plant and equipment choices and selections with a 20 to 25 year time span in mind.
  7. Vibration monitor rolling bearings on critical equipment often enough to stop any failures.
  8. Ask the operators and maintainers the simplest way they can think of to fix the problem.
  9. Get Production and Maintenance Planners, Leading-hands and Supervisors to meet each day and prioritise the work to be done in the coming days and weeks.

Actions For Improved Results That Will Show Benefits for You In A Few Months Time.

  1. Start measuring performance with Key Performance Indicators.Measure both the equipment performance and the business systems’ performance.  Use that knowledge to continuously improve.
  2. Put all Production and Maintenance Supervisors on a compulsory asset management course at diploma level.
  3. Establish a basic condition-monitoring regime – vibration/oil analysis/thermography/see-touch-hear inspections.
  4. Perform a thorough engineering review of plant changes and upgrades to make decisions based on engineering and business facts. First design and engineer, or model and simulate, or pilot-test plant changes and ideas before putting them into place permanently.
  5. Go outside of the company and bring in the training and teaching that your people need to become leaders in their field.
  6. Use Maintenance Planners to plan jobs in detail so you get labour efficiency and job quality.
  7. Track-down all galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals in contact and get rid of it.
  8. Teach operators how the equipment works and teach your maintenance trades how the production process works.
  9. Provide the technical knowledge on plant and equipment your trades need, in a place they can find it.
  10. Conduct an equipment criticality rating and set up condition monitoring to identify risk of failure in important equipment and plant.
  11. Eliminate the defects – use Root Cause Analysis, 5-Whys, etc on equipment and systems failures and get the problems out forever.
  12. Be proactive and imagine problems so you can solve and eliminate them before they happen.
  13. Develop ownership, build skills, build competent people at shop-floor level.

Actions For Improvements That Will Show You Benefits Over The Coming Year or Three.

  1. Align the Capital Project group’s output to the on-going needs of Maintenance and Operations. E.g. Insure all asset and instrument tag numbers have procurement and design information catalogued in individual files; have drawings and manuals easy to access for maintenance; etc.
  2. Show and introduce the benefits of world class practices to managers, supervisors and leading hands. Show and introduce Corporate and Senior Managers to world class practices and methods so that can see the benefits to their ‘bottom lines’.
  3. Align Operations and Maintenance efforts through a Production Plan and Schedule that covers both producing product and maintaining equipment well enough to make product.
  4. Do all your statutory obligations well with full documentation and excellent procedures and practices.
  5. Select the best vendors and suppliers and form a long-term partnership/alliance. This will save time, give you access to good prices, let you use their expertise to solve problems and let you focus on your business.
  6. Proactively build flexibility and redundancy into the plant so you have options to address problems quickly. E.g. install tie-ins to processes in readiness to use mobile plant if the installed item fails.
  7. Apply Failure Mode and Effects Analysis and Reliability Centred Maintenance on new and old plant and equipment. On new equipment get the vendor to do the FMEA/RCM based on your industry’s historical maintenance problems.
  8. Select and use equipment that does not breakdown when it fails. Design protection into equipment that stops it breaking if it’s overloaded or run wrongly. Use the grade of material that is not affected by the failure mechanism.
  9. Buy equipment that can be supported and maintained locally, otherwise you will pay a lot more for parts and be waiting for service.

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All the best to you,

Mike Sondalini
Managing Director
Lifetime Reliability Solutions HQ