Maintenance is key to manufacturing success, study shows

Posted on 14 Jun 2012

A study by Advanced Technology Services showed that facilities that implement preventative maintenance can increase their OEE by as much as 30% within two years.

According to the ATS research, in a large number of companies maintenance is still “reactive”, and even in those that have adopted lean its role in driving performance improvement is often overlooked. Instead, effective deployment of maintenance metrics and an understanding of the true cost of maintenance are necessary to effectively transform the maintenance function and demonstrate performance improvement.

Financial metrics attributed to the maintenance organisation to be considered include: maintenance cost per unit produced, overtime hours/percentage costs, maintenance inventory and material usage, subcontractor costs and OEE, as well as those attributable to the production organisation, which would include labour efficiency, production hours, cash flow (inventory turns) and expense performance vs plan.

Derek Hill, general manager of ATS, said: “There are a number of indirect impacts of good preventative maintenance. First of all, extended life of production assets equals a lower capital spent. Additionally, improved utilisation of constraints leads to lower WIP inventory and more reliable production machines deliver lower scrap. ”

Transforming maintenance can also lead to improved job satisfaction and employee retention, primarily because better machine performance means less expediting and wasted effort, according to ATS.

“Whilst immediate benefits can be realised, an embedded TPM programme can take up to 24 months to develop and fully implement. Providing the operators and maintenance teams with the ability to fix common problems and make work more enjoyable is what drives the benefits, but the training and development of the teams needed to accomplish this takes time,” the research added.