• Operations Rx

Lean Maintenance

The main goal of lean maintenance is to keep costs to a minimum, while sustaining run time and efficiency. The result is more profitable and in turn has added value to operations. Reducing the downtime, increasing at rate production and safer work environments is the key to a healthy maintenance system.

Lean Manufacturing will drive the elimination of three types of waste:

· Processes that create waste for the customer

· Variations in production speed

· Non-value adds embedded in the process

A "Lean Maintenance" approach would examine how efficiently the work is performed. Inefficiency comes with poor scheduling. An example would be replacing two parts on two separate occasions, when both tasks could have been done during the same outage. Good planning ensures that the right parts and tools are available, along with people who have the appropriate skills.

Ideally the maintenance team, like the production operators, should work at a steady pace that is productive. A maintenance team is more likely to make mistakes when the pressure is high to fix a machine and get the factory back into production. A proper lean maintenance system will proactively detect catastrophic failures before a plant down situation occurs, allowing ample time to schedule production down time, resources and repair parts.

Lean maintenance is a comprehensive strategy that strives to make maintenance tasks as efficient as possible, while keeping assets in top condition. It incorporates numerous elements, and therefore requires some time and preparation to implement, but the end result is reduced maintenance costs and improved equipment reliability.