Maintenance of Physical Asset for Reliability

If equipment breaks down when we need it most, no amount of employee productivity is going to save that project or business operation. While it is essential to keep people motivated and engaged it is equally important to ensure that the office equipment and/or industrial machinery is working at its optimum level.

According to physical asset management specialist, Allan Tarita, when companies prioritize the needs of the business, especially during tough economic times, asset maintenance tends to fall to the bottom of the list. However, there is much to gain from ensuring your assets are regularly maintained. Referring to a famous oil spill that led to major environmental damage and destroyed the reputation of the companies involved, Tarita points out that asset management would have meant the difference between a R22million and R5billion expense account. Managers tend to defer asset maintenance because of the immediate cost to business but developing a strategy and implementing a long-term programme can save the business a lot of money over time. Assets can be maintained “through performance measures, by establishing a maintenance strategy and by performing regular checks”.

It is essential to make use of a Life Cycle Costing (LCC) system in order to calculate the overall cost to business and determine the true value of the physical asset. A traditional LCC system assesses fixed, maintenance and operating costs but ignore elements such as risk factors and disposal costs. The disposal cost is often overlooked during the initial purchase stage but as the world focuses its attention on sustainability, business will need to consider the environmental impact of disposing of assets. As with any purchase, the buyer has to consider all the risks involved. Tarita compares the process to buying a first car. People are tempted to look for and select the cheapest option. After the initial thrill subsides many have to wake up to the unwelcome reality of expensive car parts, complicated service plans or hidden problems. In the same way business professionals are cautioned against automatically choosing the least expensive item. “Don’t take things at face value”. The cheapest price isn’t necessarily the best deal. During the Life Cycle Costing course, Tarita provides pointers on how to choose wisely, assess risks and develop a maintenance plan that meets the short and long term needs of the business.

Are you considering becoming a Maintenance and Reliability Professional? You can check our Certified Maintenance and Reliability (CMRP) program

– Cindy Payle

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