In the book “Systematic Maintenance Organization” from V.Z. Priel (1974), I found an interesting Multi-variable chart for the assessment of maintenance performance. This chart provides an opportunity for qualitative assessment, inasmuch as the squares can be entered to the appropriate spot representing the condition of the variable. Although the answer does not purpose to be ‘scientifically’ derived, it has advantage in expediency. So if certain conditions are satisfied the final assessment will be favorable, but one unfavorable answer may spoil the overall picture. This chart shows visually what cannot be grasp with figures presented in spreadsheets. The interdependencies becomes obvious.
For many complex capital goods, the cost of maintenance represent a large fraction of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). These maintenance costs are often much larger than the procurement cost (AberdeenGroup 2003). Therefore, it is essential that asset owners develop strategies that minimize these cost whilst maximizing the uptime and safety. Another issue of maintenance is that the most one-off build assets are designed according to specific needs. As a result, there is not much failure data available at the OEM’s. This also explains why maintenance plans are often developed and performed by the company itself or by contractors, instead of the OEM’s. These characteristics ask for a dynamic maintenance strategy. That strategy needs to adapt to the increasing availability of data during the life-time. Whereas preventive maintenance may be appropriate at the start, other types of maintenance may later become preferable as more information becomes available. Later (when decisions could be based on available data) that dynamic policy should lead to reduced downtime.
During the past decades widespread mechanization and automation has reduced the number of production personnel while capital employed in production equipment has increased. Therefore, the importance of the maintenance function and of maintenance management has grown. The widespread mechanization and automation has reduced the number of production personnel and increased the capital employed in the production assets. As a result, the fraction of employees working in the area of maintenance as well as the fraction of maintenance spending on the total operational costs has grown over the years. It is not uncommon that the maintenance and operations departments the same size. The maintenance costs can be the largest part of any operational budget. The main issue faced by the maintenance management, whether its output is produced more effectively, in terms of contribution to company profits and efficiently, in terms of manpower and materials employed.