Book Review

Handbook of Maintenance Management
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Handbook of Maintenance Management

By: Joel Levitt

Published by: Industrial Press
Publication Date: March 1997
Dimensions (in inches): 1.27 x 9.61 x 6.43
ISBN: 083113075X

Table of Contents

  1. Strategic assessment of maintenance options
  2. Where we are today
  3. Selling maintenance improvements to the whole organization
  4. Patterns in maintenance
  5. How assets deteriorate
  6. Estimating maintenance budget for buildings and equipment
  7. Evaluating maintenance, two questionnaires
  8. Benchmarking Maintenance
  9. Evaluating Worker productivity
  10. Maintenance budgeting
  11. Life cycle costing
  12. The science of customer service
  13. Reengineering maintenance
  14. Contracting, out sourcing
  15. In-sourcing
  16. Guaranteed Maintainability
  17. Maintenance quality improvement
  18. ISO 9000 and its relation to maintenance
  19. Techniques for continuous improvement in maintenance
  20. Improving maintenance reliability, RCM
  21. Accounting issues of maintenance
  22. Maintenance information flow
  23. Capturing maintenance information
  24. What is PM
  25. How to install and run a PM system
  26. PM tasklist development
  27. Predictive maintenance
  28. Projects that put you in the driver's seat
  29. Use of statistics in Maintenance
  30. Planning
  31. Project Management
  32. Estimating job duration
  33. Maintenance scheduling
  34. CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Systems)
  35. Maintenance parts and part vendors
  36. Maintenance stock room and inventory control
  37. The Internet and maintenance
  38. How maintenance interfaces to other departments
  39. Elements of maintenance leadership
  40. Craft training
  41. Special issues of Factory maintenance
  42. Special issues of Fleet maintenance
  43. Special issues of Building maintenance
  44. Special Issues of Field Service
  45. Resources
  46. Appendix

Our Review

Joel Levitt's book is a broad and ambitious project - to create a Maintenance Management reference guide suitable for a wide range of Maintenance professionals. Yet, for the most part, he succeeds.

This is a very readable book, with short chapters and loads of practical, down-to-earth advice and tips on setting up various aspects of your Maintenance Organisation and management systems. Used as the basis for Joel's courses in Maintenance Management (see, the book draws on a variety of sources for its material, including Joel's own considerable experience. Areas such as setting up a PM system, selecting a CMMS, establishing a Maintenance library, Maintenance budgeting, benchmarking Maintenance and many, many more topics all get a sound, pragmatic work out. There are plenty of checklists for you to use in your own organization.

While the author suggests reading selected chapters, depending on your needs and background, I suspect that the best use for this book is as a reference guide. This is an ideal book to whip off the bookshelf whenever you are having maintenance problems in a specific area. The next time you are experiencing spare parts stock-outs, for example, just read the chapter on this topic, and it is bound to stimulate some thought on how best to resolve the situation.

Ultimately the book's broad reach, is its greatest weakness, however. While each chapter is excellent in its own right, the book does not quite hang together into a cohesive whole. The framework used to attempt to link the various topics into an overall framework for Maintenance Management doesn't quite work, and to make effective use of this book, you will need to make your own judgement about which topics are more (or less) important in your situation.

In addition, despite containing an excellent chapter summarising Reliability Centered Maintenance (drawn largely from Moubray's seminal text on the subject), RCM concepts do not appear to have been fully integrated into the sections on PM. For example, in the chapters on PM and PM Task development, there is no reference made to failure finding tasks (otherwise known as functional testing), yet this is a vital component of the RCM philosophy. In addition, in the section on determining the appropriate frequency for PM tasks, reference is made to using manufacturers' suggestions, statutory requirements, and using judgement and experience, but no mention is made of the RCM concept that, depending on the type of task being proposed (Predictive, Preventive or Failure Finding), the appropriate task frequency is determined by different factors. There are also a couple of occasions where statements are made which contradict RCM principles (for example stating that Planned Component Replacement (PCR) is not an appropriate strategy when components experience a high level of burn in. In fact, whether or not PCR is appropriate is determined by whether the item "wears out", not whether it experiences burn in failures).

Nevertheless despite these weaknesses, overall this book is a treasure trove of valuable information. It isn't a step by step recipe book for Maintenance improvement, but it does contain all the necessary ingredients for you to make your own successful recipe. On the strength of its practical hints, tips, checklists and advice, this is highly recommended reading.

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