Zero Based Maintenance

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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In order to obtain an accurate idea of the realities of the cost of modern maintenance, many companies are using the zero based maintenance approach. Until recently, it was common for a company's maintenance budget to be based on values such as the RAV of maintained equipment--a number that has little to do with the changing costs of maintenance. Although, from a budgetary standpoint, it makes sense to allot maintenance funding as a function of the replacement value, the increasing complexity of assets and operational systems means that maintenance is becoming a business aspect that has many direct effects on all other aspects of a business.

In those companies, there may be no method for determining exactly what resources (including funds, personnel, or skill sets) are needed to perform modern maintenance. Since the 1980s, though, revision has been sweeping the nation's businesses. An increasing number of businesses are using zero based maintenance budgeting, RCM, Six Sigma maintenance, and other techniques that require completely restructuring traditional maintenance practices.

How RCM Can Work with Zero Based Maintenance Strategies

In order to determine the actual number and kinds of resources needed for a maintenance department, users of RCM look first at what needs to be maintained. The functionality of a physical asset--it's output, range, speed, capacity, etc.--is identified and targeted as the focus of maintenance procedures. In the chain of production, insuring that an asset will function as desired is necessary to continued production and high performance.

Once the function is identified and targeted, teams can begin to design a new maintenance strategy. The teams may also examine what resources are required and what kind of training should be implemented. The resulting zero based maintenance and budget package should be able to insure performance that meets or exceeds standards in all aspects of the business.

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