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Effectively Manage the Preventive Maintenance Backlog
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Effectively Manage the Preventive Maintenance Backlog

Author : Sami Syed
Project Engineer

Preventive maintenance usually occurs at specified time intervals. To effectively manage a preventive maintenance backlog it is necessary for the scheduler to look at the big picture i.e. the yearly backlog instead of trying to schedule on weekly or monthly basis. PM backlog mainly consists of two types of work orders: One that will need the production to be shutdown and the other that will not effect the production. For example, exhaust fan for a production area and an exhaust fan for a bathroom. In the first case, the scheduler will have to schedule a shutdown of that particular area to have the exhaust fan available for PM. While a bathroom exhaust fan can be shutdown anytime, during off-shift if the plant have maintenance coverage during 2nd or 3rd shifts.

The scheduler should identify, from the yearly backlog, the work that will need the production shutdown. Once identified, that backlog can be divided into two parts, scheduled and non-scheduled. In the second step the scheduler should group the PM's together for equipment or based on the area that will be effected. Once you have the scheduled work group together, move around the non-scheduled work so that you will have equal number of preventive maintenance hours for each month. For example, if the yearly backlog was 6000 hours, each month should have 500 hours of scheduled plus non scheduled work. Next step would be to keep the percentage of the scheduled work constant through each month. For example, if the yearly backlog was 70% scheduled work and 30% non-scheduled work, all twelve months should have the 350 hours of scheduled work and 150 hours of non-scheduled work. This can easily be achieved by finding out the production preferred time period for maintenance work and accommodating their availability.

This preventive maintenance backlog re-arrangement will result in following improvements:

  • Reduced Labor Cost: By grouping the scheduled work together will dramatically reduce the direct labor unproductive cost spend by the mechanics on getting ready to do the work and will increase the wrench time.
  • Reduced Lost Production: By scheduling more than one PM at the same time, the production will be down for less time than if these PM scheduled separately. Thus it will reduce the lost production time by allowing the production to have the equipment available for another 1/2 or 1 hour more per PM.
  • Smaller backlog to manage by schedulers: By identifying the non-scheduled PM work, the scheduler can divide this amount of work among the available manpower equally and have them manage this part of the backlog. By doing so the scheduler will be concentrating only on the PM's that needs his/her attention.
  • Mechanics will feel pride in managing the responsibilities: The non-scheduled work backlog will allow the mechanics to effectively manage their free time. It will also give them the pride in their work since by allowing them to have the responsibility of managing a part of their backlog.

Sami Syed

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Revised: Thursday, 08-Oct-2015 11:54:26 AEDT
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