Plant maintenance

The need for capacity requirement planning (CRP), shop-floor planning and control and quality assurance in detail. To ensure effective implementation of all these activities, it is of paramount importance that production facilities such as machinery, plant and equipment, tolls, material handling equipments, metrology items such as inspection gauges and measuring instruments, are maintained properly and kept in good working condition. The maintenance function acts in a supporting role to keep equipments and machines, operating effectively to carry out the required production processes and to maintain quality, quantity and costs standards.

Meaning and Definition

Maintenance is
�… that function of manufacturing management that is concerned with day-to-day problem of keeping the physical plant in good operating condition. It is an essential activity in every manufacturing establishment, because it is necessary to ensure the availability of the machines, buildings and services needed by other parts of the organization for the performance of their functions at an optimum return on the investment, whether this investment is in machinery, materials or employees�.

In simple words, maintenance may be understood as a set of activities which help keep plant, machinery and other facilities in good condition.

Viewed from this, it may be stated that maintenance is not just about repairs. Maintenance is much wider in its scope unlike repairs.

Maintenance is one function which has not been rendered obsolete by advanced technology, has not faded away with the passage of time and has not lost its stature in the industry, though other functions have witnessed fluctuating fortunes from time to time.

Scope of Maintenance

Every manufacturing organization needs maintenance because, machines break down, parts wear out and buildings deteriorate over a period of time with use. All segments of a factory –buildings, machinery, equipments, tools, cranes, jigs and fixture, heating and generating equipments, waste disposal systems ,air-conditioning equipments, wash rooms ,dispensaries and so on, need attention.

Maintenance covers two broad categories of functions as outlined below

(a) Primary Functions

• Maintenance of existing plant and equipments
• Maintenance of existing plant buildings and grounds.
• Equipment inspection and lubrication
• Utilities generation and distribution
• Alterations to existing equipments and buildings.
• New installations of equipments and buildings.

(b) Secondary Functions

• Storekeeping (keeping stock of spare parts)
• Plant protection including fire protection.
• Waste disposal.
• Salvage.
• Insurance administration (against fire ,theft, etc)
• Janitorial services.
• Property accounting.
• Pollution and noise abatement or control.
• Any other service delegated towards maintenance by the plant management.