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The benefits of maintenance planning

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

A reactive maintenance atmosphere affects the overall bottom line regardless of the industry. Without the planning and scheduling of day to day maintenance activities, there is not a defined path to keep production or manufacturing moving forward and generating revenue. Reflective costs of a reactive maintenance atmosphere are much higher across the board.

Planning helps predict the number of direct staff maintenance personnel and supplemental contractors required each day. Without headcount definition from the plan, staff and contractors are on standby until the day's activities are identified. Once identified, the maintenance supervisor must communicate with the operations supervisor to verify that the system is available so the work order can be executed, the system has to be prepared for work order execution. Meanwhile, the maintenance resources are burning hours. These hours directly affect both the maintenance budget and operational expenditures. By preparing a maintenance plan, a required maintenance headcount will alleviate these costs and allow the facility to follow a budget.

A maintenance plan and schedule typically can be extracted regardless of the software that is used to house the work orders. The work orders should be prioritised in a weekly meeting with all stakeholders and departments so that a weekly plan can be assimilated. Each work order should have an associated template that defines the tools, manpower and activities required to facilitate execution. This allows the maintenance planner to have an actual estimate to more accurately predict the cost of each work order. These same templates can be imported or loaded into the schedule and reviewed in the weekly meeting. All parties can review and communicate the explicit steps required to execute the weekly plan. This also promotes better communication across departments and this same communication encourages safety and alleviates unforeseen events such as an employee being involved in an unplanned work accident.

Once the weekly schedule has been assimilated and put in to effect, the next step will be to get a two week look a head plan and schedule in place. This gives the team of stakeholders the opportunity to review the forecast and define whether or not the work can actually take place during that time period. If the work cannot take place per schedule, the maintenance planner can advise the team as to when the work can take place. Over time, templates for all work orders will be in the system.

The next step will be to combine the maintenance plan into an overall master plan. This master plan will be a long term plan and schedule that reflects the aspects of preventative maintenance and reliability. Mean time between failures will be alleviated and the facility will benefit in actual unit availability.

To facilitate all of the above, there must be support from upper management. The end result of good maintenance planning and scheduling will be reflected in a safe and efficient work atmosphere.

Written by Whitney Childress, Calculated Controls, Edited by Claira Lloyd

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