Delivering an Effective PM Program

EP Editorial Staff | November 1, 2004

Six steps to developing successful preventive and predictive maintenance programs.

Many large organizations have highly sophisticated preventive and predictive maintenance departments that are staffed with well-trained technicians. Other companies have their programs embedded in the general maintenance staff with technical and specialized support provided by contract vendors. At other businesses, the PM activities take place just because the maintenance professional believes it is the right thing to do.

Steps to Success

1. Review existing program
2. Plan and analyze new program
3. Establish system support requirements and configuration
4. Define re-implementation plan with timeline
5. Design performance measurement metrics
6. Develop benchmark, change management, and audit programs

Whatever format or structure the PM program takes, it must deliver the desired results to be effective. A six-step program will help research the issues and provide the data required for analysis and discussion.

Review existing program
The first step in the process is analyzing the existing PM program in enough detail to produce data and facts so good business decisions can be made. Allocate enough time and resources to produce the real picture of a PM program, its process, its costs, and most importantly, its results.

For review, the PM program will need to be broken down into a series of steps. Typically, it is necessary to have a predefined process with a logical flow. Some of the actions that will be required may include developing an As-Is or current state process flow, reviewing existing PM work orders for quality and accuracy, and reviewing existing program statistics and compliance.

The development of an As-Is process flow is essential for understanding what and how the PM program is currently functioning.

Plan and analyze new program
The next step includes developing a To-Be or future state process flow. There will most likely be differences or gaps between the existing program and the desired one. This process may take place at the beginning of step 2 and be used as a road map, or it may be completed later in the process after envisioning what the process will be. Either way, it is necessary to support the gap analysis and serves as a visual guide for the discussions concerning process flows.

Other actions in step 2 may include:
· Identifying equipment that would benefit from PM activities
· Defining the criteria for PM activity templates or checklists
· Defining cost models and metrics
· Defining types of PM activity to be performed

Establish system support requirements and configuration
The third step in the process involves defining the configuration of computerized maintenance management/enterprise asset management (CMMS/EAM) software to support the action items defined in step 2. A properly configured system is a key element to managing all aspects of a maintenance organization. The key to this effort is to understand what the system should do and then make sure it is configured to support this effort. Configuration may include:
· System codes to facilitate how data is selected and sorted
· PM triggers that identify what and how the system will generate PM work orders
· System default codes to auto populate data fields
· Work completion codes to support the ability to analyze and trend

Define a re-implementation plan with timeline
This step involves developing an implementation plan and establishing the functional and management teams to execute and oversee the PM enhancement program. Key elements include establishing project execution and oversight teams, defining the project scope, and defining the project approach.

When defining the project scope, include the detail of amounts and duration efforts required to complete the project. Some of the detail includes:
· Amount and type of equipment
· Amount of data acquisition and development required
· Resource availability
· Project constraints

Design performance measurement metrics
This step involves gathering information and equipment data that will be required for managing the PM program during and after implementation. It is important to understand the current state of the program, and have reasonable expectations if improvements are made.

Selecting applicable metrics should be thoroughly reviewed and discussed prior to implementing the PM process. It is also important to communicate the intent of the metrics, ensure understanding of how they are generated, and allow for modifications as required. Some activities in this step include researching industry benchmarks, developing applicable metrics, and defining goals.

Develop benchmark, change management, and audit programs
This final step defines the follow up required to make the PM program an ongoing success. All PM programs need to be monitored to verify they are delivering the anticipated results. All PM programs will require modifications as improvements are experienced or changes are made to equipment or production demands.

It is important to keep the PM program alive and dynamic in order to achieve all potential savings. The two key actions to complete this step are defining PM audit and accountability responsibilities and defining a change management program.

These steps lay out a systematic approach to review and analyze the effectiveness of an existing PM program. The key is to have an organized and logical review of the existing program, design what is expected from a PM program, configure the CMMS, develop benchmarks and measurements, and develop ongoing audits and improvement programs. This review effort will be hard work if properly done, but the results can reap tremendous benefits. MT

Verl Davis is director of ETI Services at AssetPoint, 770 Pelham Rd., Greenville, SC 29615; (864) 458-3333




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