Unscheduled plant outages, no matter what the cause, result in increased costs and loss revenue. As plants continue to reduce personnel and maintenance budgets, the likeliness of an equipment failure is more and more common. Below are just a few guidelines for effectively managing your plant equipment, while utilizing limited resources:
Know your equipment's age.
Replacing or upgrading obsolete, aging or high maintenance equipment before it fails can prevent serious failures in the future. Obtain and file a record of all your major pieces of equipment. Note when the equipment was acquired, built and record any maintenance items performed. You may also want to take pictures of your equipment, including any serial numbers and nameplates. In addition, be on the lookout for new equipment models that have been re-designed with technological upgrades that may result in immediate cost savings (decreases in energy consumptions or increases in efficiencies). You may received an immediate cost savings or rebate.
Continually train your operators and plant personnel.
Human error is bound to happen, but these errors can be drastically reduced by continual training. Training comes in all forms and it does not necessarily have to be formal, classroom type lectures. Utilizing check-off lists for routine tasks is an easy and low cost method to ensure that all critical task are carried out, no matter how small. Also, promote common maintenance reminders through the use of signage.
Develop a schedule.
Scheduling major inspections and repairs at the same time helps to minimize unscheduled outages and makes the most of a schedule. Take advantage of that time to conduct anything else that needs repaired, inspected or replaced. Overall, having a plan in place makes it easy to be proactive in your planning and scheduling of people and resources.
Do you have additional guidelines you would like to share? Let us know.