Maintenance systems in a lean enterprise

Maintenance systems are important to the functioning of an efficient production system. The importance of this function within an organization's operations centers around the ability to produce high quality finish goods reliably with minimal interruption, down time and maximizing plant up time.

The maintenance or engineering department should not be the only employees that get involved in the maintenance of the plant. Both plant operators and managers should be involved as well in order to gain familiarity with the equipment and be able to troubleshoot problems and perform minor maintenance tasks when the engineering team is not available or working on higher value added tasks. This can easily be achieved by standardizing maintenance tasks, which can be done by operators, and documenting the procedures either through writing standard operating procedures or one point lessons. Production operators should be encouraged to write one point lessons to communicate engineering knowledge to fellow team members.

When plant and equipment is constantly breaking down it will affect plant OEE and should become a focus area to devise a strategy to better service the mechanical and electrical support needs of the plant through a well planned and operated maintenance system to increase OEE, this can be set up with the help of operations consultants using some common tools.

The following pages provide more information on maintenance systems and approaches to maintaining plant and equipment:

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Autonomous Maintenance

Maintenance programs and strategies

Breakdown maintenance

Plant Inspections and lubrication schedule

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