What should you be doing in the area of proactive maintenance? No one can fully answer that question but you and your team. However, a look at what others are doing and find successful can save you some time and effort in determining what is best for your operation.
MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY surveyed its readers to find general information about current practice in certain areas of plant equipment maintenance, reliability, and asset management. It was a part of our annual survey of maintenance salaries.
We found that most respondents are using multiple predictive maintenance or condition monitoring technologies, which was expected. Infrared thermography led the list with 74 percent of respondents reporting they are using or have used it in their facility. Oil and fluid analysis was a close second with 73 percent using, followed by vibration monitoring and analysis at 66 percent.
Less than half the respondents were using or had used each of the other listed technologies: Ultrasound inspection, motor circuit analysis, electric power monitoring, and process parameter monitoring. However, when figures for respondents who were considering using the technologies were included, each technology was being considered or had been used by at least two-thirds of the respondents.
We also asked readers about their use of several maintenance and reliability tools and techniques: Reliability centered maintenance (RCM), total productive maintenance (TPM), root cause analysis (RCA), PM optimization, benchmarking and key performance indicators, precision maintenance, and Six Sigma. For each tool, more than half the respondents said they were using or dabbling in it. The success rate was best for precision maintenance (precision alignment and balancing), where 82 percent of those using it reported moderate or extreme success. PM optimization was second at 76 percent and root cause analysis third at 68 percent.
The overall failure rate in applying predictive maintenance technologies and maintenance reliability tools was about 10 percent, which suggests that all techniques are providing significant value to the approximately 1000 practitioners who responded to the survey.
We all know there are many plants in the fail-and-fix repair mode that have yet to discover the predict-and-prevent world of modern maintenance. And, thanks to the readers who shared their personal information, we are confident that you are making progress with predict-and-prevent.
We wish you continued success in 2005. MT