Maintaining a Predictive Maintenance Program

Geoff Generalovic

“I finally have a predictive maintenance program off the ground. What do I need to do to keep it running? How do I build ‘trust’?”

Now that you have finished your lists, the work begins.

  1. You have outlined the equipment you want to check, using Excel or some other program where you can create lists that are easily edited. With input from you conversations with the area experts, ask them the criticality of the equipment in their area that is on your list. This information will provide a starting point for the infrared thermography, vibration analysis, ultrasonic, etc., routes that you will develop.

  2. You have taken those lists you created - in which you have broken out your high-priority items - for a second reading by the area experts. Ask if the lists fit their vision. If they do, ask them where they are having problems, and highlight those on your list.

  3. You have realized this equipment becomes the critical components in your list (the place to start).

  4. You have found out that the criticality progression goes from, in order of importance, areas with problems first, critical equipment next, all other areas as you can do it.

Once you start your routes, here are some pointers for you as you execute the routes and to get better buy-in from your “customers”:

  1. You will find as you complete your routes that you will cover all of the other areas as part of your route execution with difficulty at first. This becomes easier as time progresses and you become proficient with your equipment and the routes you are executing.

  2. Remember that your reports are your first and most important line of communication with your customer. Make them the best you can. Always include equipment ID, the area you are in, any information that identifies the equipment to the person receiving the report, etc.

  3. Ask for feedback. This will be difficult to get all of the time, but be persistent and always ask for it. Always meet with the customer to see if there is an ongoing problem right now that you might be able to help with. If they see you are willing to help, they will call you more and more often to help. When that happens, you have gotten the “trust” that you deserve and require.

With thorough work up front, each of your next steps in the journey will become easier and easier - almost second nature. Your confidence will increase with each good call. Your customers will rely on you more and more for good data and insight into problems they may be having.

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About the Author

Geoff Generalovic has been a maintenance electrician for 35 years at ArcelorMittal Dofasco. He started in the electrical department as an apprentice, moved through various shift positions, then ...