Maintenance Technology April 2017 - 27

WORKFORCE STRATEGIES
and delivering them to where they will
be used. That time can be accurately
measured and a cost assigned simply
by taking the number of total hours
consumed by the activity and multiplying
by the hourly rate.
Additionally, with maintenance-work
sampling, unique factors that affect
maintenance wrench time can often be
identified. For instance, if inadequate
means of communication exist between a
work group and the supervisor, valuable
time can be wasted tracking each other
down. Radios or mobile phones, can
solve this problem.
The accompanying charts (Figs. 1
and 2 on p. 24) are based on a real-world
case study where work sampling was
leveraged to identify and eliminate
maintenance-workforce inefficiencies.
Figure 1 depicts a decline in non-valueadded activities, while Fig. 2 depicts an
increase in value-added activities.
As these charts show, initial measurement of the site's maintenance-workforce
wrench-time revealed a mere 28%
value-added work (wrench time).
Through the systematic reduction and/
or elimination of non-value-added
activities over the course of three years,
the wrench time rose to 74%. What really
matters here, however, is the recovery of
the value of time that was being wasted,
as shown in Table I. (Efficiency gains can
also be measured in terms of full-timeequivalents, as shown in Table II.)
As part of its development and
publication of standard reliability and
maintenance metrics, the Society for
Maintenance and Reliability Professionals
(SMRP, Atlanta, smrp.org) published its
work-management metric, 5.6.1 Wrench
Time, in 2009. The stated objective of
this metric is "to identify opportunities to
increase productivity by qualifying and
quantifying the activities of maintenance
craft workers."
The Society also published the SMRP
Guide to Maintenance Work Sampling,
in 2012. As one of three co-authors, I
can state definitively that the intent of
this publication was to educate younger
reliability and maintenance professionals
who had not been exposed to maintenance-work sampling. Although adop-

APRIL 2017

tion has been slow, several companies
are beginning to include this sampling
methodology as a valued component
in their reliability and maintenance tool
kits. Ironically, sites are often introduced
to maintenance-work sampling by
maintenance contractors who want to
demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of the skilled maintenance-craft
personnel they provide.
(Editor's note: SMRP's Guide to Maintenance Work Sampling is a simple "how
to" document that includes statistical
tables designed to help users understand
the correlation of the confidence level
associated with a number of observations. The guide can be purchased for a
small fee at SMRP.org. The co-authors
donated their time to the development
and publication of this document and
receive no royalties from its sale.)

Last words
While it might be enticing to simply
reduce the number of skilled maintenance craft workers on site as wrench
time increases, a more prudent path
may be to redeploy resources and invest
in failure-prevention activities and/or
infrastructure.
Increased wrench time may also
provide an opportunity to reduce
overtime as resources become available
and/or to reduce the reliance upon
third-party maintenance resources.
With today's critical shortage of skilled
maintenance workers, however, displaced
workers would likely be able to secure
employment elsewhere.
In summary, maintenance wrench
time plays a significant role in measuring
efficient utilization of skilled maintenance-craft personnel. This valuable
metric can be used by any manufacturing
operation to ensure that it is realizing the
greatest return possible from its investment in human capital. MT
Al Poling, CMRP, has more than 36
years of reliability and maintenance
experience in the process industries.
He served as technical director for the
Society for Maintenance and Reliability
Professionals from 2008 to 2010.
Contact al.poling@ramanalytics.net.

MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 27


http://www.SMRP.org http://www.smrp.org http://www.blacoh.com http://www.MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology April 2017

Maintenance Technology April 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology April 2017 - Cover1
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