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Maintenance often represents more than 25 percent of operating costs; but maintenance costs can be controlled.
Effective evaluation is the key.
Unscheduled downtime can be three times as costly as the maintenance that could have prevented it. Yet in many mills, there's a vitally important area of the mill that receives no "maintenance" at all: the maintenance department itself. Poor maintenance performance leads to excessive costs and unnecessary downtime; unfortunately, the first step towards improvement-a maintenance evaluation-is often never taken.
Many plant managers are uncertain about what maintenance should be doing and how performance should be measured. Compounding this uncertainty is resistance from maintenance itself, often causing managers to back away from evaluations. As a result, opportunities for improvements are never identified.
It's important for management to understand the position of maintenance. Even first-rate maintenance organizations sometimes resist evaluation because their performance is influenced by too many factors over which they have no control. For example, equipment may be unreliable because it is being pushed beyond maintenance due dates by operators pursuing unrealistic production targets.
Some maintenance leaders may not have had any management training and, as they are pushed upwards, carry their management styles from the …