There are considerable differences in the way different companies tackle Effective Maintenance. A company that already has an excellent maintenance system will implement it differently from a company that has been working all-out to meet a high level of demand and has not had the time or resources to put much of a maintenance system in place.
Companies that find themselves in the second situation usually struggle to understand what they should do first. In such a case, the use of a pilot model line is strongly recommended.
The purposes of introducing the activities on a model line are threefold:
- To raise the maintenance engineers’ (trades) awareness of what Effective Maintenance entails
- To educate the Production Department
- To achieve concrete results (fewer failures, etc.)
Also, since it is impractical for all of the maintenance engineers to be involved in the model line activities, a special team should be formed with the numbers available.
The next step is to select the model line. Bearing in mind the purposes listed above, the model line should be selected from the following standpoints:
- How badly the equipment has deteriorated
- The number of machines (the size of the line)
- The importance of the line for production
- The level of skill of the maintenance engineers
- The number of people in the team
- The level of Autonomous Maintenance on the line
Taking these five factors into account, it is important that the maintenance engineers get hands-on experience and treat the model line activities as an essential part of their duties. For this reason, the model line should be selected only after careful consideration of the role and workload of each person in the team.