When we talk about quality in a service, we refer to the customer’s satisfaction with the product or service and its ability to meet their needs. When we talk about quality in maintenance, we define it as: maximum availability at minimum cost.
The above concept covers everything related to the maintenance process in a company. It includes manpower, materials, technical resources and work methods.
There are four aspects of labor: quantity, organization, qualification and performance. Regarding the quantity of manpower, the maintenance departments must have the quantity proportional to the quantity of machines or equipment of the company.
This quantity must be balanced and must allow the machines to be attended when they have a failure in the right time. This does not mean that there should be personnel waiting for a machine to fail; all technicians should have a job to do.
The organization of manpower has a direct relationship to quantity. An organized department defines functions for all its members. Every person has a responsibility and a defined position.
A quality maintenance department is one in which all its personnel is qualified and trained to perform the maintenance tasks required by the company. All the previous aspects will make the performance of the department rise.
The relationship between materials and quality in maintenance is direct. Having excellent quality materials influences maintenance results. However, having quality materials implies good management of warehouse and purchasing areas.
These are some of the aspects to have excellent quality in spare parts:
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- Well-defined stock of materials.
- Systematization in the reception, verification and delivery of materials.
- Machine manuals with a list of parts to be changed and their procedures.
- Procedures for storage, handling and conservation of materials.
All the technical resources used to perform maintenance reflect the quality of the results. Some technical resources commonly used in maintenance are tools, workshops, specialized measuring equipment, software for maintenance management.
It must be ensured that no necessary resource is missing at the time of intervening a machine. And that these resources are in good condition and well configured. It is vital that the maintenance software has the parameters well established and updated.
Quality applied to maintenance is traditionally associated with procedures and ways of documenting the respective tasks. There are other aspects that comprise the work system of the maintenance department.
This system must identify the importance of the machines that make up the company; this identification is done through a criticality analysis.
The criticality analysis yields results that give an orientation to the maintenance plan, the management model and the priority assignment system in case of failure of any machine.
In quality maintenance, all tasks are properly documented. This documentation describes in detail how the tasks are performed step by step, the precautions and the final checks to consider the task completed.
Finally, it must be established how maintenance scheduling is performed, by whom and how work orders are created and closed.
As you can see, the quality in maintenance is the one that obtains the results at the service level and at the budget level. And it is directly related to all levels of the department.
To reach it, you must have an organization and discipline over time, by all members of the department.