Optimizing Preventive Maintenance Strategies

Putting out fire after fire can be exhausting, particularly if you’re heading up a critical project. If you’re part of the risk management team for a large operational facility, you understand the consequences posed by high-impact failures. Reliability consulting services offer a dependable way to manage preventive maintenance effectively so that your team does not become trapped in the vicious cycle of reactive maintenance.

Failure Mode

Before you can implement preventive maintenance techniques, it’s necessary to have a full understanding of just what is meant by the term “failure.” Are there specific conditions that are always associated with a system breakdown, or do these conditions change from breakdown to breakdown? Are there warning signs associated with system failures, or do they seem to come out of nowhere? Are the root causes of failures associated with engineering or with human actors?

The most successful mitigation strategies try to reengineer the failure mode itself rather than to implement reactive measures. These analyses evaluate the physical, human and reactive factors that are contributing to failure in your facility, so that future failures can be predicted, or even prevented and eliminated.

These techniques have been proven effective in situations where sources of failure spring from human misunderstanding as well as in situations where breakdowns are traceable to mechanical causes.

How to Optimize Preventive Maintenance

In order to be effective, preventive maintenance optimization must be based upon managing those issues that generate the highest maintenance costs, the longest periods of downtime and the most adverse effects on the overall quality associated with the operational facility’s output. Here are some questions to ask:

• Can the probability of failure in the future be lessened by the replacement of a part as part of routine maintenance at regular intervals of time regardless of whether that part shows signs of stress?

• Is there an interval of time during which it is obvious that systems are failing that still allows time for the replacement of a part and the subsequent halt to that failure?

• Is the impact of a system failure serious enough to warrant the ongoing expense of a preventive maintenance?