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M-News Edition 18
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M-News - the Maintenance Newsletter

Edition 18, September 2001


In this edition...
Feature Article - The Maintenance Theory Jungle
Feature Article - Asset Management Decision-Making
Feature Article - Backlog Management
Feature Article - The Importance of Fit, Tolerance and Clearance
Survey Results - Maintenance Outsourcing
Current Survey - Maintenance - The Big Issues
Book Review - Power Transmission Handbook, by Power Transmission Distributor's Association
Recommended Books
On the Lighter Side - Engineering Humor

If you wish to receive notification of future copies of this newsletter by email, please register at If you have any feedback on the newsletter, or have something to contribute, please send me an e-mail.

Feature Article - The Maintenance Theory Jungle

Deryk Anderson, of Maintenance Management Solutions Pty Ltd has provided this article which provides an interesting perspective on the tangle of different approaches to maintenance management theory that exists at the moment. It is thouht provoking, and should generate some interesting discussion. You can read this articles at

Feature Article - Asset Management Decision-Making

In this follow up article to last month's article introducing basic Asset Management concepts, John Woodhouse, of The Woodhouse Partnership Ltd, discusses the theory and practice regarding Asset Management Decision Making, asks the question, "Why is Asset Decision Making so hard to implement", and then discusses the "next generation" of Asset Management thinking. You can read more at Note that you will need to have the free Adobe Acrobat reader installed to be able to view this file.

Feature Article - Backlog Management

Another article from Daryl Mather's series on Maintenance Planning and Scheduling basics. This month's article outlines an approach to managing Work Order backlog. You can read more at

Feature Article - The Importance of Fit, Tolerance and Clearance

Many equipment breakdowns and stoppages occur because of improper clearance between holes and shafts. The shaft is too tight in the hole; the center of the hole is not at the center of the shaft making it off-center; one part is loose on another and slips out of place or does not seal as it should. In this article, Mike Sondalini, editor of Process Plant & Equipment UP-TIME, gives a basic introduction to concepts of Fit, Tolerance and Clearance. You can read the full article at Note that you will need to have the free Adobe Acrobat reader installed to be able to view this file.

Survey Results - Maintenance Outsourcing

This survey closed on August 31, with responses having been received from 25 people. Results are currently being analysed, and will be included in next month's newsletter. Thank you to all who contributed.

Current Survey - Maintenance - The Big Issues

The current survey is very short, and should only take a couple of minutes to complete. Simply, we are asking, "What are the biggest Maintenance-related issues that you are facing in your organization at the moment". The survey closes on October 31, 2001. You can complete the survey, or view the results to date at

Book Review - Power Transmission Handbook, by Power Transmission Distributor's Association

The Power Transmission Handbook serves as a both a reference book for the tradesman and the textbook for a home study course in the basic components and application of power transmission equipment and systems. It comprehensively covers the range of power transmission elements and their design and engineering fundamentals.

The Power Transmission Distributor's Association has recognised the value to industry in having specialised training on power transmission equipment for tradespeople and equipment users. Power transmission equipment is used across numerous industries and represents one of the most likely areas for equipment failure. The handbook is a simple and effective method to educate and train people in the relevant aspects and proper practises of using power transmission equipment.

The topics covered represent a good coverage of the knowledge needed by users and maintainers of power transmission equipment so they can select, use and rebuild their plant and machinery. The chapter headings and a brief comment on each are noted below.

  • FUNDAMENTALS - A quick overview of the relevant engineering issues.
  • BEARINGS - Both plain and roller bearing basics are covered.
  • BELT DRIVES - V-belts, toothed belts and flat belts are explained.
  • CHAIN DRIVES - Types of chain, their characteristics and applications are detailed.
  • CLUTCHES & BRAKES - Friction, electromagnetic and mechanical methods.
  • COUPLINGS & U-JOINTS - Transmitting force by use of mechanical and fluid couplings.
  • GEARS - An introduction to gear design and use in gear drives.
  • HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS - Motive equipment, valving and actuators are covered.
  • LINEAR MOTION - Equipment and methods to produce linear motion are introduced.
  • MOTORS - The key aspects of selecting and using electric motors and servomotors.
  • ADJUSTABLE-SPEED DRIVES - Both mechanical and electrical adjustable drives are explained.
  • CONTROLS & SENSORS - Motor starters, PLC's, sensor and operator interfaces are introduced.
  • POWER TRANSMISSION ACCESSORIES - Lubricants, seals, tensioners and locking devices.

The presentation in each chapter is clear and easily read with numerous detailed drawings and photos of components. The drawings and photos are used to both explain the concepts covered in the chapter and to show the reader typical examples of equipment and its workings. Each chapter includes checklists or information on the relevant factors that affect the item's performance.

The book-based training course is also supplemented with a video or an interactive CD-Rom that can be separately purchased. A demo sample of the training CD was provided with the handbook. The CD was a good quality interactive media format that provided a basic introduction to the types of power transmission equipment available. Again there were plenty of pictures, detailed photographs and drawings. Explanatory text was included in point form and linked to the item being presented and explained.

There is no doubt that the Power Transmission Handbook is a useful reference in any mechanical equipment workshop or design office. Its presentation of the key factors in using and maintaining power transmission equipment makes it useful to the equipment user, maintainer and designer.

You can purchase this book directly from the Power Transmission Distributor's Association 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

An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.

The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship. The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there. The engineer said, "I like both."


Engineer: "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the office and get some work done."

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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