Maintenance Management during Economic Slow Down

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					YP Chawla                                                                                         1.4- 1/10

            Challenges - Maintenance Management of Assets during the
                          Current Economic Meltdown.

                              YP Chawla – CEO, Zoom Developers & National Jt. Secretary IIPE

Global recovery is set to begin, says bank report -
By IANS - Tuesday, 16 June 2009!!

Toronto: The worst is over for the global economy and a recovery is likely to begin later this year, says
a bank report released here Monday.

The global economic crisis has bottomed out and positive indicators have begun to emerge, said the
report by the Royal Bank of Canada which is the top bank in the country. It said there were encouraging
signs for global recovery as the U.S. economy was showing signs of recovery after worst-ever declines
in its GDP in the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.

       The recession is over; so what did we learn? -May 7, 2009 is another news clip!!

                                                                             Resurgent Economy

Quote “Fifteen months ago (with reference to US) use of the word ‘recession’ was giving fears well,
now it is felt that the recession is over. It’s time to get back to the active business. ” Unquote.
YP Chawla                                                                                          1.4- 2/10

Whether, the recession is over or not ; whether, we are back on the saddle – that is not the debate, even
if, Meltdown is not yet over we can certinaly analyse what have we learnt in this period.

The business we’re getting back to, of course, is dramatically different than the one we left 15 months
ago. The big question facing various Manufacturing Plants right now is, did we learn anything in the
last 15 months? If we did, we can go forward, wiser for the experience. Among the lessons of the Great
Recession of 2009: Some of these are:

• You can borrow your way into debt, but you can’t borrow your way out of debt. Businesses
did it. Homeowners did it. Anyone with a shiny piece of plastic did it. The Banks have become more
conservative in extending Financial & Non Financial Suport.

• We can make what we want, but do we make what we need? The failures in various industry were
failures at the bottom line, but also a failure to lead the industry.

• As we cut back on jobs, did we get smarter about the ones left behind?

Did you get Leaner, and not just leaner? Are you more energy efficient? Did we concentrate on making
did you take the slowdown as an opportunity not to just cut costs, but improve operational effectiveness?
Here’s a simple truth: The smarter manufacturers did all of the above. They cut jobs, but they also
got better at the things they can control inside their four walls.

• Do we have a plan moving forward?

Are we going to reach across the waters and the boundaries to find new markets in which to sell
our Leaner-made products? Are we going to branch out into new areas in the domestic market?It is
understood that during the recession of a number of Industries began providing products for a wider
range of businesses. If they got caught by the slowdown this time, they worked to make sure it won’t
happen again.
• How do we keep this from happening again? Besides all of the above, it’s summed up in one
word: Innovation. We need to inspire our people and develop our processes around innovation.
The difficulty here is not the innovation itself. As hard as that might be, the harder part is inspiring
the innovators to keep working hard, regardless of the things that have happened over the last 15

What has the above to do with the Plant Maintenance?
Plant maintenance, Plant maintenance best practices and Plant maintenance guidelines were
all revised by smart operators during this Economic Meltdown. It is a question of sustaining the smart
& motivated team force to look into cross functonal areas and to understand the clashing interests of
the Key Result areas ( KRAs) of various functions of an organisation.
Extending the reach of this paper beyond the Maintenace of Capital Assets at Plant Location, to
the Maintenace of Products/ Equipment that need maintenance during Warantee & delivered to the
Customers,that may include Industrial Machinery or a Operating White Goods catoagory or a Car….
Where we all, are involved and often come up with a situation of Clash of KRAs of the Company officials
Supplying the equipment or the Machine .

   i.   Purchase Manager’s Syndrom “Product management is responsible for quality sourcing — but
        Business Manager wanted profitability! Purchase Manager’s KRAs clashes with the KRA of
YP Chawla                                                                                       1.4- 3/10

       Business Development Group ”

   ii. Replacement of the equipment if faulty, will destroy the Brand is the cry of the Sales Manager
       and reflects on his KRA. His targets are to improve market share, Brand image ….

   iii. Economise by (say) 20% over last year is the KRA under Management by Objectives by the
        Materials Purchase Manager.

   iv. Service Manager intends to improve his service delivery to meet his KRAs but needs an inventory
       of the Spares and is also under pressure from Marketing Manager for prompt service.

   v. Business Manager has to pull the costs down for generating as much of Profit as is possible

   vi. Operations Manager covering Production & Maintenance says “Garbage in Garbage out “ with
       KRA of Lowest Cost of Production, good fill rates in terms of volumes, low rejection rate , low
       field failures….

   vii. Customer and consumer delight falls in my turf…” is the Cry of th Sales Manager who is not
        supported by the Service Manager For quick turnround of the Service call or Stores Manager for
        release of an inventory for replacement.

   viii. Sales, Services, Business head, Marketing, Operations, Maintenance, Purchase……. all have
         to meet their respective targets.

   ix. Customer Service Function & the Bottom Line is the KRA of COO

   x. MD: Has to yell, forget your KRAs & see how we can adopt a serious customer satisfaction
      approach that is also not at variance with our bottom line need!”

These are the competing chalanges of any Manager including that of a Maintenance Manager – the
subject topic here. The budget for everyone has been tight in this Meltdown.
                                             It is a Total Team’s Effort to revive the
                                             Growth of the Plant

                         Global Meldown has to be faced Boldly

                          A running plant is a normal situation & does not come to the notice of any
                          one. But a Shut down plant with no hum frowns the face of every plant
                          employee. Least Shut down time, No breakdown, Least Maintenance Cost
                          are expected from a Plant Asset Mainatenance Manager.

                          Important plant maintenance strategies that create high plant availability
YP Chawla                                                                                      1.4- 4/10

and high equipment reliability are the worries of the Asset Maintenace Manager.

The Challanging Task of a Plant Manager is to adopt Plant maintenance best practices, Plant
Maintenance Guidelines and Plant Maintenance Overview and critical factors that need to be made
for successful plant maintenance management.

The Maintenance Manager New Target is Zero Breakdown Maintenance. This is built on three
fundamentals. The first is zero breakdown equipment needs low-stress parts kept in good health.
The less fatigued the parts, the more reliable and failure-free will be your equipment.

The second requirement for zero breakdown maintenance is to stop human error from causing plant
and equipment failures. The Maintenance team is to know how to prevent degradation and produce
maximum reliability, the longer will your plant run well. The third premise is that the Management
benchmarks the plant with world-class equipment performance. This means removing all operational
risks to the equipment. The more integrated your operational risk management is across the
equipment life cycle, the more certain you are to get zero breakdowns, and always deliver low
production costs and low maintenance costs is the task of today’s Assest Manager.

The Zero Breakdown Maintenance identifies the zero breakdown strategies and key factors in
successful zero breakdown maintenance management. It sets the business-wide systems, the
operational risk management and the maintenance skills that ensure Maintenance team and parts
always work well together for the success of the business. People, processes and parts; man, machines
and methods: these are what make the business successful. The zero breakdown strategies in the Zero
Breakdown Maintenance focuses to ensure that the equipment parts are always in good health so that
your plant and equipment are always highly reliable.

Maintenance including its planning and scheduling training content to boost the performance is
set by the Plant Management.

Leading-edge coverage is required to be developed to take your team through the complete maintenance
planning process and the maintenance work scheduling process. It may grab your interest by using
imaginary discussions between Sham Singh, an old Maintenance Planner due to retire or has been
laid off in the Meltdown, and Ram Singh, the new Maintenance Planner who will replace him. It has
to focuss on helping you to become an outstanding maintenance planner who knows exactly how to
control maintenance work quality, and do maintenance scheduling, that delivers highly reliable plant
and equipment.

There has been continuous updating of the Maintenance Managers who have found time during the
Meltdown for:

Plant-to-Enterprise Connectivity: Enhancing maintenance and productivity.

Energy and Sustainability: Turning cost centers into profit centers.

Workforce Development and Future: Addressing the number one issue facing Plant Managers
today and recognizing Plant Engineering’s engineers of the future.

Enterprise Asset Management: Driving greater productivity and lower costs through effective asset
YP Chawla                                                                                               1.4- 5/10

Thus ,the Plant Engineering Aspects today covers energy management, workforce development,
                            asset management and plant-to-enterprise connectivity .

                               TOP PLANT seeks to:
                               * Identify plants that have achieved a high level of   operational
                               * Identify best practices in plant engineering management
                               * Identify quantifiable levels of excellence for manufacturing/processing
                               plants and the plant engineering function.

During Meldown Some lessons as under have been passed on to various Management teams :

Value in experience & Wealth of talent: “start some buzz around how much value there is out there
ready and willing to bring real experience and expertise to the company?”

Culture of Looking at both sides: We know, our best lean talent comes from those who live and
grow in that kind of culture– then we will be in trouble in 10 years. It is hard to look at all sides of this
when the economy keeps punching us in the stomach, but being prepared and building a pipeline
of both types: very experienced and those also young and passionate about manufacturing , plant
maintenance is what will get us through and stronger when the pendulum swings the other way.”

Dealing with both problems: The challenge going forward isn’t about manufacturing or plant
maintenance as a whole. Individual plants need to take a look at how they will get better, how they will
recruit and train and incent workers to deliver their best work every day. From that comes efficiency,
which helps drive growth and stability.

In today’s turbulent times, corporates across India Inc., have been facing the ultimate challenge of
improving the efficiency level of employees. And experts say that in such a scenario, creating a climate
of freshness and motivation for employee through a process of constant renewal is critical.

With some lay-offs and salary cuts , and of course, more work being assigned to less number of people
during the current Meltdown , it has become all the more challenging to innovate ideas in order to keep
up the motivation level of employees. Unique methods to do so can only provide stronger means of
running a successful organization. The key is to use newer approaches that continually reinforce the
fact that employees’ ideas are welcome, valued, and rewarded. Engaged and motivated associates
deliver better effectiveness and efficiency. Constantly improving and innovating the practices deployed
to motivate the associates is a must, irrespective of the market situation.

Experts say that a motivated and engaged employee will always go the extra mile in an
organization. S/he becomes the flag bearer of the organization and helps create positive perceptions
in the market. Especially in times of economic turmoil, it is necessary to motivate employees and help
them see the bigger picture of where the organization is headed, and this needs to be regularly re-
enforced It is essential that employees see that they are major stakeholders in the accomplishment
of the organization’s mission. In essence, every organization is as good as the employees, so during
tough times, motivated employees will always unite to ensure that their organization is able to meet
their objectives.

It is essential that employees become Visionaries in their respective fields see that they are major
stakeholders in the accomplishment of the organization’s mission.
YP Chawla                                                                                          1.4- 6/10

At any given point in time, irrespective of the economic scenario, it is imperative that the associates
in an organization feel motivated and engaged. An associate is the most important stakeholder in an
organization enabling the organization to achieve and surpass its goals constantly, which is why it is
important to keep them motivated and engaged.

In today’s times, even the strongest and most powerful corporates are facing the challenge to improve
the employees’ productivity & the Plant’s Productivity to achieve excellance in Manaufacturing

Needless to say, engaged and motivated employees create successful organizations. No strategy
or corporate plan can be implemented without the committed and passionate involvement of its

It is the general refrain of many of the large corporations in India today.

In any Problem Situation, One way to solve problems is to redefine them — to find a way to agree rather
than to disagree. Another way is to break their patterns. We have all found ourselves in stuck states, in
which we recycle our own mental dirty dishwasher. It’s like a record stuck in a scratched groove, playing
the same tired refrain over and over again. He way to get the record unstuck is to give the needle a
nudge or pick it up and put it somewhere else. The way to change a stuck state is the same: One needs
to interrupt the pattern – the tired old refrain – and start a new.
The Maintenace today has achieved significance to be a Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
covering :
 • Maintenance - maintaining function or fixing?
 • Current state of equipment Vs its worst state or its state relative
           to Its future state
 • OEE - measuring and managing losses from ideal
 • Operator-Owner; Maintainer-Improver Principles
 • Use of PM, PdM, and Planning
 • Training and Continuous Learning

Selecting the Right Manufacturing Improvement Tools, offers an easy-to-understand and
comprehensive review of the most important current industrial improvement tools that every
manufacturing or industrial executive, operational manager or engineer needs to know, including
which tool to use for a particular type of manufacturing situation.

This Reliability Roadmap for the Plant Maintenane has to be drawn and implemented and supported

Spare parts inventory
An economic downturn has been a good time for careful review of your spare parts inventory and
supply-chain management practices. Many Plant Manager could find time & considerd the following:

   •   Remove obsolete parts that are wasting shelf space and increasing the time to find parts.

   •   Examine usage history using Maintenance Management Systems ( MMS ) to determine
       if costs will be reduced by adjusting lead times, safety stock, min/max levels and order
YP Chawla                                                                                           1.4- 7/10


     •   Classify or reclassify inventory levels on the MMS and determine appropriate service levels for
         each class (e.g., “A” class items are high value or experience high-volume usage, and should
         therefore have higher service levels or fewer stockouts).

     •   Examine the supplier history on MMS and determine if the Plant can consolidate and reduce
         the number of vendors to improve leverage in negotiating prices and terms.

     •   Conduct Pareto analysis on work history to determine if the root cause of the more expensive
         plant problems correlate with a given vendor, brand, type, size or other characteristic of parts
         used (e.g., Brand XYZ light bulbs seem to cause expensive electrical problems).

Managements have also adopted a flexible work plan
Flexibility and agility are key attributes for surviving a recession. Plant Asset Managers need to adopt
an approach to be willing to try different things. If firefighting is today’s culture, establishing process-
improvement teams and asking them to recommend ways to change it is the buzz around. If team
members suggest the need for a maintenance planner role or establishing a well-trained PM crew for
reducing a burgeoning backlog, it is good to run a proof of concept or pilot for a limited time to see if
the improvement idea really works.
One of the most useful features on a MMS during tough times is the ability to perform a “what-if”
analysis on the Plant’s budget and work plan. The feature allows users to play with the frequency
and standard times (staffing) of planned work in simulation mode, and determine the effect on the
Plant budget. If Management requests a 10% reduction in the Maintenance Budget. What would
the Plant Maintenance Manager cut? Should one mow the lawn or shovel snow less often? Can one
inspect certain equipment less rigorously? With the simulation feature, the Maintenace Managers
have tried adjusting, say, the frequency of a given PM routine, or change the actual steps and,
therefore, the time required to complete a routine, to see the effect on Maintenace budget & delibrate
with the Management.
Once the new work plan has been finalised that supports the imposed budget cut, the Maintenance
Manager can exit simulation mode and save the plan onto the MMS. A key benefit of this feature
could be that the Plant Manager can present alternative work plans to management with the
corresponding budget consequences. This might help the Plant Maintenance team and the Top
management understand the consequences of budget cuts in the short term. It can also ensure that
there are no surprises in future years for senior management, when assets deteriorate prematurely
or undergo catastrophic failure. “Pay me now for the Maintenance or Pay me later with what
The Good News for Indian Corporates has come from the New Government
“Important broad areas of priority out of 10 identified” for the United Progressive Alliance
government in the next five years which were outlined by Hon’ble President of India Smt. Pratibha
Patil in her address to the joint sitting of Parliament (June 4, 2009): Stepping up Manufacturing
comes under the priority of the new Government
 •   Stepping up of economic growth in agriculture, manufacturing and services.

 •   Governance reform;
YP Chawla                                                                                       1.4- 8/10

 •   Creation and modernisation of infrastructure and capacity addition in key sectors.

 •   Prudent fiscal management.

 •   Energy security and environment protection.

 •   Constructive and creative engagement with the world.
Finally, The Companies have adopted Promotion of a culture of enterprise and innovation
With the onset of recession companies are facing all kinds of challenges, since customers have also
become more demanding. This Meltdown has given direction to that, how the companies should
interact with its clients and how management teams need to redirect the business and their teams.
Conclusions: Plant Maintenance is today has become an integral part of the company and has
numerous links to other enterprise areas.Depending on the company structure; Maintenance
planning is either plant based (decentralized) or cross-plant (centralized).

We keep on investigating & investing in new technologies for better productivities. We also
plan activities of Maintenance of our Plants Assets on Workshop or Major equipment or on
Centralised Maintenance efforts or decentralised.

All this is a very dynamic process & behind the wheels of this dynamism is The Human Asset.
It has provided an excellent opportunity to all the People in the Industry to look deeply into
governance of their own activities and strive to look for the excellance. A few of the notable
steps by the Indian Industry during this time that have come to the notice are:
Material Information Flow Analysis have been carried out for tangible throughput, Productivity
TAKT Time Vs Minutes Assigned per Employees
Shiftting of a Plant asset to another Location (This is similar to buying an Old Plant Asset available
economically elsewhere in the heat of Economic Meltdown, and shifting it to a new Location)
by Cross Functional Team with Task & Sub Tasks built a Cohessive team for Challanging times
like the present Meltdown.
Internal Customer Concept – HR being the Provider of serving the departments with requisit
Manpower through Talant Hunters for Cross Function Shift.
Micro Level Mapping including Video Shoots to develop 5 S Concepts of keeping the Shop Floor
YP Chawla                                                                                   1.4- 9/10

Clean , removing disorder etc.
Implementation of Low cost Automation, Mapping of value streams- Physically moving the
Machines & the People as needed, alligning the factory layout – making factories within factories,
identifying Critical Components of the Stream etc.
Reuseable Storage / Transfer Bins of Specified quantities, avoiding counting.
These are some of the Concepts that have been recently introduced by the Indian Industry for
taking corrective actions when faced the heat of the Meltdown. All these actions have brought
tangible results. These are all the efforts of Human Intervention for enhancing the Manufacturing
Competitive and challenges accepted to save the enterprise of any threat from the Economic
Meltdown and improving the Governance in respective areas.

Hardware is not always the best or most efficient solution. The experts observe that about 80% of
an organization’s problems lie in the Procedures, Training, and /or Supervision. The Plant Assets
Maitenance Work Model is an action oriented method to implement solutions by encompassing
the solutions with the Humans in the loop, working with Lean & Smart Organisation, Work on
Reduced Inventory and Enhancing the Productivity.
YP Chawla                                                                                                                                                     1.4- 10/10

About the Author: BETech. & MBA (Fin), PGDPM & PGDMM from Delhi University.
Export Mgmt. from Oxford. Over 3-1/2 decades of Experience in diversified sectors
covering Energy including Solar & other Renewable Energy, (Ex. BHEL), Water Sector,
Agriculture, Infrastructure. Widely travelled abroad & in India including Foreign Postings.
National Jt Secretary of IIPE & Chairman of Steering Committee of 21st AMMP.
Contact : ; 98107-08707
Written Papers on diversified subjects-
Energy Sector – Conventional, Renewable,
Zero Berakdown Maintenance in Steel Sector. Waste Management in Steel Plants
Iron Ore Beneficiation ; Waste Management; Irrigation Sector ; Water Sector etc. etc.

Disclaimer – While every effort has been to taken to ensure that the published information is authentic & reliable; and has been used by the author very successfully, the
author or the company undertake no liability for any damage, accidents, financial losses or expenses arising from the this paper or a different behaviour of the economy
so described.

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