Importance and objective of maintenance management


Maintenance is an important factor in quality assurance, which is another basis for the successful competitive edge. Inconsistencies in equipments lead to variability in product characteristics and result in defective parts that fail to meet the established specifications. Beyond just preventing break downs, it is necessary to keep equipments operating within specifications (i.e. process capability) that will produce high level of quality.

Good maintenance management is important for the company’s cost control. As companies go in for automation to become more competitive, they increasingly rely on equipments to produce a greater percentage of their output. It becomes more important that, equipments operate reliably within specifications. The cost of idle time is higher as equipment becomes more high-tech and expensive e.g. NC/CNC machines and robots.

Dependability of service is one of the performance measures by which a company can distinguish itself from others. To establish a competitive edge and to provide good customer service, companies must have reliable equipments that will respond to customer demands when needed. Equipments must be kept in reliable condition without costly work stoppage and down time due to repairs, if the company is to remain productive and competitive.

Many manufacturing organizations, particularly those with JIT (Just-In-Time) programs are operating with inventories so low that, they offer no protection in the event of a lengthy equipment failure. Beyond the cost of idle equipment, idle labor, and lost ales that can result from a breakdown, there is a danger of permanently losing market shares to companies that are more reliable. Maintenance function can help prevent such as occurrence.

Organizations like airlines and oil refineries have huge investments in the equipment. Equipment failure will be disastrous for such companies. They need proper maintenance to keep the equipment in good condition.

Impact of Poor Maintenance

Maintenance operations include all efforts to keep production facilities and equipments in an acceptable operating condition. Failure or ml-functioning of machines and equipments in manufacturing and service industries have a direct impact on the following:

1. Production capacity:

Machines idled by breakdowns cannot produce, thus the capacity of the system is reduced.

2. Production costs:

Labor costs per unit rise because of idle labor due to machine breakdowns. When machine malfunctions result in scrap, unit labor and material costs increase. Besides, cost of maintenance which includes such costs as costs of providing repair facilities, repair crews, preventive maintenance inspections, spare parts and stand by machines will increase as machines break down frequently.

3. Product and service quality:

Poorly maintained equipments produce low quality products. Equipments that have not been properly maintained have frequent break downs and cannot provide adequate service to customers. For example, air craft fleets of the airline, railway and road transport services not maintained well can result in poor service to customers.

4. Employee or customer safety:

Worn-out equipment is likely to fail at any moment and these failures can cause injuries to the workers, working on those equipments. Products such as two wheelers and automobiles, if not serviced periodically, can break down suddenly and cause injuries to the stress.

5. Customer satisfaction:

When production equipments break own, products often can not be produced according to the master production schedules, due to work stoppages. This will lead to delayed deliveries of products to the customers.

Objectives of Maintenance Management

The following are some of the objectives of maintenance management:

I. Minimizing the loss of productive time because of equipment failure (i.e. minimizing idle time of equipment due to break down).
II. Minimizing the repair time and repair cost.

III. Minimizing the loss due to production stoppages.

IV. Efficient use of maintenance personnel and equipments.

V. Prolonging the life of capital assets by minimizing the rate of wear and tear.

VI. To keep all productive assets in good working conditions.

VII. To maximize efficiency and economy in production through optimum use of facilities.

VIII. To minimize accidents through regular inspection and repair of safety devices.

IX. To minimize the total maintenance cost which includes the cost of repair, cost of preventive maintenance and inventory carrying costs, due to spare parts inventory.

X. To improve the quality of products and to improve productivity.

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