Approaches for Reducing Maintenance Cost

By Bob Motylenski

In today's competitive marketplace, emphasis is being placed on reducing operating cost and improving plant availability. One area for reducing cost that is receiving a great deal of attention is maintenance. Several different approaches can be used to reduce maintenance cost:

What program will reap the biggest payback varies from plant to plant and depends on today's reliability and maintenance cost performance. Each plant is different. Achieving success in one or all of these approaches takes a structured program and discipline. Only those sites that keep to the program and hold a steady course will achieve the end reward: competitive maintenance cost and best of class performance.

Assessing routine maintenance workload and implementing a program to perform only work that is commensurate with business objectives requires a long-term commitment, which usually has the biggest impact on cost. A team approach is needed to understand existing work definition methodology, compare it to a proven standard, and develop an action plan for change.

For improved turnaround performance, expertise is available to review work scope and turnaround plans to ensure that only necessary work is being performed and that the plan will result in an effective and efficient turnaround. This approach has been successfully used on numerous turnarounds, resulting in substantial savings and duration reductions of several days.

To ensure that new facilities meet current business objectives and result in competitive operating costs and high availability, reliability and maintenance must be considered from initial planning, to definitive engineering, through construction and startup. A methodology is available for considering R&M on projects.

Carmagen Engineering has the needed experience and is ready to help a plant implement each of these programs. Carmagen can assist a plant assess what program has the biggest potential reward. We can also conduct a one-time overall assessment of the maintenance organization, the approaches being used to identify and execute maintenance work, and recommend areas for improvement. The savings that result from these assessments are many times more than their cost.