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Maintenance Articles

Developing Competencies During The Economic Downturn

Developing competencies open roads to worker productivity in the workplace,
employability, and sustainable development.
This article by Armando Justo points out competency based training to improve
employee skills will be key differentiators for future success of organizations and
countries alike.

Maintenance Managers in the Pursuit of World-Class Performance - This whitepaper
outlines in detail how a savvy maintenance manager can cause organizational change,
and why. In today’s competitive economy, those not willing to succeed will cease to
exist. This advanced knowledge and insight is invaluable for career planning.

Residential Electrician to Industrial Electrician - An Industrial Careers Pathway from
Residential Electrician to Industrial Electrician.

Training Business in Recession; "The Training Recession" - Recession survival tips on
how and why not to cut training.

Free 25 RFID Case Studies EBook - This free Ebook is an RFID application storybook,
which has twenty five different RFID technology application stories from around the

Pharmaceutical article - RFID Systems helps with FDA regulations - By Sangeeta
Pharmaceutical article and white paper attempts to present a solution to ensure timely
compliance Prescription Drug Marketing Act (PDMA). The pharmaceutical supply chain
makes an excellent example of supply chain management RFID used for a track and trace

The Impact on Your Business of Defect Cost and Failure Cost - By Mike Sondalini
Article about defect and failure true costing, that adds economics to RCM and FMEA to
help companies recognize and prevent this tremendous waste of money.

Model-Based Tuning Methods for PID Controllers. - By Jeffrey Arbogast ( Department
of Chemical Engineering, Douglas J. Cooper, PhD and Robert C. Rice, PhD (of Control
Station, Inc.)
Discussed are the qualities required for "good" dynamic process data and tuning methods
for dynamic modeling the process data for controller design. As it is common for process
data studies to be performed with the PID controller in automatic (closed loop), this
article is a must read.

Safety Circuits, Force Guided vs. General Purpose Relays - By Robert Anderson, BSEE
This article helps you understand how relays work, in particular, the force guided relays.
Safety Circuits, Force Guided vs. General Purpose Relays.

Keys for Effective Troubleshooting - By Warren Rhude
Troubleshooting Electrical Circuits and Equipment can be a complex and hazardous
process. This article describes the skills required to become an expert troubleshooter.

Hazardous Area Installation Management - By Abhisam Software
A recent study by the Health and Safety Executive, UK, 11 out of 12 facilities had
potentially dangerous hazardous area electrical & instrument installations. This White
Paper is an attempt to help engineers and managers, not only in the UK , but also
elsewhere, to have a clear understanding of this subject and address the key issues

How to Troubleshoot like an Expert – a Systematic Approach - By Warren Rhude
To expertly troubleshoot electrical equipment, problems must be solved by replacing only
defective equipment or components in the least amount of time.

Plant Maintenance Management of your PLC - By Don Fitchett
When the PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) is not functioning properly, lines shut
down, plants shutdown, even city bridges and water stations could cease to operate.
Thousands to millions could be lost by one little PLC in an electrical panel that you never
even knew existed.

OEE Analysis at Toyota Motor Manufacturing - Reader Responds
A reply to one readers inquiry for help doing an OEE analysis of a well-established
automotive industry automotive plant, Toyota Motor Manufacturing.

The True Cost of Downtime - By Don Fitchett
The key to realizing greater savings from more informed management decisions is to
predetermine the "True" cost of downtime for each profit center category.

The Japanese Path to Maintenance Excellence - By Mike Sondalini
Equipment criticality determines what level of preventative maintenance to use and much
more. We can learn from Mike's visit to a major Japanese manufacturer.

M2M Device Networking - By Marty Huff
An article about how the ability to extract raw data from a device, machine or appliance
and convert that data into useful information transforms the decision-making from an art
to a science.

How a Photoswitch Saved My Job - by Larry Bush
An article by author Larry Bush about how a more advanced photo sensor on a canning
equipment seamer in the food processing industry had saved his job.

Hydrocarbon Traces In Purging Nitrogen (via Chromatography) - by P.K. Rao
When the reactors of Hydroprocessing Units and Reformers and other plant equipment
are given for maintenance or for regeneration of the catalyst, it becomes necessary to
remove all residual hydrocarbons from the system. RTOL Lab's editor, P.K. Rao provides
the procedure in this article.

Electrical Industrial Troubleshooting - by Larry Bush
An article on electrical industrial troubleshooting with sections on industrial motor
control and programmable logic controller. Covers problem solving with motor test and
short circuit training.

Contract Maintenance or Not? - by Torbjorn Idhammar
What kind of maintenance should or should not be contracted out and the reasons for
choosing either option.

OEE Reports - Automated Capturing & Recording of Availability Data - by Bob Giese
With automated OEE, you not only result in a smoother running facility, but you get OEE
reports that help you identify where and how to improve your operating effectiveness.

Lean Maintenance using Six Sigma DMAIC - by Howard C. Cooper
You can not have truly lean manufacturing without also having Lean Maintenance
™.This article is a detailed overview of how to successfully implement Lean
Maintenance ™. From identifying the barriers, defining the problem, to arriving at a
solution. This article is a great start to controlling the project.

Writing the Perfect PM - by Ralph Hackle
From developing a PM template with example PM template to using RCM tools to
determine the frequency of each PM.

EDR - Engineering Driven Reliability - With his article 'The One Absolutely Critical
Point RCM, FMEA and the like All Miss!', Mike is introducing the next evolution in
reliability. After 300 years, it is time for Engineering Driven Reliability (EDR)!

Total Performance Safety - Performance Safety recognizes individual and team
performance in pro-active (not reactive) injury prevention techniques that will totally
prevent, or at least, reduce exposures to hazards.

RCM - Reliability Centered Maintenance - Mike Sondalini explains when it pays to use
RCM while revealing an implementation method that results in even greater savings for
your organization.

OEE - Overall Equipment Effectiveness - Overall Equipment Effectiveness is a
benchmarking tool as well as an analysis tool. This article covers what OEE is, why you
should use OEE, and how to use it.
The knowledge network, networking people -
The most powerful aspect about the knowledge
network is often the most overlooked advantage. That advantage is a solution that results
when two or more individuals communicating back and forth with a common goal.

Maximum Hydraulic Component Life - Defining Fluid Temperature & Viscosity Limits
for Maximum Hydraulic Component Life By Brendan Casey

CMMS ROI Calculator - How to cost justify your CMMS program. A Return on
Investment (ROI) calculation results in a value that represents the benefits received from
a project against the total costs of the project.

Maintenance Control - from Zero to Hero
Six Giant Steps to Effective Maintenance Management
By Bryan D Weir of Perspective CMMS
Posted 2/21/05

You can just see the eyes of many maintenance managers in many small
companies glaze over at the ment ion of CMMS, RCM, TPM, FMEA and the other
maintenance related acronyms that are often int roduced in discussions on
maintenance and facilit ies management . Big companies often employ some of
these init iat ives in their maintenance organisat ions because they can afford to do
so. The reality for many cash-st rapped, smaller businesses is quite different . Most
of their maintenance is react ive. Plant and equipment problems only get dealt
with as they arise and this is usually when it is too late to avoid the result ing
disrupt ion to their product ion or processes.
Even when a company has both the will and the money to spend, it is difficult to
know where to start when considering the implementat ion of maintenance
management systems. Probably the maj ority of smaller companies are st ill at this
stage, which effect ively means the majority of maintenance people. The prospect
of developing suitable maintenance cont rol st rategies and policies from a standing
start is daunt ing. There are many quest ions such as how much will it cost , where
will the resources come from and how will we cope?
Well, here’s a surprise, the t ruth is that there is not really a lot to it and I would
suggest the following simplified, non-scient ific approach. I won’t show you any
pie charts or fancy graphs and there will be no more three let ter acronyms but it
is a realist ic, effect ive plan and its low cost puts it within the reach of all small

Step one - Select a low - cost CMMS
This will involve spending some money because your CMMS, (Computerised
Maintenance Management System) , with its equipment register will arguably be
the most important component in this process. The good news is that low cost ,
Access based systems are now available from a couple of hundred pounds/ dollars
upwards. I f you have $1,000 or £600 to spend you should be able to find a single
user system that will more than meet your requirements. I f you need informat ion
on CMMS select ion you will find all you need to know on the Internet . Just search
for something like "CMMS" or "CMMS software select ion" and you will get many

Step two - Develop your equipment register
Maintaining an equipment register - a list of all of your maintainable equipment -
is a necessity. At the lowest level this may only hold details of your equipment
and its locat ion but most CMMS applicat ions provide space to store all sorts of
equipment details. These may include make, model, serial number, equipment
history, linked spares, linked drawings, etc. You can decide for yourself what
informat ion you want to record. I f you are lucky you may already have this on a
spreadsheet or database.
I f you have lots of equipment you may want to consider developing a user
friendly asset numbering system. These are not hard to create, e.g. FAPACK03
could represent the final assembly area (FA) , packaging machine (PACK) number
three. You can develop this to meet your needs.

Step three - develop your first Planned Maintenance ( PM) schedule
Clearly PM schedules are best when they are based on equipment history but you
probably won’t have any history available. I f you don’t have it your past
experience should be able to let you determine which equipment really must be
on your PM schedule. The init ial schedule will therefore be based on your
familiarity with your own equipment but the PM frequencies that you choose
init ially should be considered to be no more than an educated guess. Where
pract ical, you may also want to consider the use of metered maintenance that is
based on runt ime or cycle t ime as opposed to a fixed t ime period.

Step four - Put a good, ad hoc work reporting system in place
Maintenance can be broadly classified as planned or unplanned where unplanned
is breakdown or react ive work. Before a proper maintenance plan is in place the
rat io of unplanned maintenance versus planned maintenance will be high,
perhaps as much as 95% to 5% or even more. Your aim must be to reduce this
rat io to a more sat isfactory level. To do this you must int roduce an effect ive work
request system that captures the details of all ad hoc work that is being done.
One way to do this is to refuse to accept any work requests unless they are
formally requested through the CMMS. The details of these j obs will then be
captured and included in your equipment history.

Step five - Use the maintenance history to fine tune the Schedule
As t ime passes and equipment history starts to be collected in the CMMS system
you can use it to ident ify the equipment whose performance is causing disrupt ion
and downt ime. You can then opt imise the PM work that is taking place in an effort
to minimise this. The CMMS must be capable of producing the specific report s
that can ident ify your improvement areas. For example, if you are in a product ion
environment and reduct ion of downt ime is a problem a downt ime " top ten" report
will be important .

Step six - Move f rom PM rout ines to planned inspect ions.
One of the dangers of int roducing PM rout ines is that after some t ime it can
become generally accepted that they absolutely must be done within the chosen
period. This period was probably chosen by the guesst imate method ment ioned in
step three above and it may not be the opt imum interval. For example a monthly
maintenance rout ine can often be scheduled on plant or machinery that may only
have been used for a week or two during the previous month. PM periodicity is
therefore something that must be reviewed regularly.

You can use your developing equipment history to analyse the PM work that is
taking place and ask yourself what it is achieving. Look at the likely failures that
could occur on the equipment and t ry to put in place inspect ion rout ines to
monitor equipment condit ion

With more t ime, and a greater understanding of the problems that are occurring,
you should be able to drop many of your PM rout ines in favour of planned
maintenance inspect ions. These will give you an indicat ion of when a rout ine
really needs to be car ried out as opposed to doing it blindly, on a calendar based

The advantage of inspect ions is that many of them can be done quickly, while the
equipment is st ill running (subject of course to normal safety regulat ions.) This is
basic condit ion monitoring or condit ion based maintenance* and even at this
grass root s level it can be very effect ive. I t can be further developed with the use
of low-cost , portable condit ion monitoring tools such as temperature and
vibrat ion measuring equipment .

What does all this cost?
The above scenario is within the reach of almost all maintenance depar tments. At
this stage there is no need to throw money at the problem. You can do it for as
lit t le as £1K but if you can afford £5K you could get yourself a pret ty useful CMMS
system. All you really need is the t ime and the mot ivat ion. I f you do it right you
will end up with more t ime on your hands for analysis and predict ion of problems
as opposed to react ing to them. I f you follow the above rules your returns will be
much greater than your investment .

How long does all this take?
I t cannot be done overnight . There is a significant amount of work involved and it
depends on the resources that you can allocate to it . That said, a small company
could put a CMMS in place in a couple of weeks and if you already have an
equipment register and maintenance procedures this will make it easier .
Gathering equipment history is a different story and it will be a few months
before you have any significant data available. One year down the line you should
be able to measure significant performance improvements.

* Condit ion Monitor ing ( CM) - a maintenance process where the condit ion of
equipment is
monitored for ear ly signs of impending failure including overheat ing and changes in
vibrat ion pat terns. Equipment can be monitored using sophist icated inst rumentat ion or
the human senses. Where inst rumentat ion is used actual limits can be imposed to t r
igger maintenance act ivity. Condit ion Monitor ing (CM) , Predict ive Maintenance
(PdM) and Condit ion Based Maintenance (CBM) are other terms used to descr ibe this
(Definit ion by Bryan Weir of Perspect ive CMMS)


and Control


The management and control of maintenance activities are equally important to
performing maintenance. Maintenance management may be described as the func-
tion of providing policy guidance for maintenance activities, in addition to exercising
technical and management control of maintenance programs. Generally, as the size
of the maintenance activity and group increases, the need for better management
and control become essential.
In the past, the typical size of a maintenance group in a manufacturing estab-
lishment varied from 5 to 10% of the operating force. Today, the proportional size
of the maintenance effort compared to the operating group has increased signifi-
cantly, and this increase is expected to continue. The prime factor behind this trend
is the tendency in industry to increase the mechanization and automation of many
processes. Consequently, this means lesser need for operators but greater requirement
for maintenance personnel.
There are many areas of maintenance management and control. This chapter
presents some of the important ones.

A maintenance department is expected to perform a wide range of functions includ-

• Planning and repairing equipment/facilities to acceptable standards
• Performing preventive maintenance; more specifically, developing and imple-
menting a regularly scheduled work program for the purpose of maintain-
ing satisfactory equipment/facility operation as well as preventing major
• Preparing realistic budgets that detail maintenance personnel and material
• Managing inventory to ensure that parts/materials necessary to conduct
maintenance tasks are readily available
• Keeping records on equipment, services, etc.

©2002 CRC Press LLC

• Developing effective approaches to monitor the activities of maintenance
• Developing effective techniques for keeping operations personnel, upper-level
management, and other concerned groups aware of maintenance activities
• Training maintenance staff and other concerned individuals to improve their
skills and perform effectively
• Reviewing plans for new facilities, installation of new equipment, etc.
• Implementing methods to improve workplace safety and developing safety
education-related programs for maintenance staff
• Developing contract specifications and inspecting work performed by
contractors to ensure compliance with contractual requirements

Many factors determine the place of maintenance in the plant organization including
size, complexity, and product produced. The four guidelines useful in planning a
maintenance organization are: establish reasonably clear division of authority with
minimal overlap, optimize number of persons reporting to an individual, fit the
organization to the personalities involved, and keep vertical lines of authority and
responsibility as short as possible.
One of the first considerations in planning a maintenance organization is to decide
whether it is advantageous to have a centralized or decentralized maintenance function.
Generally, centralized maintenance serves well in small- and medium-sized enterprises
housed in one structure, or service buildings located in an immediate geographic area.
Some of the benefits and drawbacks of centralized maintenance are as follows:


More efficient compared to decentralized maintenance
Fewer maintenance personnel required
More effective line supervision
Greater use of special equipment and specialized maintenance persons
Permits procurement of more modern facilities
Generally allows more effective on-the-job training


• Requires more time getting to and from the work area or job
• No one individual becomes totally familiar with complex hardware or
• More difficult supervision because of remoteness of maintenance site from
the centralized headquarters
• Higher transportation cost due to remote maintenance work

In the case of decentralized maintenance, a maintenance group is assigned to a
particular area or unit. Some important reasons for the decentralized maintenance
are to reduce travel time to and from maintenance jobs, a spirit of cooperation
between production and maintenance workers, usually closer supervision, and higher

©2002 CRC Press LLC

chances for maintenance personnel to become familiar with sophisticated equipment
or facilities.
Past experience indicates that in large plants a combination of centralized and
decentralized maintenance normally works best. The main reason is that the benefits
of both the systems can be achieved with essentially a low number of drawbacks.
Nonetheless, no one particular type of maintenance organization is useful for all
types of enterprises.


Improving a maintenance management program is a continuous process that requires
progressive attitudes and active involvement. A nine-step approach for managing a
maintenance program effectively is presented below:

• Identify existing deficiencies. This can be accomplished through interviews
with maintenance personnel and by examining in-house performance indi-
• Set maintenance goals. These goals take into consideration existing defi-
ciencies and identify targets for improvement.
• Establish priorities. List maintenance projects in order of savings or merit.
• Establish performance measurement parameters. Develop a quantifiable
measurement for each set goal, for example, number of jobs completed
per week and percentage of cost on repair.
• Establish short- and long-range plans. The short-range plan focuses on
high-priority goals, usually within a one-year period. The long-range plan
is more strategic in nature and identifies important goals to be reached
within three to five years.
• Document both long- and short-range plans and forward copies to all
concerned individuals.
• Implement plan.
• Report status. Preparing a brief report periodically, say semi-annually,
and forward it to all involved individuals. The report contains for each
objective identified in the short-range plan information on actual or poten-
tial slippage of the schedule and associated causes.
• Examine progress annually. Review progress at the end of each year with
respect to stated goals. Develop a new short-range plan for the following year
by considering the goals identified in the long-range plan and adjustments
made to the previous year’s planned schedule, resources, costs, and so on.

Over the years many maintenance management principles have been developed.
Table 3.1 presents six critical maintenance management principles. These principles,

©2002 CRC Press LLC

Important Maintenance Management Principles


Maximum productivity results when each
involved person in an organization has
a defined task to perform in a definitive
way and a definite time.
Schedule control points effectively.

Measurement comes before control.

The customer service relationship is the
basis of an effective maintenance

Job control depends on definite,
individual responsibility for each
activity during the life span of a work

Brief Description

This principle of scientific management
formulated by Frederick W. Taylor in the late
nineteenth century remains an important factor
in management.
Schedule control points at intervals such that
the problems are detected in time, thus the
scheduled completion of the job is not delayed.
When an individual is given a definitive task to
be accomplished using a good representative
approach in a specified time, he/she becomes
aware of management expectations. Control
starts when managing supervisors compare the
results against set goals.
A good maintenance service is an important
factor in maintaining facilities at an expected
level effectively. The team approach fostered by
the organizational setup is crucial to consistent,
active control of maintenance activity.
It is the responsibility of the maintenance
department to develop, implement, and provide
operating support for the planning and
scheduling of maintenance work. It is the
responsibility of the supervisory individuals to
ensure proper and complete use of the system
within their sphere of control.
Most tasks require only one individual.

The optimal crew size is the minimum
number that can perform an assigned
task effectively.

if applied on a regular basis, can help make a maintenance department productive
and successful.
The U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration conducted a study
on maintenance management-related matters and formulated the following ten
questions for maintenance managers to self-evaluate their maintenance effort:

1. Are you aware of how your craftpersons spend their time; i.e., travel, delays,
2. Are you aware of what facility/equipment and activity consume most of
the maintenance money?
3. Are you aware if the craftpersons use proper tools and methods to perform
their tasks?

©2002 CRC Press LLC

4. Have you balanced your spare parts inventory with respect to carrying
cost vs. anticipated downtime losses?
5. With respect to job costs, are you in a position to compare the “should”
with the “what”?
6. Do you ensure that maintainability factors are considered properly during
the design of new or modified facilities/equipment?
7. Are you aware of how much time your foreman spends at the desk and
at the job site?
8. Do you have an effective base to perform productivity measurements, and
is productivity improving?
9. Are you aware of whether safety practices are being followed?
10. Are you providing the craftpersons with correct quality and quantity of
material when and where they need it?

If an unqualified “yes” is the answer to each of the above questions, then your
maintenance program is on a sound footing to meet organizational objectives. Other-
wise, appropriate corrective measures are required.


There are many elements of effective maintenance management whose effectiveness
is the key to the overall success of the maintenance activity. Many of these elements
are described below.


A maintenance policy is one of the most important elements of effective maintenance
management. It is essential for continuity of operations and a clear understanding
of the maintenance management program, regardless of the size of a maintenance
organization. Usually, maintenance organizations have manuals containing items such
as policies, programs, objectives, responsibilities, and authorities for all levels of super-
vision, reporting requirements, useful methods and techniques, and performance
measurement indices. Lacking such documentation, i.e., a policy manual, a policy
document must be developed containing all essential policy information.


Past experience indicates that, on average, material costs account for approximately
30 to 40% of total direct maintenance costs. Efficient utilization of personnel
depends largely on effectiveness in material coordination. Material problems can
lead to false starts, excess travel time, delays, unmet due dates, etc. Steps such as
job planning, coordinating with purchasing, coordinating with stores, coordination
of issuance of materials, and reviewing the completed job can help reduce material-
related problems.

©2002 CRC Press LLC

Deciding whether to keep spares in storage is one of the most important problems
of material control. The subject of inventory control is discussed in detail in Chapter 7.


A work order authorizes and directs an individual or a group to perform a given
task. A well-defined work order system should cover all the maintenance jobs
requested and accomplished, whether repetitive or one-time jobs. The work order
system is useful for management in controlling costs and evaluating job performance.
Although the type and size of the work order can vary from one maintenance
organization to another, a work order should at least contain information such as
requested and planned completion dates, work description and its reasons, planned
start date, labor and material costs, item or items to be affected, work category
(preventive maintenance, repair, installation, etc.), and appropriate approval signatures.


Equipment records play a critical role in effectiveness and efficiency of the main-
tenance organization. Usually, equipment records are grouped under four classifi-
cations: maintenance work performed, maintenance cost, inventory, and files. The
maintenance work performed category contains chronological documentation of all
repairs and preventive maintenance (PM) performed during the item’s service life
to date. The maintenance cost category contains historical profiles and accumula-
tions of labor and material costs by item. Usually, information on inventory is
provided by the stores or accounting department. The inventory category contains
information such as property number, size and type, procurement cost, date manu-
factured or acquired, manufacturer, and location of the equipment/item. The files
category includes operating and service manuals, warranties, drawings, and so on.
Equipment records are useful when procuring new items/equipment to determine
operating performance trends, troubleshooting breakdowns, making replacement or
modification decisions, investigating incidents, identifying areas of concern, performing
reliability and maintainability studies, and conducting life cycle cost and design studies.



The basic purpose of performing PM is to keep facility/equipment in satisfactory
condition through inspection and correction of early-stage deficiencies. Three prin-
ciple factors shape the requirement and scope of the PM effort: process reliability,
economics, and standards compliance.
A major proportion of a maintenance organization’s effort is spent on corrective
maintenance (CM). Thus, CM is an important factor in the effectiveness of main-
tenance organization. Both PM and CM are described in detail in Chapters 4 and 5.


Job planning is an essential element of the effective maintenance management. A
number of tasks may have to be performed prior to commencement of a maintenance
job; for example, procurement of parts, tools, and materials, coordination and delivery




©2002 CRC Press LLC

of parts, tools, and materials, identification of methods and sequencing, coordination
with other departments, and securing safety permits.
Although the degree of planning required may vary with the craft involved and
methods used, past experience indicates that on average one planner is required for
every twenty craftpersons. Strictly speaking, formal planning should cover 100% of
the maintenance workload but emergency jobs and small, straightforward work
assignments are performed in a less formal environment. Thus, in most maintenance
organizations 80 to 85% planning coverage is attainable.
Maintenance scheduling is as important as job planning. Schedule effectiveness
is based on the reliability of the planning function. For large jobs, in particular those
requiring multi-craft coordination, serious consideration must be given to using meth-
ods such as Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) and Critical Path
Method (CPM) to assure effective overall control. The CPM approach is described
in detail later in this chapter.

The amount of backlog within a maintenance organization is one of the determining
factors of maintenance management effectiveness. Identification of backlogs is impor-
tant to balance manpower and workload requirements. Furthermore, decisions con-
cerning overtime, hiring, subcontracting, shop assignments, etc., are largely based on
backlog information. Management makes use of various indices to make backlog-
related decisions.
The determination of job priority in a maintenance organization is necessary
since it is not possible to start every job the day it is requested. In assigning job
priorities, it is important to consider factors such as importance of the item or system,
the type of maintenance, required due dates, and the length of time the job awaiting
scheduling will take.


Successful maintenance organizations regularly measure their performance through
various means. Performance analyses contribute to maintenance department effi-
ciency and are essential to revealing the downtime of equipment, peculiarities in
operational behavior of the concerned organization, developing plans for future
maintenance, and so on. Various types of performance indices for use by the main-
tenance management are discussed later in this chapter.




Two widely used maintenance project control methods are Program Evaluation and
Review Technique (PERT) and Critical Path Method (CPM). The development of
PERT is associated with the U.S. Polaris project to monitor the effort of 250 prime
contractors and 9000 subcontractors. PERT was the result of efforts of a team formed by
the U.S. Navy’s Special Project Office in 1958. Team members included the consulting
firm of Booz, Allen, and Hamilton and the Lockheed Missile System Division.

©2002 CRC Press LLC

The history of CPM can be traced to 1956 when E.I. duPont de Nemours and Co.
used a network model to schedule design and construction activities. The following
year, CPM was used in the construction of a $10 million chemical plant in Louisville,
In maintenance and other projects three important factors of concern are time,
cost, and resource availability. CPM and PERT deal with these factors individually
and in combination.
PERT and CPM are similar. The major difference between the two is that when
the completion times of activities of the project are uncertain, PERT is used and
with the certainty of completion times, CPM is employed.
The following steps are involved with PERT and CPM:

Break a project into individual jobs or tasks.
Arrange these jobs/tasks into a logical network.
Determine duration time of each job/task.
Develop a schedule.
Identify jobs/tasks that control the completion of project.
Redistribute resources or funds to improve schedule.

The following sections present a formula to estimate activity expected duration times
and CPM in detail.


The PERT scheme calls for three estimates of activity duration time using the following
formula to calculate the final time:

OT + 4 ( MT ) + PT
T a = --------------------------------------------


Ta = activity expected duration time,
OT = optimistic or minimum time an activity will require for completion,
PT = pessimistic or maximum time an activity will require for completion,
MT = most likely time an activity will require for completion. This is the time
used for CPM activities.

Equation (3.1) is based on Beta distribution.

Example 3.1

Assume that we have the following time estimates to accomplish an activity:
• OT = 55 days
• PT = 80 days
• MT = 60 days

Calculate the activity expected duration time.


©2002 CRC Press LLC

Substituting the given data into Eq. (3.1), we get

55 + 4 ( 60 ) + 80
T a = -------------------------------------- = 62.5 days

The expected duration time for the activity is 62.5 days.


Four symbols used to construct a CPM network are shown in Fig. 3.1. The circle
denotes an event. Specifically, it represents an unambiguous point in the life of a
project. An event could be the start or completion of an activity or activities, and
usually the events are labeled by number. A circle shown with three divisions in
Fig. 3.1(b) is also denotes an event. Its top half labels the event with a number, and
the bottom portions indicate latest event time (LET) and earliest event time (EET).
LET may be described as the latest time in which an event can be reached without
delaying project completion. EET is the earliest time in which an activity can be
accomplished or an event could be reached.
The continuous arrow represents an activity that consumes time, money, and
manpower. This arrow always starts at a circle and ends at a circle. The dotted arrow
denotes a dummy activity or a restraint. Specifically, this is an imaginary activity
that does not consume time, money, or manpower. Figure 3.2 depicts an application
of a dummy activity. It shows that activities L and M must be accomplished before
activity N can start. However, only activity M must be completed prior to starting
activity O.