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In the Red Corner Maintenance and in the Blue Corner Production!


Those of you who have worked in a manufacturing facility will have been a part of or witnessed the age old conflict between production and maintenance, why has this dispute not yet been resolved? The crux of the issue is the opposing values, production want to be producing product 100% of the time and therefore need the equipment 100% of the time. From the maintenance point of view, they value the preservation of the machinery so in order to conduct their planned preventative maintenance they need to shut the equipment down for repair.

Often within manufacturing when plant managers are faced with the choice of stopping production for scheduled maintenance or running at full tilt they will choose the latter which is a risky gamble and can work out to be a costly decision. In the last decade shareholders have been increasing the demands to drive down costs and increase speed of production in order to produce more but still at the same high quality, this introduced the adoption of lean and six sigma programs. But this still is not keeping up with demands, ask any Tier One Automotive supplier!

A lot of change has been pushed and managed through manufacturing companies to get rid of this “break / fix mode” culture to planned maintenance, manufacturing companies now have set maintenance intervals. Further more there are a lot of high tech tools such as smart sensors on automated controls, remote monitoring systems, and centralised maintenance management systems which when used can generate repair orders and detect and diagnose problems.

There are many roadblocks to optimized maintenance and they are beginning to be tackled through creating a culture of change with maintenance and production teams from passive to proactive maintenance, training maintenance and operators to work with computerised monitoring tools. Creating incentives such as join bonuses for interdepartmental collaboration and developing an asset management strategy driving the shift from planned maintenance to predictive. As and when these methods are put into place manufacturing companies will see a rise in their Overall Equipment Effectiveness and be able to maintain higher ratios thus keeping the maintenance and production team happy.


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Tel: +44 (0)121 450 5020
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