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Improving Maintenance in Manufacturing: A Comprehensive Guide

Improving Maintenance

Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) has become pivotal in determining a company’s productivity and bottom-line performance in today’s rapidly evolving manufacturing environment. A healthy approach to MRO can pay massive dividends in your OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). 

As a leader in improving productivity for our manufacturing clients, POWERS has been focusing on bridging the gap between workplace culture and operational performance. A critical impact area for us is improving maintenance performance.

In this article, we’ll explore the top five things you can start today to improve your maintenance department, concentrating on fundamentals like Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), enhancing scheduling, labor and overtime hours, efficiency, and cost reduction. The net result? Improved uptime, throughput, capacity utilization, and profitability. 

But first, let’s look at the different approaches typical to manufacturing maintenance. Before you can even build a plan to improve, it’s essential to understand where you’re at now. 

Are you running your lines until they break? How’s your scheduling and staffing? Have you fully integrated maintenance with the entirety of your operation? Wherever you are, you can begin improving today. 

Maintenance Approaches Compared

1 Reactive Maintenance: Wait for It to Break

Reactive maintenance or the “run-to-failure” method is simple – you fix things when they break. Though this ‘when it breaks, we’ll fix it’ approach requires less planning, it can lead to unpredictable downtime, affecting productivity and increasing costs. It’s suitable for non-critical systems but not a good fit for mission-critical manufacturing processes.

2 Preventive Maintenance: Scheduled Care

Preventive maintenance involves scheduling replacements at regular intervals before parts break. This approach can improve reliability but might lead to unnecessary replacements. A more systematic approach, such as TPM, integrates preventive maintenance with initiatives like continuous improvement and employee involvement to enhance efficiency.

3 Usage-Based Maintenance: Time for a Change

Usage-Based maintenance is about replacing parts based on the machine’s usage. It offers a more tailored solution than preventive maintenance but requires accurate tracking of usage hours, and it might not account for unexpected failures.

4 Condition-Based Maintenance: Detect and Respond

This approach replaces parts based on wear and tear. Continuously monitoring the equipment’s condition allows timely intervention, reducing unexpected downtime. It emphasizes real-time feedback, aligning well with POWERS’ focus on aligning culture and operational performance.

5 Predictive Maintenance: Forecasting Failures

Predictive maintenance leverages historical data, often using AI and machine learning, to predict when a part will break. It effectively reduces downtime and costs, making it a suitable strategy for modern, data-driven manufacturing environments.

6 Prescriptive Maintenance: Analyze, Predict, and Prescribe

The most advanced form, prescriptive maintenance, goes beyond predicting failures. Using sophisticated data analysis, it provides hypothetical outcomes to choose the best action, considering safety, quality, and timing of implementation.

Five Things to Start Today for a Better Maintenance Department

1 Implement Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Total Productive Maintenance emphasizes the integration of maintenance with daily operations and production schedules. By encouraging employees to take ownership and become involved in maintaining equipment:

2 Improve Scheduling and Coordination

Proper scheduling and coordination can drastically improve efficiency and reduce downtime:

3 Monitor Labor and Overtime Hours

Effective labor management leads to a more productive maintenance department:

4 Evaluate Efficiency and Cost Reduction Opportunities

Cost reduction and efficiency are at the core of any successful maintenance strategy:

5 Integrate Technology Wisely

The wise integration of technology can transform maintenance operations:

Conclusions for Business Leaders

Maintenance in manufacturing is no longer a side activity; it’s a strategic function that impacts overall productivity and profitability. Manufacturers can create a maintenance department aligned with organizational goals that delivers tangible financial benefits by understanding different approaches to maintenance and adopting practices like TPM, improved scheduling, labor management, and smart use of technology.

POWERS partners with manufacturers to build these connections, focusing on continuous improvement, workforce engagement, and strategic alignment. With our customized AMP (Advanced Maintenance Performance) solutions, manufacturers can transform their maintenance departments into a robust, efficiency-driven component of their success. Reach out to us at www.thepowerscompany.com to learn more.

powers amp logo final Improving Maintenance in Manufacturing: A Comprehensive Guide

The POWERS Difference: AMP Up Your Maintenance Performance

Enhancing manufacturing operational performance is an intricate process that demands a comprehensive examination of the interwoven systems, processes, and behaviors that constitute the very core of an organization. It requires a keen eye that extends from the high-level strategic inputs to the tangible outputs, connecting executive decisions on the top floor with the day-to-day mechanics of the shop floor. 

Among the myriad factors that drive an organization’s success, one critical aspect that stands prominently on the improvement agenda is the MRO, or Maintenance, Repair, and Operations. This segment is where inefficiencies and lapses can significantly erode the bottom line, making it a pivotal focus area for any operation aiming to enhance its financial and functional robustness.

Recognizing this critical need, we have embarked on a journey to offer a comprehensive solution to uplift maintenance performance. Our newly launched AMP (Advanced Maintenance Performance) Program is meticulously designed to rejuvenate both the tactical and technical dimensions of your maintenance operations.

Tactical Excellence

The tactical facet of our AMP Program emphasizes refining your strategic approach to maintenance. We dive deep into your Maintenance Management Operating System, optimizing how you leverage human resources and other assets dedicated to maintaining your essential equipment. By aligning strategies and fine-tuning processes, we ensure that your maintenance operations are not merely reactive but proactive and strategic, fostering resilience and efficiency.

Technical Mastery

Alongside the tactical improvements, our program accentuates the technical competencies required to maintain operational excellence. Our hands-on training encompasses vital areas such as Maintenance Fundamentals, Mechanical Concepts, Electrical Power, and Electrical Control.

Considering that nearly 60% of today’s manufacturing maintenance workforce might lack the requisite skills to keep assets and equipment at peak functionality, our program acts as a vital catalyst. By enhancing your maintenance team’s expertise, we unlock the barriers that hinder Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), allowing for improved uptime, throughput, capacity, quality, and more.

Our AMP Program is not just a solution; it’s a transformational pathway designed to turn your maintenance department into a powerhouse of efficiency and effectiveness. We believe in empowering your team with the right tools, knowledge, and strategies to ensure that maintenance becomes a driving force of value rather than a cost center. Join us in this transformative journey and unlock the full potential of your maintenance operations.

To put our experienced team and proven track record to work for you, schedule an initial discovery and analysis by calling +1 678-971-4711, or emailing us at info@thepowerscompany.com

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