Mechanical Maintenance - a new resource

Friday 19 Aug 2022

In today’s competitive and demanding environment, excellent plant maintenance practices are at the forefront of requirements to achieve the necessary Production Plant Uptime to produce Quality Products at the required Quantity and Budget Cost. There are a vast number of components needed to achieve the desired end result.

Desirable and Necessary Components of Good Plant Maintenance

The Maintenance Team, Working Relationships, Training, Company Policy / Budget

The Maintenance Team is usually led by a Maintenance Manager and made up of Engineers, Supervisors and or Leading Hands, together with Tradespersons having the necessary knowledge, experience and skills to carry out the servicing and repairs required in any production plant. These personnel must be able to follow instructions and use their initiative.

To take ownership of the area of plant for which they may be made responsible is certainly a requirement, as it is for them to establish a good working relationship with the Production Staff. These attributes are to be investigated during the initial employment interview which may include an examination paper covering the skills and knowledge required for the servicing and maintenance of the applicable plant and equipment. Their ability to write clear and concise reports is desirable. Trade qualifications are desirable but experience and skill combined with a “can do” attitude is required.

Training, both “in house” and attendance at external seminars and trade shows for all of the maintenance staff is a necessary requirement to keep abreast of modern engineering and maintenance techniques. The employing and training of Apprentices is also an essential part of the maintenance operation to maintain the necessary staffing levels within the industry.

The creation of a good team spirit including production staff, all with a desire to achieve maximum plant up-time while achieving maintenance requirements in an efficient manner must be achieved. Regular meetings with all staff to keep them informed of company matters and an opportunity to discuss and resolve any maintenance, production or employment issues is necessary.

Good quality Plant, with a Company policy recognising the need for excellence in maintenance, and a programme of capital up-grades and replacement of production plant must be in place. There is a need for a policy to upgrade or replace any item, process or procedure which is found to be a “weak link” in the maintenance or production operation.

All production machinery and associated items have an “end of economic life” which must be recognised and can often be gauged by the increase in plant item breakdown or maintenance cost of that plant item. Companies must budget for plant item replacements, extensive rebuilds and upgrades. This needs a realistic Maintenance Budget which can be used to monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the Maintenance Department and all Production Plant items.

The full resource (11 pages) recently compiled by one of our readers, Graeme Moore following 50 years of working in mechanical maintenance, Production Plant Mechanical Maintenance is attached here for your use.

Source: Graeme Moore

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