Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 16

R&M STRATEGIES

reliable service, as required. Without reliability, business risks
increase, asset-performance levels decrease, and costs escalate.

So different, but so similar

canceled surgeries, reallocation of patients to other hospitals,
and even possible litigation and damage to reputation.
The process of refining crude oil into consumer fuels
and other products entails several chemical-process steps
that generate enormous amounts of heat and pressure. The
cooling-water system, which is associated with a cooling
tower, helps control these extreme temperatures and pressures
by transferring heat from hot process fluids to the cooling
system. Much like the HVAC system, the cooling tower
is a critical asset that requires reliable operation. Unless it
performs reliably, product delivery, product quality, energy
consumption, the environment, and employee safety can be
severely compromised.
Have the parallels between these
different types of organizations become
clearer?

Assets, systems, procedures, departments, and workers exist
to produce a product or service, regardless of organization
type. In the healthcare sector, the product is patient experience. Within amusement, entertainment, and sports markets,
it is fan/customer experience. Within the travel industry,
it's passenger experience. Within the education system, the
deliverable is student experience. And, within manufacturing,
the product is ultimately consumer experience.
Consider, for example, two starkly different environments:
a healthcare operation and a refinery. On
the exterior, a healthcare organization,
such as a hospital, looks very different
Assets, systems,
from an oil-and-gas refinery. Hospitals
consist, primarily, of aesthetically appealing
Maintenance 101
procedures,
buildings and grounds while oil refineries
A hospital HVAC system and a refinery
consist of tanks, piping, and other induscooling tower incorporate mechanical,
departments, and
trial-looking structures. As we enter these
electronic-control, transmission, and
workers exist to
operations, noticeable differences still exist.
power systems, all of which need to be
Inside the hospital, we observe doctors,
maintained properly. To achieve this,
produce a product or facility-maintenance departments and
nurses, patients, and other healthcare
professionals at work. At the refinery, we
their factory-maintenance counterparts
service, regardless of
see operators, crafts, engineers, and other
need to ensure that the following founorganization type.
industry specialists performing their duties.
dational methods are established and
One facility encompasses exam, emergency,
functioning well. Think of these methods
and operating rooms, labs, registration
as "focusing on the fundamentals" or "the
desks, and waiting areas, while the other encompasses control
blocking and tackling" of maintenance:
rooms, repair facilities, material storage areas, and production
■ Asset-care program. Most assets within any organizaequipment and environments.
tion require some level of preventive care. This includes
Once we look beyond the exterior differences, though,
routine cleaning, lubrication, inspection, and adjustment
similarities become more noticeable. Despite one organization
to maintain reliable operation which invariably includes
focusing on patient health and the other on refining crude
time-based and condition-based maintenance. This
oil, both share a long list of common business practices, have
should all be documented and monitored through the
comparable organizational structures, and utilize physical
maintenance strategy program.
assets. Both are delivering a product, and both require reliable,
■ Work-management system. The work-management
well-maintained equipment to do it.
system encompasses the framework, infrastructure,
Healthcare operations, such as hospitals, fall under the
processes, and resources needed to manage asset-care
category of facilities maintenance, or facility management,
activities, reactive or proactive. It provides the means to
while refineries in the oil-and-gas industry fall under the
identify, prioritize, perform, document, and report work.
factory-maintenance category. Despite the differences in form,
■ Planning and scheduling function. The planning and
fit, and function, these operations are very much alike when it
scheduling function defines the what, how, who, and
comes to sustaining maintenance requirements. After all, the
when for proactive-maintenance work activities. The
maintenance processes and practices to ensure that the HVAC
collective effort of planning and scheduling aims to
system in a hospital is operational and reliable are similar to
minimize asset downtime, improve workforce efficiency
the efforts required to ensure the reliability and operation of a
and, reduce maintenance-induced failures.
refinery's cooling system.
■ Stores (MRO) inventory-management function. To
The HVAC system in a hospital's operating room requires
effectively fulfill its mission, the maintenance functhe utmost care and reliability. Temperatures and airflow must
tion requires reliable and prompt material support. A
be regulated within specific parameters throughout the entire
proficiently managed MRO (maintenance, repair, and
surgical procedure to help prevent infection and promote
operations) inventory storeroom contributes to improved
healing of a patient. If the HVAC system is not working
equipment reliability, workforce efficiency, and cost
reliably, entire operating suites can be shut down, resulting in
control.

16 |

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

MAY 2017



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

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