Maintenance

Maintenance by definition is activities regularly performed to keep a machine, building, or piece of equipment in good condition and working order’. Maintenance involves performed actions to preserve an item or equipment in its normal working conditions or acts of return equipment to its original functions.

Maintenance activities include any activity such as cleaning, tests, measurements, replacements, adjustments, and repairs intended to retain or restore a functional unit in or to a specified state in which the unit can perform its required functions and to avoid potential dangers to life.

Other activities include but not limited to material inspections, servicing, and classification as to serviceability, repair, rebuilding and reclamation. Yet other activities are the routine recurring work required to keep a facility (plant, building, structure, utility, system) in such a useful conditions as its original or designed capacity and efficiency for its intended purpose.

In maintenance, involved are a combination of all technical and corresponding administrative, managerial and supervision actions. It involves the activities of in-house and outsourced service provider especially for large organizations like hospital, manufacturing set up or large utility company. Maintenance, repair and overhaul are in most cases carried on together to achieved desired results.

Types of maintenance

Classification of maintenance into three general kinds namely:

  • Preventive maintenance
  • Corrective maintenance and
  • Reliability centered maintenance.

Preventive maintenance when carried out conscientiously to avoid failures, equipment downtime, and production loss and safety violations. It is very important to keep machines, materials and facilities inspected on a regular basis by trained professionals and experienced workers to detect early problems that might become serious issues.

An effective preventive maintenance is a schedule and routine in nature ensuring your equipment and machines are continuously checked and inspected for minor and major problems. Small electrical problems may results in catastrophe if left unattended for a long time and can lead to costly emergency repair or subsequent equipment replacement.

When and where preventive maintenance or PM for short is thoroughly carried out, the risk of hazard is greatly reduced and working environment become safe. Electrical equipments can results in serious electric shock, fire incidents and arc flash which can lead to serious injury for workers and users.

Corrective maintenance is the most common approach but have limitations. The maintenance carried out after the equipment has failed or worn out, to bring it back to working order and obviously leads to equipments, production and service downtime and it’s usually costly.

‘Reliability centered maintenance RCM for short is an engineering framework that enables the definition of a complete maintenance regime. It regards maintenance as the means to maintain the functions a user may require of machinery in a defined operating context. As a discipline it enables machinery stakeholders to monitor, assess, predict and generally understand the working of their physical assets embodied in the initial part of the RCM process which is to identify the operating context of the machinery, and write a Failure Mode Effects and Critical Analysis (FMECA). The second part of the analysis is to apply the “RCM logic”, which helps determine the appropriate maintenance tasks for the identified failure modes in the FMECA. Once the logic is complete for all elements in the FMECA, the resulting list of maintenance is “packaged”, so that the periodicity of the tasks are justified and called up in work packages; it is important not to destroy the applicability of maintenance in this phase. Lastly, RCM is kept live throughout the “in-service” life of machinery, where the effectiveness of the maintenance is kept under constant review and adjusted in light of the experience gained. For more information on RCM kindly visit the Wikipedia.

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