Increasing the reliability of a system doesn't necessarily mean spending big bucks or relying on high technology.

Anyone in an organization can carry out maintenance improvement. The mission of the maintenance department is to reduce the need for maintenance. The department should keep getting better and better at maintaining the building, factory or fleet it is responsible for.

A story from James, a maintenance professional at the National Institutes of Health, shows how you can solve many problems by slowing down to look closely.

For years, James had been getting 50 calls a month to replace bent door hinges. A carpenter was more or less permanently assigned to the job.

Walking through the building one day, James noticed that someone had jammed a wooden wedge between the door and the jamb to hold the door open. He quickly realized the cause of the bent hinges.

His fix included installing door holders (where codes allowed) and placards saying that the doors must be kept closed (where codes required). The new failure rate plummeted to 5 calls per month. The savings almost totally free a carpenter for other work.

Executive Summary

The mission of the maintenance department and anyone in the organization to perform maintenance improvement is to decrease the need for maintenance. They should get better and better at maintaining the building, factory or fleet that they are responsible for. The maintenance professionals should take their time and look at things more closely and make the necessary changes in equipment whenever required. This will help to reduce the failure rate and also, increase the savings.