In Australia, plant maintenance or maintaining any plant with equipment is the single most important thing behind safety in the workplace that there is. There are several philosophies when it comes to maintaining a plant of any type and the equipment that allows it to operate. The choice that the plant manager needs to make is which philosophy makes the most sense for his or her plant.
The decision should be based on what type of industry the plant is involved in and what kind of time the plant has to dedicate to maintaining its equipment. In Australia, plant repairs programs that are involved in an industry that runs year-round will not have an offseason period to perform preventative maintenance as do plants that have a particular season and therefore a slow or off-season to perform said preventative maintenance.
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In this type of program, the plant manager will alternate equipment to be serviced from year to year. The equipment that is due for service in any given year will be inspected by a trained inspector from either inside or outside the company, but this person has to know his/her job very well, if they do not something might get missed.
Equipment maintenance is never an easy task but one that needs and should be taken to heart, only second to its employees, the equipment in a plant is the plant lifeline. If kept running properly the plant operations should run smoothly as silk, if not kept running, could spell disaster for the plant, mainly the plant's bottom line and ultimately its personnel. So plant managers, know your equipment, understand your industry and by all means, keep that equipment running by choosing a maintenance plan and following it.