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Did you know most companies perform too much Preventive Maintenance? Check out this article and gain some great tips which may help you.
From the Reliability Professionals
at Allied Reliability
Are You Doing
Too Much PM?
16 Ways to Save Time and Money on
A Must-Read Guide
for Maintenance and Reliability Leaders
Allied Reliability, © 2008 • 1
Copyright 2007 Allied Reliability, Inc. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use, sharing,
reproduction or distribution of these materials by any means, electronic, mechanical, or
otherwise is strictly prohibited. No portion of these materials may be reproduced in any manner
whatsoever, without the express written consent of the publisher.
To obtain permission, please contact:
Allied Reliability, Inc.
4360 Corporate Road
Charleston, SC USA
2 • Allied Reliability, © 2008 10 Powerful Lessons You Should Learn
Table of Contents
Are You Doing Too Much PM?................................................................ 5
1. The No. 1 Law You Should Know .......................................................6
2. The Real Truth About PM ................................................................... 7
3. If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It ................................................................. 8
4. Beware of “PM Creep” ........................................................................ 9
5. The First Question to Ask About PM................................................. 10
6. Consider PdM First ........................................................................... 11
7. Get Data You Can Trend .................................................................. 12
8. Check the History ............................................................................. 13
9. Approach Vendor Recommendations with Caution .......................... 15
10. Find out the Reasons Why ............................................................. 16
11. Do the Math .................................................................................... 19
12. The Problem with “Pencil-Whipping” .............................................. 20
13. Apply the 6:1 Rule .......................................................................... 20
14. Consider the Time Factor ............................................................... 20
15. Why Maintenance People Don’t Like PM ....................................... 20
16. Get a Professional, Independent Evaluation of
Your PM Program ........................................................................... 20
Allied Reliability, © 2008 • 3
4 • Allied Reliability, © 2008 10 Powerful Lessons You Should Learn
Are You Doing Too Much PM?
16 Ways to Save Time and Money on
Unless you’ve been living on another planet manpower to manage all of their PM’s along
for the last fifty years, you already know that with the other important maintenance work,
the case for doing preventive maintenance is too.
Lack of Results
Done right, preventive maintenance will Despite all of the time and money being spent
preserve, protect and extend the life of your on preventive maintenance, there are still way
equipment – and boost overall return on too many unexpected equipment failures.
Case in point: During a recent chemical plant
So here’s the question: Why are most tour, the frustrated maintenance manager
maintenance and reliability professionals so said, “We just PM’d that machine, and it failed
unhappy with their PM programs? a short time later anyway. So why didn’t we
catch the problem with the PM?”
Surprisingly enough, according to the
consultants at Life Cycle Engineering, just 22% Why indeed.
of maintenance managers are satisfied with
their current programs. So in a nutshell, the problem with preventive
Here are the two biggest complaints: maintenance is that it takes too much time and
produces too little results.
PM Consumes Too Many Resources
Many maintenance managers believe their That’s why we decided to publish this special
PM program is simply bigger than it should report. So let’s press on.
be. They feel like they don’t have enough
Allied Reliability, © 2008 • 5
1. The No. 1 Law You Should Know
The number one law of economics you need to know is based on a principle discovered over
200 years ago. You’ve probably heard of it – it’s called the Law of Diminishing Returns.
As any good MBA student can tell you, this law states that as one production factor increases
while the others remain constant, overall production decreases after a certain point.
In plain English, it means as you increase preventive maintenance, production output
eventually decreases. The following chart illustrates:
The Law of Diminishing Returns
You see, there’s a fine line
between doing too much,
too little and just the right
amount of preventive
there’s a point at which
increasing PM hurts the
Amount of Preventive Maintenance
The reason? Simple. Most PM procedures require that the equipment is shut down. That
means uptime goes down, so production output eventually goes down too. Meanwhile,
maintenance costs go up.
So how much preventive maintenance is too much? According to a private study, best practice
programs generate 15% of their maintenance work from PM inspections. Another 15% is
corrective work identified by those inspections.
So preventive maintenance should account for about 30% of your total maintenance workflow.
6 • Allied Reliability, © 2008 10 Powerful Lessons You Should Learn
2. The Real Truth About PM
By definition, all PM’s are time-based. That means either calendar time or operating time
dictates when an asset should be inspected, cleaned, adjusted, replaced or reconditioned.
But is there really a direct relationship between the time equipment spends in service and the
likelihood it will fail? In short, the answer is no.
The truth is, most equipment failures are not age-related. In fact, for complex systems, the
majority of failures will occur at random.
Consider the facts. The following graphs demonstrate failure probabilities relative to the age of
the equipment itself:
First, it’s important to understand this data comes from the airline industry, where maintenance
and operations standards are exceptionally high. That gives us a true picture of how equipment
fails when it is maintained and operated correctly.
The reality is, 89% of equipment failures are not age-related. Therefore, there’s no amount of
time-based preventive maintenance which can manage these failures effectively.
That’s why using time as the primary basis for your maintenance strategy is inherently flawed. It
will have very little impact on overall reliability.
From a risk standpoint, it’s much safer to assume that equipment failures can happen at any
Allied Reliability, © 2008 • 7
The High Cost of Low Maintenance
Let’s do the math. In essence, BP was
BP budgeted some $71 million for battling
spending $71 million to protect an asset
corrosion in its Alaskan pipelines in 2006.
that delivers about $10 billion in annual
That’s 15 percent more than 2005 and 80
percent over 2001. And that doesn’t include
money for replacement and repairs.
Now even if you don’t know anything about
Was it enough? Apparently not. After the maintenance and reliability, doesn’t that sound
shutdown, BP admitted inadequate pipeline a little risky?
maintenance procedures and “a gap” in their
corrosion program. Shortchanging maintenance is like playing
Russian roulette. Pay now or pay later.
“We based our corrosion program in
Lesson 3: Reliability is a long-term investment
cooperation with agencies --- what we thought
strategy. It is not the place for turning a quick buck.
was an adequate program. Clearly it is not,”
said Bob Malone, president of BP America.
“Our program was insufficient and will be
rectified going forward,” Steve Marshall,
president of BP Alaska said during an August
8 • Allied Reliability, © 2008 10 Powerful Lessons You Should Learn
The Hidden Costs of Maintenance and Reliability
• Joe Barton, a Texas Republican who
The fallout from BP’s shutdown continues, now
chairs the House of Representatives’
that the blame game has begun. Here are
energy and commerce committee, said:
just a few examples of the nasty criticism and
• “If … one of the world’s most successful
oil companies can’t do simple, basic
finger-pointing aimed at BP:
maintenance needed to keep the
Prudhoe Bay field operating safely …
• Whistleblowers inside BP accused the maybe it shouldn’t operate the pipeline.”
company of skirting maintenance
• Competitors started taking advantage,
issues for years, while BP says it acted
chuckling that BP stands for
• Internal audits pointed to problems with
an understaffed maintenance and
reliability team, along with management All this finger-pointing adds up to one big
that was “fairly new” to the job.
corporate black eye for BP.
• Heads are starting to roll as one key
manager was “put on leave.”
Lesson 4: The hidden costs of poor reliability
• BP’s top executives faced angry grilling
far outweigh the direct costs of replacement
from US lawmakers in Washington as
the company got blasted for its pipeline
• The company was forced to respond
to accusations that it engineered
the shutdown to manipulate oil prices.
“Nothing could be further from the
truth,” said BP executive Malone.
Allied Reliability, © 2008 • 9
The Most Expensive Word in Maintenance
The following is an excerpt from BP’s press Why? Emergency maintenance means
release on August 7, 2006 announcing the immediate shutdowns. Phone calls in the
shutdown of Prudhoe Bay: middle of the night. Troubleshooting on the fly.
Expediting spare parts. Rush jobs. Working
“BP … has begun an orderly and phased around the clock until the repairs are made.
shutdown of the Prudhoe Bay oil field In essence, emergency maintenance equals
following the discovery of unexpectedly pure chaos. Does that sound like a cost-
severe corrosion…” effective way to do maintenance to you?
Lesson 5: The most expensive word in maintenance
What’s the key word here? “Unexpectedly”.
is “unexpected”. That’s what happens when you
In maintenance, “unexpected” means
don’t do maintenance right.
“emergency”. And emergency maintenance
is absolutely the most expensive form of
10 • Allied Reliability, © 2008 10 Powerful Lessons You Should Learn
The Second Most Expensive Word in Maintenance
According to published reports, a BP operator If your maintenance people are waiting for
first discovered the leak that ultimately led to calls from operators, you’re skating on thin
the shutdown. ice. Yet that’s exactly what’s happening at
the majority of manufacturing plants in North
The big problem here is the word “operator”. America right now.
Because when operators are the first
ones to notice equipment problems, it’s There’s still way too much maintenance that
usually too late. That’s equivalent to waiting is emergency maintenance. As a result, many
plants are one small failure away from a
for cardiac arrest as the first sign of a heart
major disruption in business.
Lesson 6: Reliability should not be triggered by an
Listen, modern maintenance is not a repair
“event”. The objective is to create a non-event.
function any more. The image of the Maytag
repairman sitting around playing cards, waiting
for the phone to ring is long gone.
Allied Reliability, © 2008 • 11
Time is Money
Simply put, the earlier you can detect
Despite what you may have heard, the basic
problems, the faster, cheaper and easier it
maintenance process is really simple:
is to make repairs.
1. Detect problems
2. Plan and schedule the repairs You’ve seen the damage at BP – the costs of
3. Make the repairs emergency repairs can be astronomic. There is
a huge difference between emergency
And the secret to good maintenance is in the maintenance and planned, proactive
first step: Detecting problems early. Why? maintenance:
Because there is a direct correlation between
Lesson 7: In maintenance, time is money. Late
early detection and maintenance costs.
detection means costly corrections.
Emergency Maintenance Means: Proactive Maintenance Means:
Late detection by operators Early detection by skilled maintenance technicians
using advanced monitoring technologies
Waiting for things to happen Thinking about things before they happen.
Identifying problems that are still small and
easy to fix
Immediate shutdowns and indefinite Planned, scheduled shutdowns to keep downtime
downtime to a minimum
Expediting spare parts -- regardless of costs Planning and ordering spare parts in advance
Working overtime, 24/7 until repairs are made Having everything prepared for – scheduling
maintenance crews to do the job right the first
High costs Low costs
High stress Low stress
High safety risk Low safety risk
Blame, finger-pointing, frustration, distrust, Confidence, pride, job security, teamwork,
pessimism, waste optimism, rewarding
12 • Allied Reliability, © 2008 10 Powerful Lessons You Should Learn
The Truth About Equipment Breakdowns
That quarter-inch hole didn’t suddenly appear in BP’s
pipeline overnight. Like most failures, it developed over a
period of weeks, months or years.
Fact is, problems start small and get worse With advanced technologies in vibration
with time. What’s important to realize is that analysis, infrared, ultrasound, oil analysis,
the equipment will send off early warning motor current analysis and nondestructive
signals along the way. testing -- trained technicians can routinely
monitor and inspect equipment, and detect
these early warning signals.
These early warning signs might be slight
changes in physical dimensions -- like pipe
thickness at BP. Or they could be minor The difference between the time a PdM
changes in temperature, vibration or sound. specialist detects problems and when an
operator sees them are huge. Remember,
Not all of these changes can be detected detection time equals money – big money.
by human senses -- but they can be picked
up with special equipment designed for that
purpose. And that’s what the whole field
of condition monitoring and predictive
maintenance is all about.
Allied Reliability, © 2008 • 13
The following graph illustrates how repair costs increase according to the time a problem is detected:
In spite of the evidence, the reality is that most That leads to late detections, emergency
asset-dependent companies are not doing maintenance, and all the painful costs that
nearly enough predictive maintenance. come with it.
Even though PdM has been around for over 40
Lesson 8: Predictive maintenance should be an
years, it is still “new” to some organizations.
integral part of your reliability strategy – and
account for at least 50% of your maintenance work.
14 • Allied Reliability, © 2008 10 Powerful Lessons You Should Learn
The Disconnect Between Management
Despite the enormous impact on the bottom line, you
won’t find maintenance and reliability taught in many
schools. Zero business schools, in fact.
So, most senior managers really don’t they struggle to get the support they need
know what’s going on in maintenance. for staffing, equipment and training.
What’s worse, they don’t even know the right
questions to ask. For example, a key reliability management
position went unfilled at BP for almost a year
What they do know is that maintenance is before the disastrous shutdown. What does
usually the single largest controllable expense that tell you?
in a plant. And if the equipment appears to
be running “just fine”, they see maintenance The truth is, most maintenance people are
as an easy way to cut budgets and save hard workers who care about doing good work.
money. But they don’t always have the leadership and
support they need to be successful.
Trouble is, they don’t realize what the long-
term impact is going to be. And they usually The bottom line is that everyone is
get away with it – for awhile. Because it takes responsible for reliability, just like everyone
about 18 months before shortchanging is responsible for safety.
maintenance takes its toll.
Lesson 9: Reliability must have support from the
top. It is an investment to be optimized, not a cost
Then again, those who do understand
to be minimized.
reliability aren’t running the companies. So
Allied Reliability, © 2008 • 15
How Reliability Creates Wealth and
Now for the good news. How did they do it? By understanding these
ten basic truths about reliability.
Done right, reliability can produce eye-popping
gains on income statements and balance Reliability …
sheets. Consider the following:
1. Has a huge impact on sales.
2. Has a huge impact on the cost of sales and
A major pharmaceutical company slashed
therefore drives big profit swings.
maintenance costs by $33 million and
3. Is a long-term investment strategy.
increased production rates – at just one plant.
4. Contains hidden costs not seen on your
A steel maker went from the verge of
bankruptcy to the most profitable steel
5. Should not be a reactive, emergency-driven
maker in the world – cutting inventories by strategy.
$40 million and maintenance costs by 50%,
6. Should not be triggered by a catastrophic
while production shot up 17% and product
“event”. The objective is to create a
quality went up 20%.
7. Costs are directly related to early detection of
A chemical company cut maintenance
equipment problems. Sooner is always better
spending by 22% and added 15 million
dollars to its bottom line in just two years.
8. Relies heavily on predictive maintenance
for early detection. Most companies aren’t
A food processing plant doubled production
doing enough PdM.
and achieved a $45 million swing in P&L in
16 • Allied Reliability, © 2008 10 Powerful Lessons You Should Learn
9. Must have support from the top, yet few
senior managers are educated in the
And that’s what we’ve attempted to do in this
report – get you thinking differently about your
business than you have before.
Hopefully, by now you understand how
reliability impacts your company as an
employer, business partner and community
citizen. You’ve seen how it influences
revenues, costs, profits and share price.
And finally, that brings us to …
Lesson 10: Reliability is one of the last frontiers
for real breakthroughs in wealth and competitive
Allied Reliability, © 2008 • 17
18 • Allied Reliability, © 2008 10 Powerful Lessons You Should Learn
Articles and References
BP to Shutdown Prudhoe Bay Oil Field Alaskan shutdown to cost BP at least
August 7, 2006 By Stephen Foley in New York, The
http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryI Independent (London)
d=2012968&contentId=7020563 August 11, 2006
BP shuts down Prudhoe Bay
By Wesley and Richard Richtmyer, Anchorage
BP’s hard road ahead
August 7, 2006
By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff
August 14, 2006
BP: Pipeline shutdown could last weeks
Analysis: Congress probes BP corrosion
August 7, 2006
By Donna Borak, UPI Energy Correspondent,
September 6, 2006
Pipeline Closure Sends Oil Higher; BP to
Halt Production of 400,000 Barrels a Day
BP exec weasels out of testifying before
congress; others admit BP failed in Alaska
By Steven Mufson, Washington Post Staff
Writer; Page A01
September 6, 2006
August 8, 2006
BP corrosion expert job was unfilled more
than year before spill
September 8, 2006
Allied Reliability, © 2008 • 19
About Allied Reliability, Inc.
Allied Reliability helps companies build wealth and competitive advantage through world-class
predictive maintenance and reliability across global manufacturing enterprises.
Founded in 1997, Allied has quickly become the largest engineering firm specializing in predictive
maintenance and reliability engineering.
Today, Allied serves some of the biggest names in manufacturing, including more than 200 plants
and facilities in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Latin America.
FREE Reliability Consultation
Every year the gap between the companies who are taking advantage of reliability and the ones
who aren’t gets wider.
That’s why you can’t afford not to make significant reliability improvements in 2007. Those who
prepare now will reap big dividends in the future … while others will struggle to survive. There
are very few shortcuts. However, one is to make sure you get the right help.
Now you can get answers to your most important questions about reliability with a free, 55-
minute reliability phone consultation. There’s no hassle, no cost and no obligations.
Any information you provide is confidential and will not be shared outside of our firm.
To take advantage of this special offer, ask for Jeff:
Phone: (918) 382-9400
Fax: (918) 382-0601
20 • Allied Reliability, © 2008 10 Powerful Lessons You Should Learn
While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, neither
the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contradictory
interpretation of the subject matter herein.
The purchaser or reader of this publication assumes responsibility for the use of these materials
and information. Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, including federal, state and
local, governing business practices and any other aspects of doing business in the U.S. or
any other jurisdiction is the sole responsibility of the purchaser or reader. Allied Reliability, Inc.
assumes no responsibility or liability whatsoever on behalf of any purchaser or reader of these
Allied Reliability, © 2008 • 21
Allied Reliability, Inc.
624 South Boston Avenue ▪ Suite 250 ▪ Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119 USA
Phone 918-382-9400 ▪ Fax 918-382-0601
www.alliedreliability.com ▪ email@example.com
22 • Allied Reliability, © 2008 10 Powerful Lessons You Should Learn