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Maintenance Foundations Maintenance Management

What is Maintenance?

This #1 chat intends to make maintenance familiar to everyone. Whether from outside the maintenance field or newly entering it but feel overwhelmed.

This chat intends to make maintenance familiar to everyone. Those from outside the maintenance field and those who are newly entering the maintenance field and are overwhelmed by the technical jargon and the long definitions. Sometimes you want to incorporate maintenance in your small business or even at home but the word maintenance pops up some difficult to understand definitions and hard actions that discourage you.

It is like when you start to study about Project Management. You are overwhelmed by the definitions and steps and the terms you need to remember and the order of the steps. After some time, you find that you naturally executes successful projects in your life when you initiate, plan, execute, control and close a vacation.

We do many successful maintenance activities at home though we don’t name it so. I will start by some not typical examples.

Maintenance examples in our daily life

  • When you decide to put your shirts to the washing machine? Most probably at a time before they are unwearable. That’s implied a role of thumb of using them a couple of times before washing them. That’s a frequency or usage based preventive action. Some abnormal condition occurred and the sauce was spilled on your shirt, it needs a corrective action now.
  • You polish your shoes or clean your sports shoes weekly. You had set two objectives. On the long run, your shoes serves you as long as you enjoy it and you can donate it while in good condition in favor of a newer model. The other objective is that it is comfortable and always looks pretty to you. It rained and you mistakenly stepped in a puddle. Here, a repair corrective action to clean it out of the preset schedule is issued.
    A piece of metal at the road side scratched it, You will replace it and purchase an new one, now. That’s a replacement corrective action. and affects the life time cost of the shoes i.e. its cost divided by the time you used it. Moreover, it may implements some changes in your monthly budget to withstand the sudden request. What if you decided to use it for some longer time while it is defected? May it hurt your leg? Will it break completely while going to an important meeting?
    This can introduce a cascaded failure or an induced failure or trigger other costs.

Technical but Life Maintenance Example

The actual maintenance world is not far from these examples and thought methodologies. However let we explain it with a more technical example that resonates with a small business and home activities equally.

  • Consider the morning coffee. You can look to this example from 2 sides. Either you own a coffee shop or kiosk where many workers run to it while going to work or you have a coffee machine at home. -Numbers are rough-
    Your coffee machine  makes an amount of coffee for 2 cups in 3 min. If after 3 min, coffee was not ready . Then it violates the productivity you are used to and you will start questioning the problem.
    Other failure or partial failure of the coffee produced from your coffee machine is when it didn’t taste as great as it should be to move you from the theta or delta (dreaming) brain waves to at least alpha state to be able to drive to work even in non-arousal state.
    Is it your negligence of those boring instructions about the frequency you need to adhere to for cleaning your coffee machine that caused this?. That’s science from the NCA (National coffee association of USA  https://nationalcoffee.blog/2015/05/28/brewing-basics-clean-your-single-serve-coffee-machine/) and not role of thumb.
    You start asking, what made this happen? “I used to clean it on the frequency prescribed for the first couple of months then this cycle started to slow down and there was no real change to the taste till I stopped cleaning it for the last month. I have my excuse. I was tired and my day was full with a lot of work requests.”
    I won’t tell you now where this example fits in the maintenance world, I will leave it to your imagination. But, at least it is a good example.
How maintenance is perceived?

It returns an asset to perform as we are used to -whether it is an equipment or any other sort of assets-

How maintenance should be perceived?

The name implies that it is “the act of maintaining:” as defined by Dictionary.com. So to maintain something is to keep it performing as we are used to. Not to fail to fulfill its targeted performance then we take a corrective action to return it back. As the title implies, this is a perceptions and not smart a definition.

What is maintenance?

It is the activities performed to maintain the asset condition so it performs its functions within agreed upon limits of availability, quality, performance rates at the prescribed working condition or environment.

What is NOT maintenance?

Activities performed to change the asset performance to so it works at rates and in conditions beyond its prescribed rates, quality of output and operating conditions.

In Conclusion,

Understanding Maintenance and applying it to any scale of business and to our homes is not a rocket science, by the way, even rockets needs maintenance. We are actually following the maintenance systems in our daily life without adding the literal word to our discussion. On the other hand, in business, when we spell maintenance it is perceived that there is a problem.

We shall continue to chat about maintenance in coming posts. For Now I leave you with a quote from one of the maintenance gurus:

Maintenance = Capacity Assurance

RAMESH Gulati

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