A very important part of a cost-effective preventive maintenance program is what I call the route-based activity. These are activities that are easiest to do, and to administer, if they are presented in a list. This list can be presented in electronic format or in a paper format and includes such activities as lubrication and inspections by maintenance craftspeople and equipment operators. There are two major things that surprise me regarding these basic preventive maintenance activities:
With the very good return on investment (ROI) you get from these programs, I am surprised at how many plants lack these programs or perform them very poorly.
All major computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) lack the capability to administer these routes in an efficient manner.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT. We use cost avoidance analysis as a tool to measure the return on investment (ROI) from route-based activity programs (exclusive of lubrication). In the last year we have verified the ROI to be between five to 10 times the initial investment and, after that, 10 to 30 times the cost to run the program. Even if such a good ROI can be verified, the inspection program is very poor in most plants and, if one exists, it is not executed with the highest priority.
Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) SHORTCOMINGS. All CMMS providers we talk with say their systems can produce inspection lists to support inspection and lubrication routes. We must understand that, in the computer world, the answer is always, "Yes, our system can do that.