The Key to the Preservation of Production Assets

Dec. 1, 2003
Dedham, Massachusetts: Manufacturers are focusing on optimizing and streamlining their processes and, in turn, reducing the overall cost of production.

Dedham, Massachusetts: Manufacturers are focusing on optimizing and streamlining their processes and, in turn, reducing the overall cost of production. At the same time, preservation of existing production equipment is essential in an economic climate where expenditure on capital equipment has been substantially curtailed, making good maintenance practices more important than ever. Companies across different industrial verticals each have their unique processes and subsequently their unique issues with maintenance of plant systems. Yet, there has emerged a set of common issues and practices that are familiar to maintenance operations whether the product is automobiles, planes, consumer products, or food & beverage.

Profitability Is Linked to Preservation of Assets

Companies have long realized that good maintenance and support practices are an integral component of optimized production processes and lean manufacturing. At the same time, maintaining production floor equipment and preventing unscheduled downtime is often a challenge for maintenance organizations. Historically, maintenance methods and practices have been developed and honed across a wide range of vertical industries where the focus was more on keeping the assembly lines and processes running than on the preservation of assets. Today, manufacturers are becoming very aware of the long-term benefits of plant floor support practices that provide methods and procedures for not only keeping the production lines humming, but also preserving valuable capital assets.

A new Best Practices study from ARC Advisory Group, Best Practices in Plant Equipment Maintenance Support & Services (, is intended to provide manufacturers and their suppliers with guidance concerning Best Practices in maintenance for production equipment and automation systems. The study is specifically targeted at providing strategies for support and maintenance for production systems and Best Practice recommendations for implementing methods and procedures to improve maintenance practices.

Optimizing Production Begins with Reliable Equipment

Return on Assets (ROA) is becoming the primary driver for capital equipment investments. Manufacturers are less concerned about purchasing the newest and best technology and are more focused on improving the efficiency of operations. Manufacturers are looking for solutions that can provide the greatest total value to the organization.

The cost of performing maintenance is predicated on a number of significant factors that include areas such as staffing, training, maintenance support plans, contractual support, and today, Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and Computerized Maintenance Management (CMMS) plans. How well all of these components and methods are planned, executed, and translated into cost savings and additional profits gauges the level of maintenance a company has attained and where they are benchmarked in regard to best practices.

Maintenance Best Practices Key Components

There are five key components that are essential to the establishment of Best Practices within most disciplines: Best Skills, Best Processes, Best Solutions, Appropriate Resources, and Continuous Improvement. Each of these components can be readily applied to Best Practices for plant equipment maintenance. The fundamental idea is to capture and document that which constitutes the aggregate of skills processes — procedures necessary to continuously improve the processes that represent a company's core competency. ARC's Best Practices in Plant Equipment Maintenance study examines these principles for Best Practices and applies them to plant equipment maintenance methods.

Additional information on this study can be found at:

Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group has grown to become the Thought Leader in Manufacturing and Supply Chain solutions. Further information can be obtained from ARC, Three Allied Drive, Dedham, MA 02026, 781-471-1000, Fax 781-471-1100, E-mail [email protected], Web