Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication March April 2014

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 34 of 83

30 March - April 2014 | By BreNt Mile y, johN shiNN jr. aNd jaCk r. NiChol as jr. mAINteNANCe ANd relIABIlItY Predictive Maintenance Program W While many companies are perfectly satisfied with the perfor- mance of their outsourced predictive maintenance (PdM) programs, some do not get the desired results for the time and money expended. Others recognize that they have a pool of in-house talent that could do the job given enough time and training, or are facing budget cuts and pressures that force limiting, reducing or defunding PdM contracts. Whether your organization has an established contractor-pro- vided PdM program that you want to bring in-house or is starting a program from scratch, it should be done only after careful anal- ysis of the expected benefits and problems that are likely to be encountered. For example, it takes a considerable amount of time for PdM technicians to become proficient in some technologies, particularly vibration analysis and infrared thermography. Having a competent PdM contractor already engaged with your assets will make the transition to an in-house program easier and quicker if the contractor is willing and able to train your personnel in the technologies already being applied. Most attempts to bring a PdM program in-house fail not because of the contractor but because of internal factors such as personnel turnover and failure to select workers suited to the practice of predictive maintenance. Related issues include but are not limited to: • Lack of computer literacy among those who would like to be PdM candidates; • Inability to learn complex PdM technologies; • Lack of appreciation by managers, supervisors, team candi- dates and co-workers for the difficulty of achieving competency in a complex PdM technology; • Failure of managers and co-workers to appreciate that a PdM technician's work is every bit as demanding as that of maintenance crew personnel; • Failure to create and maintain a current PdM program master plan; • Failure to establish and defend an adequate budget for all aspects of a PdM program; • Failure to educate management, supervisors and co-workers on the benefits of a PdM program; • Failure to continuously calculate the return on investment and document other benefits of a PdM program; • Failure to provide for retention of PdM technicians after they become competent in assigned technologies; and • Failure to establish a succession scheme for PdM team personnel who retire or move on to jobs with greater responsibility. The last item above is particularly important. When ideal candidates are selected for a PdM team, management must expect that sooner or later at least some of them will move to better-paying, higher-level positions. Preferably, this will be within the current organization where they should become "champions of PdM." The worst-case scenario is that they leave with only a two-week notice and go elsewhere. It then may take months to identify novice candidates or to hire partially experi- establishing an In-house It can take a considerable amount of time for predictive maintenance technicians to become proficient in some PdM technologies.

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