Spend your maintenance budget where it matters: condition-based maintenance

How to prevent deterioration of your building portfolio? How to ensure uptime of your technical installations? And how to optimize spending of the available maintenance budget?

The traditional answer is preventive maintenance planning. But there is a drawback to this approach. Assets can have different maintenance needs depending on their usage conditions or life cycle phase. When you schedule preventive maintenance at predefined intervals (time or usage based), you may therefore be doing too little (risk of poor performance, downtime and consequential loss) or too much maintenance (high cost).

“That’s all very well”, you may be thinking, “but how do I know how much is enough?”

Condition-Assessment

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Performance monitoring

Consider condition-based maintenance: CBM is a maintenance strategy that uses the actual condition of an asset to decide what maintenance has to be done.

When applying a CBM concept, maintenance is performed only when needed, i.e. when indicators show that asset performance is decreasing or that an installation is about to fail (predictive maintenance). Performance indicators may include data from visual inspections, scheduled tests, metering (e.g. utilities consumption) and connected sensors. The condition data can be captured at specific intervals or in real-time.

Ideally condition-based maintenance will allow the maintenance personnel to do only the right things on the right installations, minimizing spare parts cost, system downtime and time spent on maintenance.

But obviously there is also a price tag attached to performance monitoring and to turning measured data into actionable knowledge. So you have to weigh costs against potential benefits. And also take into account regulatory compliance which often requires time-based inspection / maintenance interventions.

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Technical maintenance: risk assessment

In the case of technical installations, the maintenance concept is best based on a risk matrix. Risk assessment requires calculation of two components of risk: the magnitude of the potential loss (i.e. the negative impact of malfunction) and the probability that the loss will occur. If asset performance is insufficient (i.e. the risk is higher than what the organization is prepared to accept), a root cause analysis can be performed in order to reach a decision (adapted maintenance programme or replacement / modification of the asset).

Building maintenance: condition assessment and prioritization

Buildings have longer maintenance cycles and inspection intervals can therefore be longer too. The maintenance concept is best based on a condition assessment (baseline measurement), in combination with a priority matrix and long-term vision on building usage. This can be followed by periodic condition assessments on selected assets, taking into account asset life cycles.

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Objectively assess what you have

But whatever the context, developing a maintenance concept starts with knowing your assets, their criticality for your organization and their current condition. And to assess asset condition objectively, an independent norm-driven methodology is required.

For condition assessments of buildings and technical installations, the leading norm is NEN 2767. During an inspection round, every asset is visually inspected by a certified inspector and – depending on different parameters – gets a condition score on a 6-point scale. The effectiveness of inspections can be enabled with mobile applications (such as myMCS Condition Assessment) on smartphones or tablets.

The information gathered during the condition assessment can then be used to:

  • Gain a clear insight into the current state of assets and their deficiencies
  • Perform the right maintenance interventions on the right assets
  • Prioritize critical assets to obtain the required condition score more quickly
  • Reduce maintenance cost of buildings with lower priority
  • Develop a realistic multi-year maintenance plan
  • Improve budget transparency and predictability
  • Draft a technical specification with KPIs / SLAs for professional outsourcing of maintenance services

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