Nepal | September 19, 2019

Risk-based maintenance



Maintenance of machines in industry plays a vital role in its proper and uninterrupted operation. Breakdown in a certain section can cause a huge loss to the industry, so to minimise this breakdown and loss, maintenance practices have to be followed.

One of the most common maintenance practices followed in Nepali industry is preventive maintenance. It refers to regular, routine maintenance to help keep equipment up and running, preventing any unplanned downtime and expensive costs from unanticipated equipment failure. It requires careful planning and scheduling of maintenance on equipment before there is an actual problem as well as keeping accurate records of past inspections and servicing reports.

Preventive management can be very complex, especially for companies with a lot of equipment, so the time has come for industries to switch to riskbased maintenance.

Risk-based maintenance (RBM) diverts maintenance resources to assets that carry the most risk if they were to fail. It is a methodology for determining the most economical use of maintenance resources. The maintenance strategy is based on two main phases: Risk assessment made in a facilitated workshop, and the scale of probability and impact is defined beforehand and individually for every production area.

The next phase is maintenance planning based on risk.

The second step is to focus on the assets in the orange area in the risk matrix as there is the highest risk of losing productivity, quality or safety. A risk-centred maintenance analysis is often excessive and boring. But a single unexpected breakdown of one of these risky assets could exceed the cost of the analysis by many times.

I, being an industrial engineer, had an opportunity to do research work on RBM at CG Foods in Nepal. I did a detailed study of the plant and observed both the breakdown patterns and maintenance plannings.

After that, I proposed a riskbased maintenance model, and it helped to increase the system availability by around 11.24 per cent.

So, the point is, if 11.24 per cent increase in system availability can be done just by changing the maintenance method, why not implement it in all the industries throughout the country and increase their productivity? Also implementation of RBM doesn’t requirehuge cost, just a low amount is sufficient for its implementation.

A version of this article appears in print on May 09, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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