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M-News Edition 35
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M-News - the Maintenance Newsletter

Edition 35, July 2003


In this edition...
Introduction and Apology
Feature Article - The Role of Information Technology in Plant Reliability
Feature Article - Corona & Testing - Who, What, When, Where & Why
Feature Article - Maximizing Your Prism4 CMMS Data Assets
Feature Article - How OCE Impacts Your Bottom Line
Survey Results - Maintenance Salaries
Book Review - CMMS Implementation - A Timesaving Approach
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.

Introduction, Apology, and a Prize to be Won.

My sincere apologies for the non-issue of this newsletter in April, May or June - but better late than never. We are back on track, and making up for lost time! Subscribers should expect to see the next issues of M-News issued every couple of weeks for the next 6-8 weeks.

As usual, we have four high quality articles for you in this edition, as well as the results of our Maintenance Salary Survey conducted in January to March this year. We also have a review of Daryl Mather's book "CMMS - A Timesaving Implementation Approach". Enjoy!

Also in this edition is the opportunity to win free entry to marcusevans "Managing Power Plant Outages conference" being held in Chicago from August 25-27, 2003. See later in this newsletter for details of how to enter.

Alexander (Sandy) Dunn

Feature Article - The Role of Information Technology in Plant Reliability

This paper, by Robert Matusheski of Meridium, Inc. examines how IT impacts maintenance decision-making to strike a balance between cost and reliability. Information technologies (IT), in the context of this paper, include all computer systems and networks, plant automation systems such as distributed control systems and programmable logic controllers, design drawing databases, procedures databases, and diagnostic monitoring systems. The role of information technology, this paper argues, is critical for maintenance optimization because it relies on the ability of the plant personnel to bring all data together in a coherent fashion for optimum analysis and decision-making.

You will find the article at Note that you will require the free Adobe Acrobat reader to be able to view this file.

Feature Article - Corona & Testing - Who, What, When, Where & Why

This article, from Dan Ninedorf, is meant to be a quick introduction or a quick electrical corona, arcing, flash-over Q and A. You can read the article at

Feature Article - Maximizing Your Prism4 CMMS Data Assets

This article discusses how the US Air Force maximized their investment in the SKF Prism4 Condition Monitoring System without having to spend enormous sums of money. While the article uses Prism4 as an example, the general thrust of the article focuses more generally on leveraging existing assets with minimal additional expenses.

You can read it at

Feature Article - How OCE Impacts Your Bottom Line

This is the second part of a two-part article by Ralph "Pete" Peters of the Maintenance Excellence Institute. The first part introduced the concept of Overall Craft Effectiveness (OCE), and was featured in Edition 34 of this newsletter. The first part of the article can be read at

In this second part, Pete argues that improving Overall Craft Effectiveness is very key question we need to answer. Getting maximum value from craft labor resources and higher craft productivity requires measurement and knowing where you are now. Maintenance operations that continue to operate in a reactive, run-to-failure, fire fighting mode and disregard implementation of today's best practices will continue to waste their most valuable asset and very costly resource - craft time. The article provides some useful tips on how to measure Overall Craft Effectiveness.

You can read the article at Yet again, you will require the free Adobe Acrobat reader installed to be able to view this file.

Survey Results - Maintenance Salaries

Our fifth annual Maintenance Salary Survey took place between January and March 2003. The key findings were:

  • Overall, salaries seem to have fallen slightly, in $US terms.
  • In US$ terms, the best paid countries for Maintenance workers are the US, Canada and Australia. Salary levels have risen in all of these countries in the last year.
  • Experience and Education continue to have a significant impact on salaries in the Maintenance sector.
  • Maintenance Planners continue to be paid significantly less than Maintenance Foremen/Supervisors.
  • Larger organizations appear to be paying better, at present, than smaller organizations. This is the reverse of the result from two years ago.
  • Manufacturing:Petroleum Refining, Chemicals and Associated Products appears to be the most consistent, best paid industry sector for Maintenance workers.

To view the entire survey results, visit You will require the free Adobe Acrobat reader installed to be able to view this file.

Book Review - CMMS Implementation - A Timesaving Approach

In the introduction to this book, the author, Daryl Mather writes:

"The aim of this book is to share some of the learned experience of a consultant in this field to enable you to make decisions on the use of the (Computerised Maintenance Management) system with global view of its benefits in mind. In short, this book will give you an implementation template, the ability to apply learned principles to the implementation of a CMMS in any operation."

Does this book live up to this lofty aim? Mostly it does, but the promised "implementation template" is a little weak, as discussed in our review of this book at

Recommended Books

Here are ten Maintenance-related books that we have reviewed recently, and strongly recommend:

Get more information on these and other books at

On the Lighter Side - Engineering Humor

Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Person asked the young Engineer fresh out of MIT, "And what starting salary were you looking for?"

The Engineer said, "In the neighborhood of $75,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."

The HR Person said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 5-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years - say, a red Corvette?"

The Engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow!!! Are you kidding?"

And the HR Person said, "Of course, ...but you started it."

I hope you have enjoyed this newsletter. All feedback, comments and contributions to future editions are very welcome (as are enquiries about contributions to, and sponsorship of, this newsletter).

Alexander (Sandy) Dunn
Plant Maintenance Resource Center

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