Book Review

Effective Maintenance Management
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Effective Maintenance Management : Risk and Reliability Strategies for Optimizing Performance

By: V. Narayan

Hardcover - 246 pages
Published by: Industrial Press
Publication Date: March 31, 2004
Dimensions (in inches): 9.3 x 6.0 x 0.8
ISBN: 0831131780

Table of Contents

Ch. 1. The Production and Distribution Process
Ch. 2. Process Functions
Ch. 3. Reliability Engineering for the Maintenance Practitioner
Ch. 4. Failure, its Nature and Characteristics
Ch. 5. Life Cycle Aspects of Risks in process plants
Ch. 6. Process Plant Shutdowns
Ch. 7. Facets of Risk
Ch. 8. The Escalation of Events
Ch. 9. Maintenance
Ch. 10. Risk Reduction
Ch. 11. Information for Decision Making
Ch. 12. Improving System Effectiveness

Our Review

The Author has nearly 40 years experience in Maintenance and Project Management, gained primarily in the process industries, including eight years as the head of the Maintenance Strategy Group at Shell UK Exploration and Production. This book reflects the wealth of this experience.

The book attempts to deal with the management of risks through the life cycle of a process plant, and includes explicit consideration of what maintenance needs to be done, and when. In this area, it deals extensively with Reliability Centered Maintenance principles.

The first chapter provides an introduction, and attempts to discuss why organisations should do maintenance. Unfortunately, this is perhaps the weakest chapter of the book. It attempts to justify maintenance in terms of its impact on process efficiency, but this is only one of the reasons why maintenance is done - in many situations, the primary reason for doing maintenance is to avoid catastrophic failures, and consequent impact on plant integrity. Fortunately, this chapter is not representative of the high quality contained in the remainder of the text.

Chapter 2 outlines two specific techniques for defning process functions (the purpose of maintenance being to try to sustain these functions). These are Functional Block Diagrams (FBD) and Failure Modes and Effects Analyses (FMEA). It also discusses whether the most effective way of dealing with equipment failures is to prevent the failure, or to minimise or eliminate the consequences of those failures.

Chapter 3 introduces a number of Reliability concepts. The intention of the book is not to cover these items in great detail, but rather to provide an introduction to these techniques for those who are not already familiar with them, or to provide a quick refresher for those who are. Specific techniques covered in this chapter include Failure Histograms and Probability Density Curves; Survival Probability and Hazard Rates; Constant Hazard Rates, Calculation of Test Intervals and Errors with the Use of Approximations; Failure Distributions and Patterns and the use of the Weibull Distribution; Generation of Weibull plots from Maintenance Records; the Weibull Shape Factor, and its use in idenitifying maintenance strategies. This section is very well explained, with both mathematical formulae, and worked examples to illustrate these techniques. Appendices to this chapter outline how the Nowlan and Heap failure patterns may be developed.

Chapter 4 covers a lot of ground relating to failures. Specifically, it discusses concepts such as critical failures, incipient failures, and degraded performance failures. It also starts to cover important Reliability Centered Maintenance concepts, such as the PF Interval (here called the Incipiency interval) and its importance in determining the frequency of Condition-based maintenance tasks. There is also some discussion of human failures, although this section is fairly brief, and there are other specialist texts that cover this topic in more detail (such as Managing Maintenance Error, by Reason and Hobbs).

Chapter 5 discusses some design principles that can be used to minimise the risks associated with equipment failure. Aspects covered include design quality, maintainability, operability, and design configuration. Specific examples are used in this discussion. This chapter also covers aspects of risk during construction, pre-commissioning and commissioning, and discusses plant modifications and change control processes that are appropriate in order to minimise risks. There is some discussion of maintenance costs, and end-of-life (of the equipment, that is, not the maintainer!) activities are also covered.

Chapter 6 covers shutdowns and outages in some detail. However the focus is less on the detail of how these shutdowns should be planned and managed, and more on strategic aspects, such as how to determine the interval between shutdowns, and the risks associated with shutdown activities (including Safety and Environmental risks, risks associated with Work Scope, and work Quality. Once again, the objective is not to be the definitive text on shutdown management, but to provide a high level overview of maintenance and risk considerations associated with shutdowns. For more detailed discussion of shutdowns, there are other texts available, such as those by Joel Levitt, or Michael Brown.

Chapter 7 covers aspects of risk, and discusses both qualititative and quantitative aspects of assessing risks. There is no coverage here, however, of Australian Standard AS4360, which is rapidly becoming the defacto world standard for performing qualitative risk assessment.

Chapter 8 discusses event escalation, or how what would otherwise be a relatively minor incident, grows into a significant disaster. Some specific events are covered here, including Piper Alpha, the Challenger Space Shuttle, Bhopal, Chernobyl, and others. A model for limiting damage, which includes plant, people and procedures is discussed. This section is very practical, and is extended in the text, into a method for determining the frequency for testing for the existence of hidden failures.

Chapter 9 gives a high level discussion of maintenance processes, including aspects of maintenance planning and control and the continuous improvement cycle. It argues in this chapter that the primary role of maintenance is to ensure that minor events do not escalate into large ones, and discusses how to do this, with the use of some examples, including the testing of Pressure Relief Valves, End-to-End testing of control loops, and Duty-Standby operations.

Chapter 10 revisits the issue of risk, and here discusses how risks may be reduced, either by reducing the frequency of an event, or its severity. In this context, the author discusses a numner of risk reduction techniques, such as Reliability Block Diagrams (RBD), Root Cause Analysis (RCA), Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), and a large section on Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM).

Chapter 11 discusses the issues surrounding the availability of accurate and timely data for maintenance analysis, and provides some practical tips on different types of data, and how these may be best collected. An Appendix to this chapter provides some valuable codes for collection of failure data within CMMS.

The final Chapter covers organisational issues and, in the author’s words "bridging the chasm between theory and practice".

Indeed, the phrase "bridging the chasm between theory and practice" very well summarises the intent of this book. While it covers many areas of theory, it does so in an easily accessible form, and would be a useful reference book for any maintenance manager or engineer. There is a wealth of information contained in what is a relatively slim, and very readable text. While there are other books which cover more detail within specific areas that are discussed in this book, there are few books that cover the breadth of topics in such an effective manner. The only other similar book that comes to mind is John Campbell's Uptime. In comparison, Uptime is probably more aimed at the non-technical manager, where this contains more relevant information for the practising Maintenance and Reliability professional. Overall, this book is recommended reading.

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