Have you ever thought about the Human Error Rate and the largest cause of these errors? It is us, Humans!

In the field of maintenance the traditional approach has been to rely upon the intuitive knowledge and skill of the crafts-persons who conduct it. There is a great deal of pride of workmanship and, in all too many organizations, a great deal of psychic income in addition to significant overtime pay for successful emergency repairs to return equipment to operation after unplanned shutdowns.

There is a mystique that accompanies all of this that many skilled crafts-person would like management to believe firmly. That is that there are too many variables in maintenance, making compliance with written procedures impossible and impractical; that the “way we’ve always done it” is the best and only way to conduct maintenance.

This idea spills over into preventive maintenance, also. Craftspersons believe that their own intuitive knowledge is preferable to a written procedure and/or a thoroughly defined checklist. Aside from these problems, most organizations have allocated no resources to creation and on-going support of procedures and checklists. Accordingly these organization are beating on the wrong way of conducting maintenance in order to assure reliability.

This results in at least a lost opportunity for increased profits from existing assets and at worst a fatal management omission. Management is gambling with profits and losing big time with the approach that emphasizes “pride” of workmanship over an approach that has been proven to work.

By Jack Nikolas – Post by Ricky Smith CMRP

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Check out the full article at: Procedure Based Maintenance Article





6 Responses to Procedure Based Maintenance – Rethink Maintenance

  1. Larry Hoing says:

    Humans do however have knowledge and they also have something that a machine or computers do not, reason. However, reason does not outweigh or replace a procedure; reason is on top of or can be used in addition to a procedure. Yes you are correct Ricky we do not have an infallible memory nor is our RAM always available, so to speak. In today’s operational environment our operators and maintenance technicians are given so many different tasks that it would be impossible to memorize all of them. Trick is to deliver and or make accessible those procedures at the plant floor level and also to make them and the process sustainable.

    • 9rsmith_9 says:

      Larry, great points. Maintenance Planning should be the delivery mechanism of an accurate procedure for the right job and scheduling should schedule enough time for the job to be accomplished correctly. Of course work scheduled is only an estimate and if the plan is correct should take plus or minus 10% of the scheduled time.

      Keeping a procedure current means having a process to update and approve a procedure within a specified time limit. Accurate, repeatable procedures should provide results, MTBF, MTTR, MTBR, Asset Availability, and Production Output, etc.

      Just my thoughts as well my friend.

  2. Paul Stevens says:

    Without well defined procedures, Preventative Maintenance tasks are virtually useless.  In my opinion, a PM route/task needs to give you a tangible result.  This result can be a measurement or an observation that can be verified when audits are done to make sure that the work is actually being accomplished. 

    Same goes for repair/ rebuild tasks.  The planning and scheduling task is the toughest task in all of maintenance as it requires the person to have knowledge of the work and good communication skills in order to write the procedures for the technicians. 

    This does not mean that tech’s are “machines” that only do what they are told.  A good tech needs to hone troubleshooting skills to be truly great.

  3. Wolfy says:

    There is a tendency to try and write a procedure for everything, the documentation system then becomes unwieldy, who says the procedure is the latest, who says it is correct, chances are the very people who are somewhat castigated above are the ones whose knowledge will be used to draft procedures.
    Procedures help and there are definitely circumstances where a single tool should not be picked up without a written, verified, clear and unequivocal procedure. There are many other instances where we should depend on acquired and accumulated knowledge, where we should provide adequate training so that tasks become routine or somewhat similar to ‘gun drill’
    It is about balance, procedures used correctly and appropriately are a useful tool they are not a maintenance panacea

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