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M-News Edition 15
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M-News - the Maintenance Newsletter

Edition 15, June 2001

Welcome to the fifteenth edition of M-News. This is a 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. If you have any feedback on the newsletter, or have something to contribute, please send me an e-mail.


In this edition...
Feature Article - Selection And Procurement Of Pumps For Replacement
Feature Article - Managing Maintenance as a Business
Feature Article - Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Basics
Survey Results - Maintenance Salaries
Current Survey - PM Task Development
Book Review - Maintenance Excellence - Optimizing Equipment Life Cycle Decisions, edited by John Campbell and Andrew Jardine
Recommended Books
On the Lighter Side - Engineering Humor

Feature Article - Selection And Procurement Of Pumps For Replacement

This article, contributed by Ashish Bartia reviews the various situations in which it may be better to replace, rather than repair, a pump. This article can be read at

Feature Article - Managing Maintenance as a Business

This article has been submitted by EPAC Software Technologies. Starting from the viewpoint that Maintenance is a Business (in fact a service business), this article outlines the key elements involved in successfully managing that business, including Determining a Maintenance Philosophy, Defining a Mission and Objectives, Organizing the Business, and Measuring Business Performance. It suggests some strategies for success, and how a CMMS may assist in achieving this success. Highly recommended reading, this article is available at Note that you will need to have the free Adobe Acrobat reader installed to be able to view this file.

Feature Article - Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Basics

Daryl Mather has submitted this article which is a brief "back to basics" outline of the differences between Planning and Scheduling, and some tips for improving performance in this area. You can read more at

Survey Results - Maintenance Salary Survey

This survey closed on April 30, with responses having been received from 248 people. The key results are:

  • Overall, salaries seem to have fallen slightly, although this may be due to the changing changing mix of respondents, and the strength of the US$ in comparison to other currencies, rather than any underlying trend in salary movements.
  • Salary levels have fallen significantly in US$ terms in Australia and the United Kingdom, however, this is largely a result of the depreciation in the $A and UKL in comparison to the $US between 2000 and 2001.
  • Experience and Education continue to have a significant impact on salaries in the Maintenance sector.
  • Plant/Maintenance Engineers are better paid than Maintenance Supervisors/Foremen.
  • Maintenance Planners continue to be paid less than Maintenance Foremen/Supervisors.
  • Manufacturing:Machinery and Equipment appears to be the best paid industry sector for Maintenance workers.
  • Smaller organisations appear to pay higher salaries than larger organisations, although the differences are small.

For more details, visit

Current Survey - PM Task Development

The current survey relates to the development of preventive and predictive maintenance programs using such techniques as Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM), PM Optimisation, RCM Cost, RCM Turbo and others. The survey closes on June 30. You can register your response, or view the results to date at

Book Review - Maintenance Excellence - Optimizing Equipment Life Cycle Decisions, edited by John Campbell and Andrew Jardine

Those of you who have been reading this newsletter for a while will know that in Edition 6 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.

You can purchase this book from The Plant Maintenance Resource Center, in association with, at

Recommended Books

Some of the books that have previously been reviewed on this site, and which we strongly recommend are listed below. Ron Moore's book, Making Common Sense Common Practice is particularly recommended as representing excellent value for money.

For details on all of these books, and many more, visit

On the Lighter Side - Engineering Humor

This guy is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts: "Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?"

The man below says: "Yes, you're in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field." "You must work in Engineering", says the balloonist. "I do" replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but it's of absolutely no use to anyone!"

The man below says, "You must be a manager!" "I am," replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?"

"Well," says the man, "you don't know where you are, or where you're going, but you expect me to be able to help. And, you're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now it's my fault!"

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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