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Implementing Lean Maintenance System to Improve Factory Performance

By 27th March 2020 No Comments
Lean Maintenance Applied to Improve Maintenance

Need for 100% uptime of machines from the production department has never gone out of demand.  Day to day production needs are always to be met to meet delivery performance and revenue of the organisation.  One may ask if zero maintenance time is really possible. Imagining a condition when a flight is already in the air and it needs maintenance in mid air. 

Can we send a maintenance engineer to repair things in mid air?

Any maintenance needs are to be performed when there is break time or when production is not scheduled.  Preventive maintenance time allocation in such cases becomes essential so that the machine performs to its fullest potential during its intended working hours.

Lean maintenance system works in combination of Total Productive maintenance, Reliability centred maintenance,  Lean methods and TQM as integrated system. The ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for maintenance during production or Zero maintenance time.

We can call maintenance strategies into three broad categories:

  1. Maintenance done only upon a breakdown
  2. Periodic or preventive maintenance
  3. Condition based corrective maintenance

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In a lean maintenance system, maintenance planning is done based on the priority categories.

Priority category : 1

This can be classified into a critical category of maintenance.  In this category, if the machine gets into a minor stoppage or breakdown, it can disrupt the production resulting in serious implication to customers.

Solutions to handle the machines in this category are:

  • Identify critical components of the machine
  • Do regular monitoring of the critical components for its effective functionality.
  • Where applicable, replace the critical component before it gets into failure. For this, MTBF and past records will help.
  • Have clear procedures and training to the designated people in handling these types of failures.
  • Keep critical spares always in stock with Kanban systems or through ERP with min-max triggers. No stock situation due to customer lead time, internal approvals, logistics issues and supplier issues should be considered in planning and FMEA.
  • Have a back-up maintenance plan with designated people availability during production operations too.
  • Ensure MTTR is well within the accepted time.
  • Have a redundancy  plan or back up items to take over.

Related Article– Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) – How To Improve Customer Service With Supply Chain Management?

Priority Category : 2

The criticality of components in this case is relatively lesser compared to Category -1.

Remaining solutions are still applicable as category 1 in this case too.

Priority Category : 3

In this, the machine is still critical for operations and it can disrupt the production. However, the implication  of machine failure is less on the customer and hence it can still be managed. Solutions are to be customised to the machines under this category.

Other machines are considered not very critical and hence moderate levels of maintenance planning can be recommended to optimise the costs and strike the right balance between performance and downtime implications.

There are two main strategic approaches for ensuring zero down time.

  1.  Maintenance during scheduled non-production time
  2.  Reducing maintenance time

For help in deciding right strategies in the maintenance system, Seven Steps Business Transformation systems can be consulted.

Our consultants have vast experience in the field of Operational excellence and business excellence with specialisation in

  1. Lean manufacturing consulting
  2. Lean Six Sigma Consulting
  3. Total Productive Maintenance consulting
  4. Design for Six Sigma
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Through our group vertical Seven Steps Academy of Excellence, we conduct training programmes on the following key topics

Related Article– How to get Certified Reliability Engineer Certification

Our customer base is from multiple sectors which includes

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