The argument for equivalence between scheduled and condition based maintenance manuals has been set.

Prescriptive or Rule Based!

In these modern times the maintenance manual that accompanies each new piece of machinery that is installed on a ship or platform can no longer be used to limit the guarantees offered by the manufacturer to setting prescriptive periods at which certain activities must be performed to achieve support of the OEM in the event of an unforeseen failure.

By their very nature these documents play to the lowest common denominator as the duty, location, environment , expected function, skill of operation and maintenance, etc., cannot be known for every installation therefore the recommendations must account for this and may as a result be sub-optimal.

Equipment makers need to recognise the option to maintain by condition and in doing so value that the operators who aspire to become world class performers will outdo their expectations and drive the envelope to maximise the value of the asset by maximising efficiency.

Maintenance manuals for all machinery would be wise to include a detailed FMEA as a minimum, possibly seperate FMEA’s for general expected installations. Clearly these will only be part of the story as the owner of the asset will have to complete the FMEA in respect of local conditions, maintenance expectations and environment, but at least the asset will start its life under the joint co-operative umbrella of a best practice approach.

It is my sincere belief that purchasors and specifiers should endeavour to ensure that only companies who provide this data are included in their respective tender process.

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4 thoughts on “The argument for equivalence between scheduled and condition based maintenance manuals has been set.

  1. Great post Danny, it is true that manufacturers need to focus more on condition measurments. The challange for manufacturers is the quantification of condition, that is :
    – How much vibration and at what frequences is acceptable or not, green, yellow and red zone.
    – How much wear is acceptable and under what loads
    – How much heat is OK and for how long before it starts to affect the wear and longevity of the equipment
    – etc.

    Setting generic standards makes it very difficult to quantify specificly what is good and what is bad because of environmental features etc.

    When discussing these issues we of course want all the great stuff, I find that we must also not forget to think about the challanges and liabilities manufacturers face as well when going into this direction.

  2. I personally don’t believe that the manufacturer’s should set the limits for certain variables like vibration. I think they should instead concentrate upon the FMEA which the owner can then use to define the risk priority and thereafter the CM process that will protect the machine. If the OEM sets the CM tool and the limit then it remains prescriptive.
    This is a difficult area for the OEM because it involves revealing areas of potential design weakness. That said, isn’t that a good thing?

    1. Yes absolutely a great thing as long as we keep in mind that OEM’s can not foresee all FMEA’s.

      OEM’s can not always know the applications people use their equipment on, how they operate it and maintain it. Many other factors also affect these issues.

      We as maintainance professionals have a very variable and difficult environment, but this is also true for the OEM’s… maybe even more so.

      1. As with all equipment there will be a good deal of FMECA output that will be universal to each asset. The OEM should be able to provide this. Additional FMECA output relevant to the installation and the required functionality will always have to be done by the end maintainer or his nominated specialist.
        There is a great deal lack of opportunity when OEM’s only provide calendar based maintenance advice, which will always be sub-optimal as is is partially as a protective device for the OEM. I am asked most often how can I apply CBM if stakeholders see removal of OEM maintenance as an opportunity to either avoid liability in the case of insurers or to increase the potential for detentions or similar.
        As with any cultural change ALL stakeholders have to get in line.

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