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Technical Maintenance: Time and Staff Optimization Analysis

Developing a maintenance model to improve operational efficiency is of critical importance for every successful plant or manufacturing unit. Technicians and supervisors shouldn’t always be held responsible for economic issues and increased equipment downtimes. The optimization of maintenance management is a complex process, requiring sound field experience and strong analytical skills, combined with best maintenance software.

Optimizing the time of the technical maintenance staff is of critical importance to the overall improvement of maintenance efficacy and efficiency. The implementation of continuous monitoring and analyses of the planned, scheduled and completed maintenance tasks significantly improves equipment availability/costs.

The goal of all performed technical maintenance activities should be the plant’s reliability. Analyzing the time spent on a maintenance task is more complicated than carrying out proper maintenance efficiency analysis.

The working day of a maintenance supervisor can be classified in increments of 5 minutes, including administrative tasks, direct interventions, trainings and non-value added work. The tags function of Mobility Work will ease the organization and analyses of all these actions by type. Finally, the three main categories – the observed day, the typical day and the perfect day – should be compared and discussed with the supervisor. Since there is no existing benchmark for how much time a maintenance manager should spend in a proactive supervision to guarantee 100% reliability, a case-based decision should be taken and strictly followed.

Regarding the performance of qualified technicians, the following activities should be analyzed:

  •  Improvement interventions
  •  Qualified (complex) interventions
  •  Non-qualified interventions
  •  Preparation time

To optimize the time of qualified technicians, non-qualified tasks can be entirely shifted to less qualified technicians. This will give managers and professional technicians more time to spend on essential areas as:

  • Continuous improvement of the preventive maintenance routines;
  • FMEA analysis
  • Realization of maintenance instructions
  • Trainings for non-qualified staff
  • Improvement of production equipment

How to Analyze Team’s Adherence to a Planned Technical Maintenance Program?

When frequently and continuously applied, preventive maintenance programs can   anticipate and respectively control potential risks. The calendar tool of Mobility Work allows managers to easily schedule their preventive maintenance plans.

The frequency of the planned maintenance tasks depends on the associated risks as plant reliability, safety or environmental issues. Some interventions can be performed daily, others yearly or in some cases every other year.

Mobility Work analytic tool allows the systematic comparison between planned and realized maintenance tasks.

Planned and Realized Technical Maintenance Tasks

The main goal of this analysis is to allow rarely performed or neglected preventive maintenance programs to be performed more often. Strictly following the quarterly schedules is much more important than the monthly analysis. However, It is essential to mention that any task performed in a frequency, which is less or equal to a month’s duration is critical.

The possible reasons for not respecting the established preventive maintenance regulations can be:

  • A surplus of urgent interventions and possible overwork/overtime of the available resources. In this case, quick actions should be undertaken to optimize teams’ schedules. Short-term actions as the analysis of value added and non-value-added activities can be implemented. Medium and long-term actions as FMEA studies to better anticipate failure modes of facilities and evolve the relevance of preventive programs are proven highly efficient.
  • The maintenance technician or manager, performing or controlling the maintenance schedule finds its frequency too tight and decides to space it out. In this case, the frequency of the scheduled tasks should be analyzed again and changed accordingly.

Analysis of the Relevance of Curative and Corrective Maintenance Tasks

The goal of this analysis is to identify, with managers and technicians, which curative and corrective tasks could have been avoided through:

  • Better preventive maintenance schedule
  • Technical changes or investments
  • Better supervision of facilities.

Technical Maintenance Efficiency

Being efficient in technical maintenance means performing all scheduled tasks  with the least waste of time possible.
In order to define and analyze the value added maintenance tasks, the maintenance workers should be accompanied for one or more full days. By doing so, the following steps can be undertaken:

  • Measure the rates of the value added and non-value added tasks.
  • Identify possible actions to increase value added tasks.

It is very challenging to identify the value added and the non-value added activities.

The following activities give some examples for value added tasks:

  • The time spent by the maintenance technician with his manager in order to understand the interventions to be achieved.
  • The preparation of tools, industrial supplies and equipment necessary for the planned intervention.
  • Switching from one task to another.
  • The time spent performing the task.
  • The time spent writing and/or editing maintenance reports.

The following activities give some examples for non-value added tasks:

  • The time spent waiting for the instructions of the day.
  • The time spent waiting between two interventions.
  • Trips to the industrial supply stores and tools shops.
  • The time spent repairing or cleaning a tool or a machine’s component that should have been in perfect working order.

The data analysis of Mobility Work can quickly analyze all these values and identify the improvement areas to easily optimize the time of a maintenance technician or manager. The improvement areas are identified by analyzing the distribution of the value added and non-value added activities and the causes for the latter ones.

In general there are two main improvement areas:

  • Those related to the non-value added actions of a technician;
  • Those related to the non-value added activities during task performance.

Quantification of Improvement Areas

There are three possible methods: linear quantification, statistical quantification and quantification based on the technician’s opinion. The third method is the only one possible, when measuring the rates of value added and non-value added activities.
If considered that an entire maintenance department rarely exceeds 85% of value added activities, an average rate of 65% can be accepted. 6 months can be set as a goal to reach the 85%.

Scheduled Technical Maintenance Analysis

The goal of this analysis is to measure the time efficiency of already performed planned maintenance activities. This action can be easily completed with the Mobility Work Calendar tool. It is important to mention that some maintenance tasks are not schedulable. However, the urgent curative ones for example, which by definition cannot be planned, represent just a small part of the technician’s time at a well-functioning plant.
The main task of a good maintenance is to prevent failures and not to fix breakdowns.

Maintenance Planning Analysis

The formula is:
Planning rate = Total hours available for scheduled tasks
Total hours available
The ideal maintenance planning rate is 100% !

How to Measure Maintenance Plan Completion Rate?

The plan completion rate measures everything that disrupts the daily maintenance schedule.
The formula is:
Completion rate =    Total hours for planned and realized tasks
Total hours for scheduled tasks

How to Optimize Staffing Expenditure?

The effective management of staff costs can turn into potential gain depending on several conditions:

  • If these gains are properly used to effectively reduce internal numbers,
  • If these gains are the result of the implementation of improvement actions related to the development of a stable maintenance process. On the contrary to the efficiency benefits, the relevance gains represent a potential that is not always feasible in the short term.

The evaluation process involves three steps:

Step 1: Synthesis of the performed analyses

Value added actions< 65%65% – 85%> 85%
Proactive maintenance supervision< 10%10% – 30%> 30%
Planning rate< 50%50% – 80%> 80%
Adherence to preventive programs< 80%80% – 95%> 95%
Curative and corrective tasks< 70%30% – 70%> 30%
Preventable curative tasks< 50%30% – 50%> 30%
Time spent by a qualified technician on qualified tasks and improvements< 30%30% – 60%> 60%

Step 2: Efficiency Related Gains

The difference between the average rates of the value added activities and 85% (the basis) is considered as the potential gain.

Step 3: Relevance Related Gains

Even though only preventive maintenance activities are relevant, curative and corrective actions cannot be eliminated.Furthermore, preventable curative and corrective maintenance tasks help to define the potential gains coming from relevant maintenance activities.

Indeed, the percentage of all preventable tasks is the gross percentage of the reduced curative and corrective maintenance tasks.There are only three ways to avoid preventable maintenance tasks: through intensive preventive maintenance, through technical improvements and better facilities management and operation.

The chart below contains some examples for indicators, available in the Mobility Work analytical tool to measure the relevance and efficiency of your technical maintenance department.

Preventive maintenance rate%Total preventive maintenance hours / Total maintenance hoursTo measure the progress of maintenance relevance
Number of urgent calls to “technicians on call”.NumberNumber of calls in a given periodTo give an idea about the plant’s emergency state and the level of the generated stress.
Completed preventive maintenance programs%Number of completed programs / Number of scheduled programsTo anticipate future deterioration of reliability
MTTR (mean time to repair)HoursThe average time between failure and repair.To look for solutions to reduce downtimes.
Maintenance planning rate%Total hours for scheduled tasks / Total hours availableTo measure and encourage the planning of maintenance activities
Completion rate%Total hours for scheduled and completed tasks / Total hours availableTo measure and encourage the adherence to maintenance planning
Capacity utilisation rate%Total hours for a task / Total hours availableTo verify the proper use of all available resources and the relevance of the calls to an external company.
Waiting list tasksDaysTotal hours of planned tasks awaiting completion / Available daily hours for the maintenance staffTo eliminate bottlenecks in the work order system.

Mobility Work the industry 4.0 CMMS offers every technical maintenance supervisor all necessary features and tools to efficiently analyze teams’ performance. Based on the results important actions can be undertaken to optimize technicians’ time and improve the overall plant reliability.

By taking a closer look at the team’s adherence rate to a planned technical maintenance program, critical problems can be detected and properly solved.

Recognizing the right reasons for not respecting the established preventive maintenance regulations helps managers to better understand their teams challenges and to improve the distribution of value added and non-value added tasks.