Finding the Reliability - Maintenance Sweet Spot

By Walter Lambertin

Benchmarking consultants provide information suggesting your maintenance costs and availability are not competitive. Many tell you that you can reduce maintenance costs and increase availability. This often seems counterintuitive particularly when they don’t tell you how to make such improvements except in general terms. Senior Management is eager to capitalize on cost reduction while reliability and operations personnel are concerned about operational shutdowns and surprises.

The truth is you can achieve higher availability and lower maintenance costs to a point as shown in the chart below:

To determine the right path to create a sustainable improvement requires an in-depth analysis of your high maintenance cost contributors and your sources of unavailability.

The analysis should start with an analysis of routine and programed maintenance costs vs. annualized T/A costs. If your annualized T/A costs are greater than 20% of your budget, this is an area that needs to be investigated.

The next step of the analysis is to evaluate the sources of unavailability. Lost capacity is produced by a combination of unscheduled and scheduled downtimes. The solutions for unplanned capacity lost and planned capacity lost are different and each must be investigated.

Carmagen Engineering has extensive experience in assisting clients to develop detailed plans to find the reliability – maintenance sweet spot.