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Improving Production with Lean Thinking by Javier Santos, Richard A. Wysk, Jose M. Torres

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6

Equipment Efficiency: Availability, Performance, and Maintenance

The role of maintenance is to ensure the survivability and proper functioning of all company hardware (productive and nonproductive). Most maintenance departments are considered, by most companies, “a necessary evil” or a money pit that represents a continuous cost. Managing a maintenance department at times can be nearly impossible because the investments required to improve production processes usually take on a low priority or, even worse, may not even make it to the priority list for capital expenditures.

Maintenance evolution, as well as maintenance techniques evolution, has been developed in parallel for many companies: The first obligation of the maintenance department is to remediate hardware failures that have occurred already. The next obligation after fixing breakdowns is to prevent future problems with the equipment that eventually may lead to failure.

The companies that are most advanced in maintenance management try to incorporate basic maintenance tasks into their daily production routine such that direct labor personnel check fluid levels and examine production equipment for potential failure mechanisms, also searching for ways to increase the ability to predict potential equipment breakdowns.

EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE

The primary objective for the maintenance department of any company is to maintain the productive resources at a high operative level in order to ensure their service at an expected cost. ...

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