MRO Magazine

Study finds 40% of manufacturing maintenance activities are reactive (December 01, 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 Maintenan...

December 1, 2002 | By MRO Magazine

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 website 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).


Dofasco Inc. of Hamilton, Ont., has received a 2002 Healthy Workplace Award from the National Quality Institute (NQI) in recognition of the company’s commitment to continuous improvement in employee health, safety and well-being. The award recognizes Canadian organizations that make employee health and well-being an integral and strategic part of the way they do business.

Dofasco’s product lines include hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized, Extragal, Galvalume and tinplate flat rolled steels, as well as tubular products and laser welded blanks.

“From the top down and the bottom up, the health, safety and well-being of people is a deeply ingrained aspect of our corporate culture,” said Don Pether, president and chief operating officer of Dofasco. “We are proud to receive this recognition.”

Organizations considered for a Healthy Workplace Award are judged against the Canadian Healthy Workplace Criteria developed by the National Quality Institute in partnership with Health Canada and health and wellness professionals. The criteria brings together environmental, physical, mental, safety and social issues into a strategic model that helps organizations set goals and manage their wellness programs.

“Employees are the most valuable asset a company can possess, and that is certainly the case at Dofasco,” said Pether. “In addition to our shared responsibility for health, safety and well-being, it is a business advantage to have employees healthy and at work. Our responsibility as an employer is to create conditions where all Dofasco people can achieve and contribute to their full potential, work safely and remain in good physical and mental health.”

“Meeting the criteria set out by the National Quality Institute confirms that we’re moving in the right direction when it comes to employee health, safety and well-being,” says John Macnamara, Dofasco’s general manager of health, safety and loss prevention. “While we’re pleased to receive the award, there’s always more we can do. The award really is a tribute to the ongoing efforts of Dofasco people to make our company a healthy and productive place to work.”


A technical course and a seminar will be key components of the next annual general meeting of the Ontario Chapter of EASA (Electrical Apparatus Service Association), scheduled for Jan. 24-25, 2003, at the Sheraton Centre hotel in downtown Toronto.

Root Cause Failure Analysis is the subject of an EASA course taking place both days. On the afternoon of Jan. 24, S.A. Armstrong is presenting a pump seminar. A trade show, including tabletop exhibits from dozens of suppliers, also takes place on both days.

The annual meeting will be held on the morning of Jan. 25 and will feature EASA’s international chairman, Woody McClure, as keynote speaker. The day concludes with a cocktail reception, dinner and dance.

Table space for the trade show can be reserved by contacting Jim Miller of Brook Crompton North America, tel. 416-675-3844 or by e-mail at Information on the meeting can be obtained from Mike Dupuis, chapter secretary, at 519-969-9660.


More than 150 manufacturers will exhibit electric motors, drives and controls, generators, and other electro-mechanical equipment at the annual convention and exposition of the Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA), taking place in San Francisco, Cal., June 29 to July 2, 2003.

The theme for the 2003 convention is “Get Ahead of the Curve.” The convention program offers numerous technical and sales/management seminars. Typically, the event is strongly attended by EASA’s Canadian members.

EASA is an international trade association based in St. Louis, Missouri, with more than 2,200 electro-mechanical sales and service firms in 59 countries as members. Conference details can be found at the association’s website, or by calling 314-993-2220.


Canada, Eh! is the title of the Power Transmission Distributors Association second Annual Canadian Conference, to be held May 22-24, 2002, at the White Oaks Resort and Spa in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

The event, which is devoted to Canadian industry issues and trends, features a full day of programmed sessions, roundtable and member panel sessions, networking sessions, and optional golf and local tours.

A key speaker will be Dr. Peter Anderson of Anderson Economic Research, Toronto. For details, contact the PTDA at tel. 312-876-9461, fax 312-876-9490, email or visit


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