Operator Training to Develop Preventive Maintenance Skills Must Be Specific and Intensely Focused on the Right Engineering Outcomes

Operator Training in Preventive Maintenance of the Machines and Equipment They Operate Must Contain Technically Correct Knowledge and Produce a Highly Skilled Maintainer

Insure engineering competency in your operators and trades workforces so that they know exactly how to do preventive maintenance right
Develop the specific engineering and maintenance knowledge and skills in your plant operators and maintainers that let them better monitor your plant’s condition and address issues before they become problems and possibly turn into disasters
Your first layer of defense against disaster should be the knowledge and competency of your plant operators and maintainers

I got the following request the other day to explain why operators should be trained in equipment maintenance, and what the five most important issues are to get zero plant and equipment breakdowns.



“Please help me to get the answers to these questions. My boss asked me to find answers and I have been searching for the last few days without success.

  1. Preventive Maintenance Operator Skill Classification – Why it is required?
  2. 5 Questions for Zero Breakdowns.”



Preventive Maintenance Operator Skill Classification – Why it is required?

I suspect that what you seek are operators who have the right skills to correctly do preventive maintenance of the machines they are maintaining.

It is not an absolute requirement for operators to be ‘classified’ to reflect their maintenance skills. A classification system would be useful for administrative, career development, and remuneration purposes. But a skill classification process does not bring or cause the right knowledge, coordination motor skills, and hands-on competence needed to make machinery reliable.

More important is to have an excellent training system to teach operators what preventive maintenance to do and how to do the maintenance tasks perfectly right. You must ensure that operators who do not know what they are doing do not maintain your machinery. Only operators who are skilled, technically knowledgeable, who understand the engineering of the machines they maintain, and who are proven competent in doing preventive maintenance tasks, are permitted to maintain machines.

For an operator to become that good—one who is sufficiently knowledgeable in the equipment design, and has become skilled in the correct maintenance tasks—will take some years of training and guided practice under competent maintenance experts. You can hasten the operator training process by doing intensive and focused training only on the equipment that they are to maintain and the precise maintenance skills to be used.

Effective operator training focuses first on getting right knowledge into the operator’s mind upon which the right skills can be developed. Your operators’ brains must understand the what-for and the know-how to do a task before they can develop their observation and muscular functions to the skill level needed to do the job right.

We develop focused “Learn More in an Hour” training materials to quickly teach industrial operations and maintenance crews the engineering and technical knowledge that are the foundational understandings of world class preventive maintenance. Read all about our specific and precise MRO workforce training approach, and see the teaching tools they use, by following this webpage link to Maintenance and Operator Workforce Training in Plant and Equipment Engineering.

Testimonial on the Value of Our “Learn More in an Hour” Training Materials

“You have produced an excellent training tool.”
Chuck W. | Competency Assurance | White Board Analytics | USA

(Chuck had seen the sample maintenance and operator training material and wanted to know if there was a catalog of “Learn More in an Hour” topics he could use for MRO workforce training.)

What sets our maintenance workforce and operator training courses aside from others is the recognition that:

  • Reliability growth needs operators and trades who know how to diagnose the condition of their plant and equipment
  • Engineering knowledge and understandings must be applied on a plant-wide basis, and
  • Successful reliability improvement needs precision skills used at the shopfloor level

During times of operational emergency, and most importantly when machines are being maintained, it is important to have skilled plant operators and maintainers competent and knowledgeable in their plant and equipment engineering design and operation. You want maintainer and operator training that ensures they make only the right choices because they truly understanding the design limitations and engineering requirements of your plant and equipment.

5 Questions for Zero Breakdowns

What are the five most important questions to answer to get zero breakdowns? It’s vital to know and use only the correct answers if you want to achieve operational excellence results. You’ll also need to know the best way to deliver the answers when you plan how your company will reach and sustain world class operational performance.

It saddens me when people ask this question. All the right answers and reasons that produce outstandingly reliable equipment have been known since the mid-1980’s, yet even now, decades later, few people know about them, even fewer know how to do them properly, and very much fewer can actually do them properly.

Here is my answer to, “5 Questions for Zero Breakdowns.”

  1. Do the working forces experienced by your machines’ parts produce material-of-construction loads well below each component’s design stress?
  2. Is the equipment installed and running true when operated to better than IT5 dimensional tolerance for alignment, flatness and frame distortion?
  3. When the equipment is in operation are all its parts running well within each component’s design parameters, including the lubricant?
  4. Are the machine’s rotating parts balanced and all fasteners correctly tightened so induced vibration is always well below warning levels?
  5. Is everyone, within and without the company, who do engineering construction, plant operation, or equipment maintenance work, using standard operating and maintenance procedures controlled by ACE 3T work quality assurance methods?

When you master all of the above you can get Operational Excellence success that astounds your customers and thrashes your competition. If you need help to get your company to become that good you can get our email address at the Contact Us page.

All the best to you,

Mike Sondalini
Lifetime Reliability Solutions HQ