Maintenance Planning & Management

Downtime is costly. Unscheduled down time is exponentially more costly. Many successful organizations have embraced the concept of “Planned Maintenance” in one form or another. In fact, the U.S. Army uses a concept known as “Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services” (PMCS). An example of checks is checking oil levels, performing routine oil analysis, etc. Examples of services are timing based such as filter changes, battery inspection and verification of crankshaft end clearance, or condition based examples such as replacing zinc anodes, proper torque verification of engine mounting bolts and troubleshooting irregular sounding machinery, etc.

There will come a point where the condition of a component or system will demand that it be repaired or replaced. This is where maintenance planning becomes valuable to the bottom line. Ideally, this would happen at a convenient time for the owner/operator. By executing a Planned Maintenance schedule in advance, it becomes possible to catch a boat when it is off-contract for several days and accomplish your maintenance tasks. Additionally, scheduling multiple maintenance events at the same time will prolong the interval between required yard visits.

A key component to maintenance planning is critical spares. Critical spares are the required parts needed to keep your critical/essential systems fully operational and have a long lead time, sometimes measured in two or three days. These systems are ones that are required to ensure a vessel’s survivability, maintain safe operation, control the vessel, and to ensure safety of onboard personnel.

Not only are critical spares important to planned maintenance, they are equally important to emergency repairs. A good example is shafts and rudders - these have the tendency to get damaged through normal operations. Without spares, it takes 2 days to repair or fabricate new ones, if the materials are available. With a spare, a shaft can be replaced in a day, thus saving 2 days in the shipyard.

Planned maintenance can not only save money but also make money through higher utilization and improved customer relations.