In our last post, I touched on some negative factors which can lead to program failure. Today, let’s flip the script and take a look at three positive traits of successful predictive maintenance (PdM) programs: top-down support, communication and documentation, and consistency.
In order for any large, complex initiative to be successful, people at every level of the organization need to support it. The reliability leader who spearheads the PdM program will be responsible for motivating everyone from the maintenance floor to the corporate office. A champion of predictive maintenance needs to be able to translate the organization’s business goals into maintenance and reliability goals that support the organization’s business results. When a piece of equipment is called out by an analyst for being in critical condition and is repaired before failure, consider that to be a success story. Make sure that all of the success stories are shared with upper management and celebrated by all involved.
Communication and Documentation
A robust PdM program will create a mountain of data, starting from day one. Raw collection data, reports and recommendations from analysts, pictures of the equipment, nameplate information, and overall cost avoidance figures are a few pieces of the puzzle. All of this information must be tracked, archived, and made easily accessible to analysts, technicians, and managers. This is commonly achieved by using the organization’s existing CMMS system, but other consistent, centralized approaches are also effective. Regardless of the manner in which the data is maintained, the end goal remains the same: get the information into the hands of the people who need it.
The hard work has only just begun once a PdM program has been put in place. Critical equipment must be tested at regular intervals to ensure that any changes in the machine’s condition can be caught before failures occur. Training is vital to the ongoing success of a PdM program. Regular training allows new hires to understand the work being done, and makes senior technicians and analysts reliable anchors who can ensure the accuracy of the collection and analysis.
When initiating a new PdM program, remember the following:
- Resistance to change will be met at every level of the organization. Culture changes do not happen overnight.
- PdM data should be archived and routinely referenced. Share success stories with management and celebrate them.
- Data collection should occur at regular intervals, and ongoing training is vital to the program’s success.