Book Review

Maintenance Engineering Handbook
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Maintenance Engineering Handbook

Edited by: Lindley R. Higgins & R. Keith Mobley

Hardcover: 1504 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 2.01 x 9.48 x 7.56
Published by: McGraw-Hill
Publication Date: 6th Edition, 2001
ISBN: 0070288194


Section 1 - Organization and Management of the Maintenance Function

  • Chapter 1 - Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Maintenance
  • Chapter 2 - Operating Policies of Effective Maintenance
  • Chapter 3 - Area and Centralized Maintenance Control
  • Chapter 4 - Operating Practices to Reduce Maintenance Work
  • Chapter 5 - Incentive Payments of Maintenance Workers
  • Chapter 6 - Reports from Maintenance
  • Chapter 7 - Maintenance Skills Training

Section 2 - The Horizons of Maintenance Management

  • Chapter 1 - Corrective Maintenance
  • Chapter 2 - Components of Effective Preventive Maintenance
  • Chapter 3 - Predictive Maintenance
  • Chapter 4 - Maintenance Work Order Planning
  • Chapter 5 - An Introduction to the Computer in Maintenance
  • Chapter 6 - Computerized Planning and Scheduling
  • Chapter 7 - Maintenance Stores and Inventory Control
  • Chapter 8 - Maintenance Storerooms
  • Chapter 9 - Internet for Maintenance and Engineering

Section 3 - Establishing Costs and Control

  • Chapter 1 - Economics of Preventive Maintenance
  • Chapter 2 - Work Measurement
  • Chapter 3 - Rating and Evaluating Maintenance Workers
  • Chapter 4 - Work Simplification in Maintenance
  • Chapter 5 - Estimating Repair and Maintenance Costs

Section 4 - Maintenance of Plant Facilities

  • Chapter 1 - Maintenance of Low-sloped Membrane Roofs
  • Chapter 2 - Concrete Industrial Floor Surfaces: Design, Installation, Repair and Maintenance
  • Chapter 3 - Painting and Protective Coatings
  • Chapter 4 - Maintenance and Cleaning of Brick Masonry Structures
  • Chapter 5 - Maintenance of Elevators and Special Lifts
  • Chapter 6 - Air-Conditioning Equipment
  • Chapter 7 - Ventilating Fans and Exhaust Systems
  • Chapter 8 - Dust-Collecting and Air-Cleaning Equipment
  • Chapter 9 - Piping
  • Chapter 10 - Scaffolds and Ladders

Section 5 - Maintenance of Mechanical Equipment

  • Chapter 1 - Plain Bearings
  • Chapter 2 - Rolling-Element Bearings
  • Chapter 3 - Flexible Couplings for Power Transmission
  • Chapter 4 - Chains for Power Transmission
  • Chapter 5 - Cranes: Overhead and Gantry
  • Chapter 6 - Chain Hoists
  • Chapter 7 - Belt Drives
  • Chapter 8 - Mechanical Variable-Speed Drives
  • Chapter 9 - Gear Drives and Speed Reducers
  • Chapter 10 - Reciprocating Air Compressors
  • Chapter 11 - Valves
  • Chapter 12 - Pumps: Centrifugal and Positive Displacement

Section 6 - Maintenance of Electrical Equipment

  • Chapter 1 - Electric Motors
  • Chapter 2 - Maintenance of Motor Control Components
  • Chapter 3 - Maintenance of Industrial Batteries (Lead-Acid, Nickel-Cadmium, Nickel-Iron)
  • Chapter 4 - Illumination

Section 7 - Sanitation and Housekeeping

  • Chapter 1 - Organizing the Sanitation-Housekeeping Personnel
  • Chapter 2 - Maintaining Plant Sanitation and Housekeeping
  • Chapter 3 - Industrial Housekeeping
  • Chapter 4 - Cleaning Industrial Plant Offices

Section 8 - Instruments and Reliability Tools

  • Chapter 1 - Mechanical Instruments for Measuring Process Variables
  • Chapter 2 - Electrical Instruments for Measuring, Servicing and Testing
  • Chapter 3 - Vibration: Its Analysis and Correction
  • Chapter 4 - An Introduction to Thermography
  • Chapter 5 - Tribology

Section 9 - Lubrication

  • Chapter 1 - The Organization and Management of Lubrication
  • Chapter 2 - Lubricating Devices and Systems
  • Chapter 3 - Planning and Implementing a Good Lubrication Program

Section 10 - Maintenance Welding

  • Chapter 1 - Arc Welding in Maintenance
  • Chapter 2 - Gas Welding in Maintenance

Section 11 - Chemical Corrosion Control and Cleaning

  • Chapter 1 - Corrosion Control
  • Chapter 2 - Industrial Chemical Cleaning Methods

Our Review

Consisting of over 1,500 pages of dense text and figures, this book clearly aims to be the definitive handbook for Maintenance Engineers. Clearly, given the size and scope of this book, a comprehensive review of the contents of the entire book was not possible for this article, but in this review, we attempt to cover the key features of the book, with some more detailed discussion of some key topics. Hopefully, this will allow you to make a more informed decision regarding whether to purchase this book.

With chapter contributions from 56 leading Maintenance practitioners and consultants, this book is written, almost exclusively, by those people who have had to deal with real-life, practical Maintenance issues. Indeed, the list of contributors reads almost like a "Who's Who" of maintenance, with contributors including many of Maintenance's current "leading lights", such as Keith Mobley (from the Plant Performance Group), Ricky Smith (from Life Cycle Engineering, Inc.), Joel Levitt, "Doc" Palmer and others.

The book covers both management and technical, issues associated with Maintenance, with roughly half of the book dedicated to each of these areas.

Let's deal with the Management-related sections first.

There is some really useful, and meaty, stuff in here. Keith Mobley's chapter on Operating Policies of Effective Maintenance successfully deals with the strategic decisions that Maintenance managers must make, including issues such as

  • Inhouse vs Outsource
  • Centralized vs Decentralised Maintenance (this is expanded on in Joseph McGuen's chapter on this topic)
  • Shift Coverage
  • Use of Standard-Practice Sheets and Work Instructions
  • etc

James Quinn's chapter "Operating Practices to reduce Maintenance Work" provides a basic, but well-formulated introduction to concepts of Predictive and Preventive Maintenance.

There is fairly comprehensive coverage of how best to provide incentive payments for Maintenance workers, which may or may not be applicable in some industrial situations.

Chapters on Corrective and Preventive Maintenance provide good coverage of these areas, and Doc Palmer, the author of the Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Handbook wrote the chapter on Maintenance Work Order Planning - to his usual high standard.

The Chapters on Computers in Maintenance and Computerized Planning and Scheduling always run the risk of being out of date before the book hits the bookstores, but in this case, the principles that they cover remain relatively timeless, and provide a useful starting point for those wishing to understand more about these aspects.

The Chapters on Maintenance Stores and Inventory Control and Maintenance Storerooms (by Dave Bertolini and John Martin respectively) are among the best that I have ever seen written on these topics. This area gets relatively little attention from Maintenance people, but these chapters should redress that imbalance.

There is an extensive chapter on Work Measurement that should give even experienced Planners food for thought about how they estimate job durations, and the chapter on Work Simplification introduces this standard Industrial Engineering techniques to Maintenance personnel, including charting tools and techniques that could assist planners to identify ways to make repair tasks quicker and simpler. Planners will also get benefit from reading the chapter on Estimating Repair and Maintenance costs.

The chapters on the technical aspects of Maintenance are also well-written, could be useful both as a reminder for Engineers about some fundamental concepts, as well as providing useful information for trades/craftspeople to assist with troubleshooting and ensuring that sound maintenance quality standards are compled with.

There is a 60 page section on Sanitation and Housekeeping that may or may not be relevant to all the readership - but this is a relatively small section of the book.

The book also contains a very useful introduction to the three main Predictive Maintenance technologies: Vibration Analysis, Oil Analysis and Thermography. These sections would equip anyone with sufficient knowledge to be able to know what questions to ask of experts in these fields.

Despite its size, any work of this nature cannot be all things to all people, and the editor unfortunately must make some compromises. In this case, there are a few areas that are not covered in this handbook. In particular, Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) and its derivatives are not covered in this book, nor is there any discussion of Reliability modelling techniques, such as Weibull Analysis, and Root Cause Analysis gets mentioned in one brief paragraph (in the Vibration Analysis chapter!). Perhaps the thinking is that these would be better covered in a Reliability Handbook, rather than a Maintenance Engineering handbook.

Amongst the more technical sections, there are some fairly common equipment types that are also not covered. In particular, there is no coverage of the maintenance of Hydraulic Systems or Boilers, nor of PLC's and Distributed Control Systems.

Nevertheless, at around US$150 for over 1,500 pages, this book represents excellent value for money, and covers almost all the areas that a new Maintenance Engineer would need to understand. Definitely recommended.

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Revised: Thursday, 08-Oct-2015 12:07:54 AEDT
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