An effective structural maintenance strategy is the key to extracting the maximum possible value from structural assets while managing safety and operational risks, allowing maintenance and capital spending to be planned and targeted for maximum effectiveness, and safeguarding against unexpected structural failures.
CWA Engineers Inc. (CWA) regularly assists its clients in developing effective maintenance strategies through its ASSET Reliability Division, a dedicated team of professionals that works closely with maintenance and operations personnel to prolong the service life and enable the safe operation of equipment and infrastructure.
CWA grounds its strategies in an understanding that structural service life ultimately determines asset service life, and that effective structural maintenance is good for safety, good for operating cost and efficiency, and good for the environment. Its strategies are based on a predictive or condition-based maintenance strategy that utilizes performance metrics to determine the condition of in-service equipment and identify when the condition merits maintenance or replacement.
Predictive maintenance is the only real option for extracting the maximum value from structural assets. Unlike reactive maintenance, which would require a structure to fail before being replaced, or preventative maintenance, which requires maintenance or replacement on a regular schedule that isn’t tied to the condition of the asset, predictive maintenance allows CWA’s clients to anticipate when maintenance or replacement costs will be required with the confidence that the expenditure is warranted.
The principles of predictive maintenance include:
* well-structured data for integration into a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to enable analysis and trending;
* tailoring inspection deliverables to the need of the audience by producing detailed inspection reports for maintenance personnel and summary reports for managers; and
* the ability to keep track of repairs as they are made, as well as outstanding items.
Structured data collection starts with disciplined inspection practices. CWA uses an in-house proprietary smartphone application that enforces data structure at the point of collection and requires the selection of the asset and the area of each finding, allowing automated trending and analysis. Inspection data is uploaded to the cloud where software can organize it, analyse it, and output the information into a format that is tailored to the party using it.
By conducting regular, thorough inspections and collecting structured data, CWA is able to develop asset inventories that allow their clients to make informed decisions regarding the investment of maintenance resources and capital. The asset inventories include heat maps designed to visually indicate the areas that are in the greatest need of attention.
Using the asset inventory, it is easy to identify high-level information such as the assets with the highest number of high-priority findings and the number of findings that will eventually increase in priority if they are not addressed.
The asset inventory can also be used on a smaller scale, enabling CWA’s clients to make informed decisions regarding the allocation of resources for individual assets or within components of individual assets.
In conjunction with the asset inventories, CWA produces detailed inspection reports for maintenance planners to enable them to plan, coordinate, and monitor repairs, as well as summary reports for managers and executives that allow them to manage the overall condition of a portfolio of structural assets, monitor the performance of a maintenance system, allocate maintenance budgets and resources, and develop long-term maintenance/capital plans.
Overall, CWA’s maintenance strategies provide their clients with well-structured data and tailored reporting to allow for more informed decision making. Investment and maintenance decisions can be made with full knowledge of the structural condition and requests for capital funding or maintenance spending can be backed up by hard data.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) can be used to measure structural maintenance performance, ultimately allowing CWA’s clients to extract the maximum value from their assets.
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