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Standardising Maintenance Work
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Standardising Maintenance Work

Author : Daryl Mather
Maintenance Consultant

CMMS systems have bought the ability to greatly enhance our efforts in many areas. One of the widest reaching of all these areas is the ability to standardise the maintenance work orders via work order templates. If this function is used to greatest effect it is the area that will best reflect efficiency changes via continuous improvement processes.

Not exploiting these features of CMMS systems is the worst form of waste. Waste of opportunity. Without them planning was a far more laborious task, requiring accurate memories, frequent repetition of effort and, at best, poor and inconsistent look ahead resource estimations.

The focus of work order templates can be organised into three distinct areas:

  • Preventative maintenance inspections and overhauls
  • Corrective actions / repairs leading from equipment failures
  • Trouble shooting guides for breakdown tasks

In order for the system to be used to its best effect each work order template needs to contain the following information as a minimum:

  • Procedures for execution
  • Tips for more ease of future work
  • Safety information and guides
  • Resource requirements
  • Known durations
  • Tools required
  • Information regarding parts and materials that may be required

Work order templates are live documents, and need to be addressed by planning staff during review and work order closing on a continual basis. Below are some examples of how this can best be done and the benefits of doing so.

Review of estimating index: On review of estimations accuracy it can be noted that a certain task is regularly taking longer than the estimate contained on the work order, or using more labour to do so. By correcting this on the work order template future work orders will be more accurate. When done in a regular manner the cumulative effect of this will greatly enhance the usability of the maintenance backlog as a labour forecasting tool.

Review of task information on closing: On performing the task a craft employee may work out a far better way of doing the task. Resulting in greater safety or efficiency of work. They can also highlight areas where doing the task in one manner will cause problems. (Generally something a craft employee formally kept as a trick of the trade)

Provision of accurate guides for selecting the critical few: As the maintenance management systems become more focussed on improvement, to the point of incorporating a Root Cause Analysis system. Standardised trouble shooting guides will become a very accurate guide to help highlight the critical few items that are causing the majority of downtime.

Although the initial efforts required developing these templates can be a heavy drain on the resources of the maintenance department. The benefits offered in terms of improved work efficiency for craft and planning staff, labour forecasting, retention of skill requirements and as tools for future analysis cannot be overlooked as a corporation strives for world-class maintenance standards. As the benefits of this approach are beginning to become better realised more advanced methods, such as bar coding for corrective actions, are beginning to emerge. Once again proving the benefits of standardisation.

Daryl Mather

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Revised: Thursday, 08-Oct-2015 11:54:47 AEDT
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