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Edition 1, April 1999

Welcome to the first edition of M-News, a new bi-monthly (and free) newsletter on topics of interest to Maintenance professionals, brought to you by the Plant Maintenance Resource Center.  We aim to bring you the latest news and views on what is happening in the world of Maintenance. If you wish to receive notification of future copies of this newsletter by email, please register here.


In this edition...
eMAINT - a free, Web-based CMMS
Maintenance Salary Survey - results
Feature Article - 50 questions to help your CMMS search
TPM Survey
Free Maintenance Software on the web
Book Review - The Handbook of Maintenance Management, by Joel Levitt

eMAINT - a free, Web-based CMMS

Pearl Computer Systems, Inc. has launched what is believed to be the first, free, web-based CMMS at
A cut-down version of Pearl's flagship CMMS, UltiMAINT, utilizes standard browser technology to provide a CMMS that includes:
  • Work Order Management
  • Preventive Maintenance Scheduling
  • Equipment Lists and Histories
  • Management Reports & Graphs

Users requiring a more fully-featured CMMS, may find the features somewhat limiting, but an upgrade path is available to UltiMAINT, which also has web access available through the ultiMAINT for the Web version which was released earlier this year.  For more details, browse to

Maintenance Salary Survey - results

Some surprising results were obtained from the recent Maintenance Salary survey conducted on the Plant Maintenance Resource Center.  Among the results:
  • Experience is a far greater determinant of salary in the Maintenance sector than education
  • College and University degree holders earn less, on average, than those without tertiary education.
  • Reliability Engineers and Consulting Engineers are better paid than Maintenance Managers/Superintendents and Plant/Maintenance Engineers.
  • Maintenance Planners are paid significantly less than Maintenance Foremen/Supervisors.
  • Oil and Gas extraction and Mining are the best paid industry sectors for Maintenance workers.
For all the results, click here.

Feature Article - 50 questions to help your CMMS search

This article is reproduced with permission from Joel Levitt's book, The Handbook of Maintenance Management, and is indicative of the many useful checklists contained in this book. For a review of the book, see the item later in this newsletter.Only the first 10 questions are reproduced here. For a complete list of all 50 questions, click here.
  1. Produces an easy-to-use work order that allows future conversion to bar codes and other improvements to technology.
  2. Work order classifies all work by some kind of repair reason code: PM, corrective, breakdown, management decision, etc.
  3. Provides and easy way for a single person or designated group in maintenance to screen work orders entered by customers before authorization that work can begin.
  4. Prints up-to-date lockout procedure on all work orders automatically.
  5. Automatically costs work orders.
  6. Provides status of all outstanding work orders.
  7. Records service calls (who, what, when, where, how) which can be printed in a log format with automated time/date stamping.
  8. Allows operations people, tenants or facility users to have access to the system to find out what happened to their work request.
  9. Records backlog of work and displays it by craft.
  10. Work orders can be displayed or printed very easily.

TPM Survey

The latest Plant Maintenance Resource Center survey is on Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) implementation. Let us know your opinions here.

Free Maintenance Software on the web

There is plenty of free Maintenance software available on the web - demos, evaluation software, shareware and even freeware. There is CMMS software, Fleet Management software, Job Request software, Reliability software and more. Finding the free stuff used to be a chore, but not any more! We have trawled the web, and found it all for you. Click here to select from over 100 pieces of free software available from the web.

Book Review - Maintenance Manager's Handbook

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.

(This book may be purchased through the Plant Maintenance Resource Center, in association with Visit here for details).

I hope you have enjoyed this newsletter. All feedback, comments and contributions to future editions are very welcome (as are enquiries about sponsorship of this newsletter).
Alexander (Sandy) Dunn
Plant Maintenance Resource Center

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