Book Review

Maintenance Excellence:Optimizing Equipment Life-Cycle Decisions
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Maintenance Excellence : Optimizing Equipment Life-Cycle Decisions

By: John D. Campbell (Editor), A. K. S. Jardine (Editor)

Hardcover : 495 pages
Published by: Marcel Dekker
Publication Date: February 2001
ISBN: 0824704975

Our Review

Those of you who have been looking through this website for a while will know that I recommended John Campbell's (from PricewaterhouseCoopers) book "Uptime" as doing "a good job of demistifying Maintenance Management for Non-Maintenance Managers and is highly recommended for reading by General Managers, Production or Operations Managers, as well as engineers who may be coming into the maintenance function for the first time, with minimal exposure to the principals of Maintenance Management". I jumped at the opportunity to review this, his most recent book, edited in conjunction with Andrew Jardine of the University of Toronto. With the subtitle "Optimizing Equipment Life-Cycle Decisions", I looked forward in anticipation to an expansion on the topics included in "Uptime" - perhaps to include equipment design, configuration, operability and maintainability considerations. As it turns out, my expectations were only partly satisifed.

This is very much a book of two halves - perhaps as a result of each half being edited by a different person. In fact, the book is divided into three major sections. The first covers Maintenance Management Fundamentals, and includes chapters on Maintenance Management methodologies, Measurement in Maintenance Management, Data Acquisition, and Materials Management Optimization. The second section is entitled Managing Equipment Reliability, and includes chapters on Assessing and Managing Risk, Reliability by Design: Reliability Centered Maintenance, Reliability by Operator: Total Productive Maintenance. The final section is entitled Optimizing Maintenance Decisions, and includes chapters on Reliability Management and Maintenance Optimization: Basic Statistics and Economics, Maintenance Optimization Models, Optimizing Maintenance and Replacement Decisions, Optimizing Condition Based Maintenance.

The two sections of the book very much take up from where "Uptime" left off. There are a few interesting changes in emphasis in this book, compared with Uptime, not the least of which is Campbell's emphatic support for JA1011-compliant RCM. Overall, though, where Uptime was, by design, a fairly high-level, summary book aimed at non-maintenance managers, the first two sections of the book expand on the concepts outlined in Uptime in far more detail. This makes Maintenance Excellence extremely valuable reading for those who are actively involved in Maintenance and Reliability Management and Engineering as part of their careers. Experienced, and well-read, Maintenance Managers and Engineers are unlikely to come across too much in this section that is new, but may get some value out of revising the material, and asking themselves the question - are we actually applying all this, and if not, why not?

The third section of the book, unfortunately, is where all the good work comes drastically unstuck. Rather than moving on into discussing practical issues relating to Life Cycle costing, equipment specification, design and configuration, and repair vs replace issues, the third section focuses on the theory of quantitative analytical techniques to assist in Maintenance decision-making. However, for the most part, it neither covers the theory in sufficient detail to aid the uninitiated, nor does it sufficiently explore practical considerations in applying the theory to satisfy those who know already understand the concepts. A wide range of techniques is covered, ranging from Weibull Analysis, to Life Cycle Costing theory, to Discounted Cash Flow techniques and so on.

The largest section in this Section is devoted to explaining (and this section is covered in detail) an approach for Optimising the frequency of performing Condition Based Maintenance inspections. This is supported by some software (EXAKT) to assist with this decision making. While great lengths are taken to explain the statistical methods behind the optimisation model, unfortunately, one (very) practical considerating is completely glossed over in this chapter. Large quantities of data are required (the example used in the book analyses 138 equipment lifetimes), and the accuracy of the model depends on having as many in-service failures as possible (the example in the book had 23% of the components inspected failing in service). Try explaining that to your General Manager! (Maintenance Manager : "The reason that we have had so many breakdowns of this critical piece of equipment was so that we could collect data to prevent the breakdowns". General Manager: "What the f*(#$!. You're fired!). All in all, and in distinct contrast to the first two sections of the book, this third section reads rather like an academic textbook - and I am afraid, is only of academic interest.

If you have read Uptime, and you are interested in getting more detail behind the concepts outlined in that book, then it is probably worth buying this book for the first two sections of the book. If you need a text book on quantitative decision making in Maintenance, then you will find it in the third section of this book, but I suspect that you may find other books (for example Reliability, Maintainability and Risk, by David Smith to be a better choice.

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