MRO Magazine

Study finds 40% of manufacturing maintenance activities are reactive (November 06, 2002)

Milwaukee, WI -- Nov. 6, 2002 -- Limited personnel and budget are the most common barriers keeping maintenance and...

Health & Safety

November 6, 2002
By MRO Magazine

Milwaukee, WI — Nov. 6, 2002 — Limited personnel and budget are the most common barriers keeping maintenance and reliability departments from implementing comprehensive MRO asset management programs, according to the 2002 Maintenance and Reliability Practices Survey, conducted in May 2002 by Rockwell Automation and Maintenance Technology magazine.

Manufacturing maintenance managers also believe they are spending more than three times as much as they should on reactive maintenance.

The survey includes feedback on the current state of maintenance operations and today’s hottest maintenance issues from 229 maintenance supervisors and managers at manufacturing and industrial companies in the United States. The survey results can be viewed online at the Rockwell Automation Global Manufacturing Solutions web site at

Although most maintenance managers realize that condition-based/predictive maintenance increases system uptime and can positively influence the bottom line, 53 per cent of survey respondents cite limited personnel as the most common barrier to implementing a comprehensive asset management program.


Another 47 per cent cited budgetary restraints as the primary hurdle. The study illustrated that maintenance managers ideally want to allocate available personnel resources toward implementing routine/preventive maintenance (44 per cent of the time) and condition-based/predictive activities (33 per cent of the time). In practice, however, survey respondents said they still spend 40 per cent of their time on reactive activities.

The study also found that equipment maintenance outsourcing still has not gained wide acceptance within the industry. Twenty-three per cent indicated that they outsource instrument maintenance, followed by equipment repair (18 per cent), reliability analysis (15 per cent) and condition monitoring analysis (13 per cent).

“When manufacturers face tightened budgets, often the first reaction is to restrict or cut resources dedicated to long-term maintenance solutions,” said Mike Laszkiewicz, vice-president and general manager, asset management, Rockwell Automation. “Yet manufacturers dealing with the financial pressures to reduce expenses and improve production performance should be looking to the potential long-term financial benefits of outsourced maintenance services.”

Additional highlights of the 2002 Maintenance and Reliability Practices Survey include:

– Health and safety, equipment reliability, and improving plant/facility uptime were the three most important issues currently facing maintenance management.

– According to 36 per cent of the respondents, system uptime is the most dominant performance metric for measuring maintenance and reliability activities, followed by equipment availability, with 18 per cent.

– To justify new equipment expenditures, 45 per cent of respondents factor anticipated productivity improvements into their calculations.

– The most common reasons cited for outsourcing are limited personnel available (74 per cent) and limited skills or experience (58 per cent).

– Success of outsourced programs are most frequently measured by cost savings (62 per cent), overall equipment effectiveness (57 per cent) and improved uptime (57 per cent).