Building an Effective Electrical Maintenance Program

By North Central Electric,

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electrical maintenance Electrical control and distribution systems are vital, complex investments that require efficient electrical maintenance to keep them running smoothly throughout their lifespan. While mechanical assets often receive more attention, it’s important to manage and maintain the electrical components as well. If you relate to the following scenarios, it’s time for improvement:

  • Production schedules do not or cannot account for downtime and shutdowns.
  • You’ve noticed documented electrical tasks are few and far between, and are often reactive rather than proactive.
  • Lack of organized electrical maintenance spares in common areas.
  • Insufficient or no electrical planners, and those that are there are mainly focused on mechanical maintenance.
  • Absence of standardized electrical drawings, relying on hand-drawn sketches.
  • There’s a lack of centralized electrical management of important technical information.
  • Limited or no bills-of-material (BOMs) for electrical equipment.
  • Overreliance on a run-to-failure strategy for electrical equipment.
  • Inadequate forward planning for operational security, let alone enhancement. 
  • Underutilization of the computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) for recording failure history.
  • Knowledge gap among electricians regarding technological advancements.

If you’ve noticed some of these concerns, your maintenance plans have room for improvement. The first step is to gather information and start to get others on board. You’ll make little to no progress by yourself, so getting everyone on the same page is vital. 

Working Together

  • Acknowledge your current situation and recognize the need for improvement. This step is vital but avoid blame. 
  • Develop a plan for your preventative maintenance program, outlining goals and timelines.
  • Get support from the electrical work group and incorporate their ideas into the plan. They know the plant best, and their input will include valuable information.
  • Gain management support by presenting your plan’s benefits and potential gains. Make sure to include the expected costs and ROI for your plan so you get access to the necessary resources.

Put it Together

Once you have everything together and the support you need from upper management, it’s time to start working out the details. This is the part of the plan where you start working out individual issues and get a plan together to tackle them. 

  • Allocate resources effectively for implementing necessary changes.
  • Understand the hierarchy of electrical assets and prioritize maintenance efforts.
  • Gather historical failure data from the CMMS and experienced personnel. Consolidate it into one CMMS so everyone has easy access to it.
  • Identify potential causes of failure through tools like failure modes and effects analysis.
  • Develop preventive maintenance inspections and task lists targeting known failure modes.
  • Ensure strategy documents are captured in the CMMS and scheduled during planned downtime.
  • Initiate the process of creating bills-of-material (BOMs) for easy identification and ordering of materials.
  • Update and digitize electrical schematics and documentation.
  • Implement a training matrix to enhance the skills and knowledge of electrical personnel.
  • Establish a standard operating procedure (SOP) for effectively managing the workload and prioritizing tasks.
  • Close the improvement loop by incorporating feedback and continuously refining the program.

Sustained, regular improvement requires both effective systems of management and active, engaged people. Building an efficient and reliable electrical maintenance program is a constant work in progress. If this is something you’re new to or if you’re wondering where to get started, check out the electrical services offered at North Central Electric. As a leading electrical services provider, we’re able to get you started and offer quality assurance and control. Give us a call today at (215) 945-7632.