Book Review

Zero Breakdown Strategies
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Zero Breakdown Strategies

By: Terry Wireman

Hardcover: 230 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 0.75 x 9.00 x 6.25
Published by: Hansen Gardner
Publication Date: February 2000
ISBN: 1569902593


  • Chapter 1 - Zero Breakdown Concepts

Section 1 - Equipment Component Fundamentals

  • Chapter 2 - Lubrication Fundamentals
  • Chapter 3 - Fastening Fundamentals
  • Chapter 4 - Bearing Fundamentals
  • Chapter 5 - Belt Drive Fundamentals
  • Chapter 6 - Roller Chain Fundamentals
  • Chapter 7 - Gear Drive Fundamentals
  • Chapter 8 - Coupling Fundamentals
  • Chapter 9 - Sealing Fundamentals
  • Chapter 10 - Fluid Power Fundamentals
  • Chapter 11 - Hydraulic Systems
  • Chapter 12 - Pneumatic Systems

Section 2 - Application of the Zero Breakdown Strategies

  • Chapter 13 - Maintaining Basic Conditions
  • Chapter 14 - Maintaining Operating Standards
  • Chapter 15 - Deterioration Prevention
  • Chapter 16 - Improving Design Weaknesses
  • Chapter 17 - Preventing Human Error
  • Chapter 18 - Beyond the Basics
  • Chapter 19 - Financial Considerations of Zero Breakdown Strategies


  • Appendix A - Troubleshooting Fundamentals
  • Appendix B - Hydraulic Troubleshooting
  • Appendix C - Pneumatic Troubleshooting

Our Review

This book is an interesting contribution to the maintenance field, and would be of interest both to those who are embarking on a Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) program within their organization, as well those who are looking to move beyond Failure Prevention and Prediction, and towards Failure Elimination.

The fundamental premise behind this book is that many equipment failures are actually caused by Maintenance practices - particularly the failure to establish and/or follow appropriate quality standards for the performance of maintenance work. This includes the most basic practices of proper lubrication, cleaning and assembly. Wireman states that "studies suggest that the basics are being overlooked or even neglected in most companies today", and so the majority of this book consists of an outline of these "basics". (As an aside, there are numerous comments in this book referring to the resutls of "studies", but it is unfortunate that the sources of these "studies" are not quoted, and cannot, therefore, be independently verified).

Chapters 2-12 deal with the basic operation and maintenance of various common mechanical components (nothing relating to electrical or instrumentation here, however). For most professional maintainers and technicians, this information will be something of a review or refresher - there is little new information in here. It is also worth noting that all of the technical specifications and dimensions referred to in these sections are in US units only - the rest of the world which deals in SI metric units will have to ignore these sections - but this is not a major inconvenience. These chapters consume 143 of the books 230 pages.

Section 2 moves on to discuss some of the other important considerations in achieving the goal of Zero Breakdowns, and suggests a 5 step process. First - ensure that the basics are looked after well (using the information contained in the first 12 chapters). Second, ensure that the equipment is operated within design limitations. Third (and we are onto some shaky ground here), prevent the equipment deteriorating beyond some "baseline" condition. How to determine what the baseline condition should be is not clearly outlined in this chapter. Fourth, ensure that equipment is designed properly, and then finally, minimise human error through the implementation of standardised processes. These are (almost) all valid and honourable goals, but this book does not provide any guidance as to how to go about achieving these goals. Indeed, in the chapter on Improving Design Weaknesses, Wireman states "It is beyond the scope of this book to deal with actual design weaknesses related to equipment. There are volumes of reference works that deal with the topic of design flaws and enhancements that are available". It is a pity that he chose not to give us any indication of which of these we should seek out.

In conclusion, there is some useful information in here relating to basic equipment care, and some worthwhile discussion of the issues involved in moving towards zero breakdowns, but limited practical guidance in how to achieve this goal.

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