Life of equipment depends not only on how well it is used but also on how well it is maintained. Various versions of maintenance techniques are in use. Total Productive Maintenance popularized by Japanese is one of the best methodology used worldwide
There are 8 pillars of implementing Total Productive Maintenance
- Focussed improvement
- Autonomous Maintenance
- Planned Maintenance
- Education and training
- Early Management
- Quality Maintenance
- Administration and support department activities
- Safety, Health, and environment management.
In this article, we will discuss more on the Autonomous Maintenance application and implementation steps. Autonomous Maintenance is a very important concept for maintaining a machine at minimum possible cost. It is also called by other names such as Jishu Hozen.
Autonomous Maintenance is a concept that emphasizes the involvement of operators/frontline team members to maintain their machines themselves with the support of the Maintenance department & completely own their equipment for ease of operation & Maintenance activity. If it is old machine, they also completely transform the machines as good as a new one. If they operate a brand new machine, it will also help in keeping it as good as new even after years of continuous operation.
In many organizations Production & Maintenance department works in isolation and Production operator work with a mindset that his job is only to operate machine & maintaining the machine is the responsibility of maintenance department if Production department will work with such mindset of “I operate you maintain” then the performance of the machine will deteriorate & maintenance cost will go up no matter how hard the maintenance department works.
Operators spend most of their time near machines & they know the behavior of machines very well if any abnormality will occur in the machine then they can detect it immediately & correction can happen on time with minimum possible losses so their participation for maintaining the machine is very important. Autonomous Maintenance changes the Mindset of Production operator from “I operate you maintain” to “We maintain” and production operator Participate in machine maintenance activity with the support of the maintenance department.
The autonomous Maintenance concept completely transforms the ability of the Operator where he can maintain his machine himself & he can make changes in the machine for simplified operation and maintenance activity.
Abilities of equipment competent Operator
- Ability to detect abnormalities
- Ability to correct abnormalities
- Ability to understand how the equipment works, and identify the causes of any abnormality
- Ability to understand the impact of any abnormality
- Ability to operate the equipment as per defined standard
- Ability to implement appropriate focused Improvements.
How to Implement an Autonomous Maintenance concept?
There are 7 steps methodology for implementing the Autonomous Maintenance concept.
STEP- 0: Preparation
This step ensures all the preparation activity for the successful start of Autonomous maintenance activity.
Below is the list of major activities of Step- 0
- Team formation for implementing Autonomous Maintenance activity
- Selection of machine for implementing Autonomous maintenance activity. Use Machine ranking format (Focus on the High-ranking machines first)
- Preparation of activity plan for Autonomous Maintenance
- Training of Autonomous Maintenance concept to the team
- Explanation of seven types of abnormalities of machine parts.
- Explanation regarding abnormality identification tags (Red & white tag)
- Preparation & training of Safety Do’s and Don’ts which must be followed during Step-1 (Initial cleaning)
- Detail training of equipment which includes
-Working principle of equipment
-The function of each part
-What to inspect in each part (Preparation of Inspection standard)
-Safety precautions to be taken while handling each part
- Machine History data collection for progress monitoring & target setting.
- Ensure availability of cleaning tools & Safety PPE
STEP- 1: Perform Initial Cleaning
The aim of this step is to Establish basic conditions & prevent forced deterioration of equipment parts. Cultivation of the ability of operators to identify equipment abnormalities & understand the importance of cleaning.
Below is the list of major activities of Step- 1
- Take safety precaution before cleaning as guided in step-0
- Bring all cleaning kit near a machine
- Start cleaning as per the area allocated. Prioritize parts based on problem history
- Remove all the guards /covers to the extent possible to find out maximum abnormalities.
- Clean each & every area completely & do an inspection as per the initial cleaning inspection standard for each part.
- Identify abnormalities while cleaning & tag them. First, identify the abnormalities when the machine is in ON condition then identify abnormalities when the machine is in OFF condition.
- Take action on the abnormalities. Do Root cause analysis for each abnormality & take action on the root cause.
STEP- 2: Address contamination sources & inaccessible places
Basic conditions achieved in step-01 cannot be sustained until cleaning, lubrication, inspection & tightening (CLIT) have become so easy that anyone can do them quickly, easily, & safely. The aim of this step is to improve the accessibility of places that are difficult to access for doing Cleaning, Lubrication, Inspection, Tightening (CLIT) & Take action on the source of contamination.
Below is the list of major activities of Step-2
- Sustain the condition achieved in Step-01
- Map the area which is getting contaminated, trace back the source of contamination.
- Understand the impact of contamination on Safety, quality, and failure to prioritize action.
- Take countermeasures on the source of contamination. Use the concept of Eliminate, Reduce, Localize.
- List out parts that are difficult to access for doing Cleaning, Lubrication, Inspection, Tightening (CLIT) make detailed action plan & take action to make them easy to access.
- Define the cleaning frequency for parts where the elimination of contamination source is not possible.
STEP- 3: Establish Tentative JH Standard For CLIT
It is very important that the improvements done in Step-01 & Step-02 must be sustained which can be done by making the tentative inspection standard for CLIT in Step-03.
Below is the list of major activities of Step -3
- Prepare a Tentative Inspection standard for cleaning, lubricating, inspection & tightening (CLIT). Involve machine operator while making the ‘Tentative Inspection standard’.
- Preparation of Tentative Inspection check sheet
- Identification of machine parts & display of Checkpoints on machine parts to the extent possible.
- Introduce extensive visual controls to make inspection easy.
- Implement CLIT Station for daily CLIT activity
- Give training to the operators & implement the ‘Tentative Inspection standard’.
STEP- 4: Conduct General Equipment inspection
Aim of this step is to develop equipment competent operator
Moving from the level of detecting malfunctions by means of 5 senses up to step 3, in step 4, it is to:
- Sufficiently understand the structure and functions of equipment in a much deeper level & detect abnormality for the internal parts.
- Understand the relation of abnormalities with failure, defect & accidents based on Logical reasoning.
Below is the list of major activities of Step- 4
- Select General Inspection Subject, Begin with what operators need to be taught in order to operate their equipment correctly & what they need to inspect to avoid problems. Consider history of past failure, defects & accidents happened due to failure of machine parts. Give priority to the major contributors
- Prepare a training module for each topic.–Training module should be prepared by the maintenance dept. with the support of the production dept. Make a classroom module and practical training module that is best suitable to teach the subject. Use manual, Presentation, OPL, Videos, Practical training stations, OJT, etc.
- Draft general inspection training schedule
- Conduct general inspection training as per schedule
- Checking Knowledge and skill for each subject
- Once the operators will pass the test, they will inspect all their equipment thoroughly by using the knowledge they have acquired through the General Inspection training program and identify maximum abnormalities & correct them.
- Review the Tentative Inspection standard made in step-03 & add new points based on the training.
STEP- 5: Autonomous inspection
The goals of the first four steps of the autonomous Maintenance is to develop equipment competent operator But this accomplishment alone will not ensure effective operation & 100% quality product so it is very important that operator should have detailed process knowledge so the main objective of this step is to develop process competent operators & finalize the Tentative Inspection Standard.
Below is the list of major activities of Step-05
- Select Subject for Process training: If we want to make a process competitive operator then we need to provide him a very deep process knowledge & we need to select the subjects for training accordingly. Below are the subjects for training.
- Product Introduction and product Quality requirement (specifications) which need to be achieved
- Basic Process how raw material changes to finish good step by step
- Possible Quality defects in each operation
- Causes of quality defect
- Condition to be maintained for avoiding defects
- Action if conditions are not within specification
- Preparation of training material. Prepare the most effective way of training for each point mentioned above. Use manual, Presentation, OPL, Videos, Practical training stations, OJT, etc.
- Draft general Process inspection training schedule
- Conduct general Process inspection training as per schedule
- Checking Knowledge and skill for each subject
- Once the operators will pass the test, they will start inspection based on the knowledge they have acquired through the General Process Inspection training program and identify maximum abnormalities & correct them.
- Review the Tentative Inspection standard made in step-04 & add new points based on the training.
- Reduce inspection time. After completing the Sep-05 number of checkpoints will increase & time require for inspection will be more so it is very important to reduce the inspection time & at the same time achieve equipment reliability.
Below are the techniques to reduce inspection time.
- Review if there is a possibility of omission of any point based on the history of failure & defect.
- Review from the point of view of making the inspection easy
- Clarify the shares of inspection item responsibility with maintenance. Ensure that there should not be duplication of inspection
- Based on the past experience inspection frequency should be reduced where possible
- Load balancing of the inspection work. Distribute the no of points day-wise & shift wise so that inspection can be done daily within 10
STEP- 6: Standardization
This step focuses on sustaining the gain achieved through Step -01 to step -05 by following the Standards & Extending the role of the operator for improving the work & working system
Below is the list of major activities of Step-6
- Remove the wasteful activities in the present work & improve the working method.
- Check whether standards are available for the important work & If available are they effective then take part in establishing & updating the work-related standard
STEP- 7: All out Autonomous management
The objective of this step is to Make the operator fully independent & capable of managing his workplace on his own.
Below is the list of major activities of Step-07
- Provide training of problem-solving skills to the operator
- Make the workplace waste and problem-free by the operator
- Make improvement as a routine work for the operator
- Align the improvement activities with the company goals & objectives & do the improvements accordingly.
Key Points for Successful implementation of Autonomous Maintenance (Jishu Hozen)
Objectives of Jishu Hozen (Autonomous Maintenance)
- Formation of an effective Team structure for Implementation of Autonomous Maintenance (Jishu Hozen)
- Proper training of Autonomous Maintenance (Jishu Hozen) concept to the team
- Make a Master plan for all the steps & strictly follow stepwise activities
- Ensure the correction of abnormalities as per plan.
- Top management should Ensure availability of resources on time
- Timely review of progress should happen by Plant head, top management, Autonomous Maintenance Pillar chairman & JH circle leader.
- Display activity board & Circle meetings must happen in front of the activity board on a daily basis.
- JH Audit must happen after each step to ensure that all the requirements of that step have been met. The audit is conducted at 3 levels.
- First Implement Autonomous Maintenance activity on the Pilot Model machine then after successful implementation deploys it in the entire organization.
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