The active condition monitoring programs aim to detect deviations in the operation of a team in order to plan necessary corrective actions in the most effective way. Although the value of these technologies is easy to visualize by the maintenance and reliability staff of a plant, it is not always the case as regards the management of a company. Many times this is due to the misalignment between the definition of added value that management and maintenance personnel have. The maintenance staff should be focused on preserving the function of the company’s teams, while the management staff may have other initiatives, projects or departments to which they should offer their support and focus. One solution to this opportunity is to tie the metrics of the condition and maintenance monitoring program to the criteria that the company understands to be those of priority.

There are tools within the field of engineering in reliability that help to define maintenance strategies aligned to these criteria. Starting with a criticality analysis we can define the risk of impact of certain assets to the corporate goals of our company. In this way we can proceed to choose which tools would be effective to define our maintenance strategy in an efficient way.

It must be taken into account that an effective RCM process requires a large number of company resources, which can render it inefficient in the face of assets of less criticality or impact on business goals. For these teams there are also maintenance management software to carry out analysis of failure modes and define their maintenance strategies including condition monitoring technologies in order to make their operation more efficient and effective.

With these tools we can develop maintenance strategies for our entire population of assets in a way that can be tied to performance indicators aligned to the definition of value of our company. A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) facilitates the process of monitoring and analyzing these maintenance execution indicators.

After defining our maintenance strategies we can proceed to implement our condition monitoring program using recommended standards such as ISO 18436 for condition monitoring and machine diagnostics. These technologies will provide us with the necessary information to assign resources and plan corrective actions necessary to preserve the function of our teams in the most effective way. A management information system of the condition of our equipment and the information provided by our CMMS will allow us to have a clear vision of the condition of our equipment and our ability to meet the expectations of our company. To have a clear vision of the present condition, it’s recommended to have mobile app maintenance.

Maintenance alone is not enough

Maintenance alone is not enough to fulfill this task. Logically, the organization of the maintenance area has to adapt to the maintenance strategy, with the aim of replacing the resolution of malfunctions with the prevention of breakdowns. The organization also has to adapt to the particularities of the company with creative solutions. ‘Finding the right combination’ means intelligently combining maintenance strategies with a view to minimizing expenditure on this concept. The cost of maintenance operations must be set against the utility they report. This integral approach and the problems that derive from it can be addressed with numerous strategies.

The determining criteria are: user behavior, status and age of the facilities, and financial resources.

Each maintenance scope requires its own maintenance strategy. For the controlling of maintenance and the analysis of weak points, a structuring of the maintenance points (technical points and installations) is of vital importance.