3 Reasons Why Operations Does Not Support Maintenance and Reliability

One of the most common things maintenance folks say is that operations does not support maintenance and reliability. It sounds like this:

"If it weren't for operations we would be reliable"

"They think their job is to break it and then it is our job to fix it... and fast"

"They will not let us have the equipment for PM and they wonder why it breaks down"

Want to know what operations has to say? Here are three quotes and a set of underlining causes:

1. Operations says: "Every time I give them the equipment for PM downtime it runs worse on start up than it did at shutdown"

Reason: Maintenance overly relies on invasive PMs that induce infant mortality instead of using Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) which is performed while the equipment is running and does not induce failures. If maintenance could get fifteen percent of there labor dedicated to CBM and then fifteen percent dedicated to PM then the balance would be better and the number of maintenance induced failures would drop. One example is eliminating the PM where you open a gearboxes up for a gear inspection and transitioning them to CBM inspections which can accomplish the same task without the potential for reassembly errors or foreign contamination in the gear box.

2. Operations says: "Maintenance never sticks to the schedule. They ask for 8 hours and take 16"Maintenance creates a schedule with work that is only marginally planned and then overruns the outage timeline because the estimates are completely inaccurate. If you don't take the time to break the job down into estimable task or steps then it becomes very hard to produce and accurate schedule. The way this sounds in the field is "Oh that job, it will take about a half shift for two guys"

3. Operations says: "This equipment runs better if I can just keep it running and keep maintenance out of it."

Maintenance does not practice precision maintenance therefor as work is completed defects are induced and equipment fails prematurely. One example is the installation of a bearing on a shaft with a hammer and chisel instead of a bearing heater and impact fitting tools.

The point here is that if we as maintenance and reliability professionals start by addressing our issues it becomes much easier to ask operations to address theirs. Or to say it another way:

"If you wanna make the world a better place

take a look at yourself, and then make a change"

~Michael Jackson