Picture this: your maintenance team has a full schedule of preventive maintenance tasks to complete this week. Unfortunately, almost half the team is out sick with a nasty flu bug, and you expect those effected to be out for at least two days. How do you decide which PM tasks really need to be completed this week and which can wait?
Without a clear strategy, all you can do is guess which PM tasks are most important. However, with a maintenance strategy based on asset criticality, you can be confident that you’re using your limited resources in the most efficient and effective way.
What is Criticality?
The criticality of an asset is a measure of the impact that the failure of that asset would have on your organization. If the failure of an asset has a significant impact on your business—for example, if the failure halts your key production process, endangers the safety of your employees, or in some other way jeopardizes your mission—then that asset can be considered to be critical.
Another way to look at criticality is in terms of the level of attention an asset requires to keep it functioning. For example, if an asset is prone to failure or has a long lead time for spare parts, it could be considered more critical than an asset that never goes down or that is quickly repaired when it does.
Once you identify which assets are indeed critical to your organization, you can devise a maintenance strategy to ensure that they are always appropriately maintained.
The Benefits of a Maintenance Strategy Based on Criticality
Basing your maintenance strategy on asset criticality has a number of benefits:
- Knowing which assets are critical to your organization allows you to create rules that eliminate uncertainty in your maintenance department. For example, in the case of the flu-stricken maintenance team, you know that the PM tasks scheduled for your critical assets are the ones that can’t wait.
- A maintenance strategy based on criticality lets you prioritize your maintenance tasks based on the actual value of the asset to your business, rather than on vague and shifting perceptions of what is most important or urgent.
- With a criticality-based maintenance strategy, you can be confident that you’re focusing your limited maintenance time and resources on those assets that truly make a difference to your organization.
In short, basing your maintenance strategy on criticality allows your maintenance department to run more efficiently and effectively. The result? Increased productivity, lowered costs, and an improved bottom line throughout your entire organization.