FSP0010 – Maintenance Planning and Scheduling – Facility Science Podcast #10

By | July 2, 2019


Notes for FSP0010 –  Maintenance Planning and Scheduling
Maintenance Planning is the process of answering the following questions:
  • What needs to be done?
  • How should it be done?
  • What is needed in order to do it?
Maintenance Scheduling is the Process of answering the following questions
  • When does it need to be done?
  • Who should do it?
What are we trying to do?
  • Optimize maintenance budget
  • Increase wrench time (another way to say Improve utilization of maintenance personnel). What percentage of maintenance technician hours are spent doing actual maintenance work vs other activities like looking for information (manuals, standards, drawings, etc), gathering parts, tools, materials, driving back and forth to/from the job site/shop/supply house, tracking down the last guy that did this repair to ask what they did
    • Cost per repair goes down since the ratio of productive hours to non-productive hours goes up.
    • Complete more work (repairs, maintenance tasks, etc) in a given day, week, or month since each technician can now complete more tasks per day, week, or month. This helps to manage your backlog and reduce reactive maintenance and optimize the size of maintenance workforce.
  • Reduce unplanned downtime (or maximize uptime) by getting the maintenance done as efficiently as possible and at the right time.
  • Optimize spare parts and materials stock.
    • This process will help us figure out what parts and materials we will need, how many we will need, and when we will need them.
    • We want to try to avoid having a bunch of unused (or unusable) stock sitting around (it’s a waste of money and space).
    • We also want to avoid constantly having to wait out lead times or pay for expedited shipping for parts that we could have known we would need ahead of time.
  • Morale (maintenance and operations).
    • The maintenance personnel want to feel like they are in control of the maintenance situation and have logistics and informational support rather than constantly fighting fires and having to figure out everything in the moment
    • The people using the buildings and equipment want to know that their workplace is being properly cared for and their maintenance concerns will be addressed.
Maintenance Planning
Before any work is done, or even scheduled, it needs to be planned. – What needs to be done, how should it be done, what is needed in order to do it.
What needs to be done (which tasks)?. 2 Main sources for this:
  • Maintenance requests, breakdown reports, basically this is somebody telling you some work needs to be done. (A side effect of maintenance planning and of building the knowledge base you will build in the process is that you can train users of equipment to pay attention to and report things that indicate a likely impending failure – possibly as part of a pre- or post-shift checklist that is shared with the maintenance function, so this even helps us optimize the type of maintenance requests we get).
  • Preventative/routine maintenance schedules – each asset under your responsibility will have some routine maintenance that needs to be done. A good starting point is manufacturer recommendations, but this will be augmented by experience.
  • Bonus source: Predictive maintenance or operational analytics. This might be considered a hybrid approach of schedules and requests. In this case the maintenance item is expected, but it is “requested” by analysis of the operating conditions (This is how I think of it anyway, maybe I’m the only one). When the criteria for a certain maintenance item is met, the maintenance is scheduled. Example might be a pump…sensors for pump run time and/or flow rate and/or temperature might be used as the basis to determine that maintenance is needed. Automated analysis can suggest the maintenance. This can help to optimize your maintenance spending, but only works if the analysis is actually good.
How should it (each task) be done?
  • Step-by-step instructions (procedure, you want to build up a collection of these and improve them over time).
  • Want enough detail in the work plan to allow any qualified technician to accomplish the job, but also allow room for experienced, skilled technicians to use their judgement. There might be times when you want to specifically override the technicians judgement.  For example if you know there are 2 possible solutions to a problem and the technician might choose whichever is most convenient at the time you might specify that they choose one over the other maybe because there is a history of failure of one of the solutions on this particular machine or maybe there was an agreement between engineering and maintenance to perform an upgrade at the next maintenance (and explain the reason so the technician doesn’t use their discretion to override the specific instructions)
  • Besides the step-by-step, there are some other things that should be included in the plan
    • Where is the shutoff, valve, circuit breaker, etc (how do they lock it out)?
    • Who has the key?
    • Who do they need to notify that they’re on the premises or shutting something down or otherwise starting the work?
    • What hazards do they need to be aware of? Confined spaces, fall hazards, suffocation hazards.
    • Is there a chance they’ll set off a fire alarm of trip a security measure if they aren’t aware of it?
What do they need in order to do it?
  • Parts
  • Tools, if possible let the technician know exactly which size of which driver or wrench they will need, hoist/jack/other lifting apparatus, ladder (what size and type),scaffolding. (so they don’t have to run back and forth to the shop or wherever to gather these things)
  • Skills
  • Time (for repeatable tasks, this can be revised)
  • # of people
  • Manuals, wiring diagrams, mechanical schematics, other drawings
  • Permits (hot work, confined space)
  • Lock-out-tag-out materials
  • Grease/oil, rags, caulk, fasteners
  • Vacuum, long extension cord, rope
  • For repeatable tasks you can be very precise and specific about what will actually be required to accomplish the maintenance task.
  • For one-off or otherwise uncommon tasks you’ll have to rely on the experience of the planner and/technician to assemble the tools and materials likely required.
Maintenance Scheduling – When should it be done, who should do it?
When should it be done (schedule)?
  • Priority (life safety, structural integrity, business impact (loss of production))
  • Availability of skilled labor
  • Availability of parts (do you need to order them). Don’t schedule the maintenance until we know we have the parts.
  • Ability to plan downtime of equipment (off-shift or during scheduled maintenance window)
  • When scheduling, you’re going to be scheduling your work tasks and assigning your people and you know how much time each task should take…you want to make sure to leave room in the schedule for reactive work (stuff that comes up and need to be taken care of right away.
  • All of the things that are need to accomplish the task should be arranged for ahead of the scheduled time
Who should do it?
  • Each maintenance task should be performed by someone who can actually carry out the task (maybe that’s obvious).
  • Often makes sense to have specific maintenance technicians “own” certain pieces of equipment or areas in order to maximize the benefit of their experience and their engagement with the “customer”. On the other hand it is important to make sure others can complete the tasks if necessary.
  • Outsource (contractor) vs in-house
    • Specialized skills or equipment that aren’t needed often in your facility would be outsourced.
    • Work that requires some certification or license that you don’t have would be outsourced.
    •  Should develop personnel to accomplish the tasks for which you can employ someone full time.
  • Properly trained (skills to complete the job, skill to survive the job (confined space, ladder use, etc))
  • Properly credentialed (license or certification is required by regulatory agency or etc.)
  • Backup person
After the work is done, follow up
  • Was the work actually done? What was the outcome?
  • Was it done to expected standard?
  • Were there any problems with the procedure or suggested improvements to the procedure? Integrate feedback from technicians and operations
  • Continuously refine maintenance procedures and parts and materials lists (create a thorough, valuable knowledge base)
Who should perform maintenance planning task?
  • Ideally you would have dedicated planners (people with no other job). In some cases this might not seem realistic, but in any situation where there is enough work for several maintenance personnel, the planner will likely be able to pay for themself in increased efficiency or productivity of the maintenance function.
  • Even in a fairly small operation where a dedicated maintenance planner doesn’t make sense, it can still be beneficial for the maintenance technicians or the facility manager to carry out thorough maintenance planning.
  • Planner should understand the work being done (possible chosen from the ranks of experienced technicians).
  • Should also understand the operation of the business
  • Understand costs associated with labor, materials, and downtime.
  • materials management/purchasing/supplies
    • You want a straightforward way to acquire the parts and materials you need and to make sure you get them to where they need to be on time.
    • You also want to have some assurance that your suppliers will get paid so they’ll keep shipping parts to you. This is more likely to happen if the purchasing (or whatever) function understands your process.
    • depending on the nature of your business, you might even be able to outsource your stock room. Some of the big industrial supply companies will take care of managing and stocking your maintenance inventory for you.
  • Operations – kinda talked about this before. The maintenance function is providing an essential service to the operations function.
  • Engineering (In some cases maintenance and engineering are the same people) – maintenance feedback to engineering can help influence decisions making with regard to upgrades or processes. Engineering communication with maintenance can help to ensure that the maintenance function can maintain the proper workforce
  • Management/Business
    • Communicate the success of your program
    • Share metrics to justify your budget
    • Convince them that maintenance can contribute to maximizing profit rather than being seen as a black hole of cost.
  • metric optimize (maximize) wrench time (or ratio of wrench time vs other activities such as gather parts, looking for documentation, idling waiting for work, others see above, etc). Good target for this is 60-65% wrench time, but the ideal value will vary based on specific circumstances (for example in an organization where all the job happens inside the plant or on a campus will have a higher wrench time percentage than in an organization where work is distributed over a wider geographic area) (Also, for some maintenance organizations with more general scope, you will want the technicians to gather their own parts, materials, and tools, while in organizations with a more specific scope, these things might be organized and staged by the planning or supply function).
  • metric optimize planned vs reactive
  • metric optimize unplanned downtime (or downtime that impacts production)
  • metric maintenance backlog (backlog might be work with a date in the past or just work that hasn’t been done yet, either because it’s late or because it hasn’t been scheduled…what makes sense depends on how you schedule work, also could look at total backlog, backlog for a specific craft or trade, backlog of work that affects life safety or structural integrity, PM backlog (missed or late or skipped PM))
  • metric Mean time between failure/mean time between loss of production/cost of lost production