Preventive maintenance in practice
Many technical departments in Polish enterprises still operate on the reactive way of managing failures, that is, instead of preventing them, they limit themselves to fighting fires. Prevention in many companies is overlooked because it is associated with high financial outlays resulting from the exchange of “still good” consumables and the implementation of expensive computer programs. Often, the state of the machinery park, resulting from the age or technical condition of the equipment, also raises a lot of worries. Such operation on a larger scale does not lead to any savings, on the contrary to the increase in expenditures we spend on the maintenance department. As we know, frequent failures affect OEE or efficiency, and the neglect of replacing such a bearing that is not replaced at the time causes damage to others elements of our machine.
The transition from reactive activities to scheduled maintenance operations – Preventive Maintenance (PM), requires from the heads of UR only self-denial and skillfully approach to the topic. At the initial stage of implementation PM can be practically costless, all you need is Excel, knowledge of your machine park and their DTR, in particular if your machine park is not too extensive. Every maintenance boss at the beginning of his “adventure” with PM should familiarize himself with his machine park and determine, even in Excel, regular reviews of specific components and the frequency of such activities that can be found in the DTR and rely on their own experience. During these activities, the technicians should assess the condition of the components to be inspected and classify them according to the adopted scale, I propose a three-step scale:
- Good – means that the component is efficient and its normal maintenance is sufficient (eg only lubrication)
- satisfactory – means that the technical condition of the component has deteriorated but there is no sign of imminent failure, it means that its replacement or repair can be planned in the near future,
- Critical – the condition of such a component heralds a failure in the near future, so it is undisputedly subject to exchange.
Building a system that will allow us to regularly review machines is the first small step in building preventive maintenance in our company. Remember that according to Kaizen’s philosophy, we strive for perfection in small steps.