Answered June 04 2019
Maintainability refers to the ease with which maintenance activities can be performed on an asset or equipment. Its purpose is to measure the probability that a piece of equipment in a failed state can be restored to normal operating conditions after undergoing maintenance.
To measure the maintainability of an asset, you need to be able to quantify the amount of effort that is put into performing maintenance on that asset. While there are many methods to calculate the effort exerted, the most common way is simply by calculating the average time it takes to repair a piece of equipment. This might sound familiar because you are measuring the mean time to repair (MTR), which is also typically used as a performance indicator metric.
The MTR, also known as MTTR, quantifies the average time that it takes to restore an asset to its normal operating conditions after experiencing a failure or breakdown. In formula form:
Total downtime is the total time it takes to repair the asset and bring it back online, and the number of failure events is the total number of breakdowns that an asset experienced.
A lower MTR would correspond to a higher level of maintainability and, conversely, maintainable assets take less time to repair.
Maintainability picks up where reliability might fall short. While reliability characterizes how long an asset can operate without issues, maintainability describes the likelihood that the same asset can be restored once a failure does occur.
Think of maintainability as something that you want to have in the event of an unforeseen failure. While you should strive for reliability to be as high as possible, high maintainability levels can act as a back-up plan for instances where a breakdown does occur. Together, these qualities create higher performance levels for a facility because you are able to perform work continuously.
Training your team is crucial to the maintainability of your assets. Their understanding and attitude towards machine repairs will determine the quality of work performed!
Better documentation of asset knowledge and procedures will boost the maintainability of your assets since repairs will be more standardized and repeatable.
By standardizing the equipment and inventory in your facility, you improve interchangeability. The implications of interchangeability are faster repairs and reducing the amount of time your assets spend offline after a failure.
Increasing planned and preventive maintenance will reduce the amount of unscheduled downtime of your assets.
Improving the process of actually doing repairs increases the maintainability of an asset and of the plant. While benchmark MTR values vary across different types of equipment used in different industries, working to keep MTRs low is a basic step to improving maintainability.
Properly documented repair procedures and availability of repair tools and materials can significantly reduce the time it takes to restore broken down equipment. A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can help to not only keep accurate MTR records but also more efficiently document repair history data. Such historical records can increase the maintenance team’s ability to repair assets more efficiently.
Overall, the maintainability of your equipment and systems depends on providing better training to your team, more documentation of procedures, and increasing planned maintenance. In conjunction, these factors will improve availability and reliability, and simultaneously decrease downtime for your equipment.
Latest Maintenance Articles
How to Create a PLC Maintenance Checklist
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About CMRP Certification
What Are the Risks and Benefits of Using a PLC?
Comprehensive Guide to Building a Maintenance Excellence Team (Part 1: Crawl)
What You Need to Know About ISO 41001 Certification and Compliance
Why Your Maintenance Team Should Be Trained as CMMS Superusers
Oil & Gas
Although both preventive maintenance and reliability-centered maintenance have the same end goals, they approach assigning maintenance tasks differently.
Preventing the main problems with a conveyor starts with knowing what you’re dealing with. Here are a few high-level steps you could do to avoid setbacks.
Single-minute exchange of die (SMED) is a strategic process that allows teams to reduce the amount of time required to complete equipment changeovers.
There are many ways to figure out how your maintenance team is performing. We've made it simple in this short quiz to find out the best metric for you!
FRACAS is a three-step process that stands for Failure Reporting, Analysis, and Corrective Action System. We explain the entire FRACAS process here.
Reliability engineers are responsible for identifying and managing asset reliability risks and then working to reduce those risks.
Creating a sustainable reliability program requires the right people, processes, and technology from companies that commit to change in corporate culture.
A few quick wins for your reliability program include improving lubrication, optimizing preventive maintenance, and tightening STO.
Insufficient infrastructure maintenance practices contributed to the overall devastation in the 2019 California wildfires.
Reliability centered maintenance (RCM) is a maintenance strategy that involves using the most optimal methods to keep equipment running.
Lean maintenance is a proactive maintenance philosophy/ and strategy that aims to support reliability in the most efficient way possible.
A floating schedule helps add a great deal of flexibility to your equipment management program, allowing requests to be scheduled at a treshold.
FMEA stands for Process Failure Modes and Effects Analysis. It is an analytical process used by businesses to locate and identify possible process failures.
Design failure mode and effects analysis (DFMEA) is a process tool that helps companies locate and repair design failures.
A planned maintenance system, or PMS, helps maintenance teams track recurring maintenance tasks. They make sure each task occurs based on set intervals.
Manufacturers might see up to 800 hours of downtime per year. In 2016, the average cost of downtime per hour across all businesses came out to $260,000.
Risk-based maintenance addresses risk-sensitive systems and machinery. RBM determines the most economical way to distribute resources to repair a system.
Common preventive maintenance for building controls work to provide the maximum amount of comfort with minimal energy usage.
Usage-based maintenance is a type of meter-based preventative maintenance. The trigger is when usage on a system or machine passes a threshold.
Common preventive maintenance for air compressors revolve around detecting and fixing leaks and maintaining proper pressure to minimize energy usage.
Common preventive maintenance for fans includes cleaning blades, lubricating parts, checking vibration, and inspecting bearings.
Common preventive maintenance for pumps includes regular inspection for stability, scheduled lubrication, and thorough evaluation of potential problems.
Common preventive maintenance for fire alarms and smoke detectors is minimal and revolves around regular testing to ensure proper function.
Common preventive maintenance for cooling towers ensure circulating water is clean and mechanical function of fans and motors are maintained.
Common preventive maintenance for chillers typically involves cleaning, monitoring temperature and pressure, and general system testing.
Boilers are heavy-duty equipment that generate hot water or steam by burning fuel. Boilers generally operate under high temperatures and pressures.
Forest fires can be reduced by protecting areas around young forests and good sanitation practices in mature forests. Read more here.
Preventive maintenance checklists for steam traps include items about temperature, pressure, condensation and equipment functioning.
Equipment failures are a major setback for plant operations. During breakdowns, restoring plant operations lies in the hands of the maintenance team.
The connectivity that allows IIoT to deliver amazing amounts of data also gives potential access of data and control of critical devices to hackers.
Criticality analysis is a measurement used to prioritize assets in maintenance planning, combining the seriousness and frequency of a potential failure.
Since Operations often focuses on production uptime while maintenance focuses on improving reliability and minimizing costs, the two are often at odds.
Staying on top of maintenance issues for CNC machines requires careful scheduling, observant technicians, available parts, and comprehensive documentation.
The key to improving schedule compliance for your preventive maintenance is to analyze your data. This starts with tracking your PM work orders.
To track your schedule compliance, simply find out how many PMs you complete before their due date and compare those to the total scheduled.
The way I’d advise documenting preventive maintenance is with a CMMS or other form of work order management software, but the exact way may depend.
When heavy equipment starts wearing out, it can get dangerous. To understand the impact PM has on workplace safety, it might help to look at a few examples.
The first type of PM people often overlook is checking fluids in equipment. Hydraulic fluid in machinery, for instance, needs to be routinely monitored.
If you want a successful preventive maintenance program, you have to start with the technicians. If they don’t buy into it, failure is imminent
John Day, Jr. proposed the 6:1 rule. This rule asserts that for every 6 PM tasks you perform, you should be finding one corrective maintenance task.
Costs link directly to how reliable your equipment is, making it rather difficult to find ways to cut costs while maintaining the health of your assets
The signs seem to show that deferred maintenance will probably decrease in the future due to organizations recognizing the need for proper maintenance.
You might have heard of the 6:1 rule. The gist of this rule is that for every six preventive maintenance tasks you do, you should find one corrective task.
There's a ton of different mistakes you can make when setting up and running a preventive maintenance schedule including planning scheduling and rollout.
In property maintenance, issues that build and build can end up being massively expensive, difficult to fix, and potentially dangerous for the tenants.
You'll actually find some divisive information out there. In short, it is entirely possible to do too much preventive maintenance.
In general, preventive equipment maintenance is a good idea for buildings and facilities - catching issues quickly helps avoid any unnecessary damage.
A good preventive maintenance program is critical because a working HVAC system impacts the business’ ability to keep its service lines up and running.
Supervisors are often largely focused on the day-to-day aspects of maintenance work, not the long-term goals of maintenance planning.
The primary benefits of preventive maintenance come down to reliability. As you keep each asset in good repair, it’s less likely to break down.
Ideally, you should try implementing a preventive maintenance program as soon as possible. You’ll want to start small though.
A PM program not only keeps your boiler up and running reliably but also lengthens the life of your equipment and improves safety for employees.
The preventive maintenance scheduling process includes creating the PM, scheduling the PM, and assigning, completing, and logging the work.
It's a little like your car - you want to maintain your vehicle before the issues occur so you're not stranded on the side of the road.
Well, like a lot of the English language, there's not a technically "correct" word to say because both of the words mean the same thing.