What does $200 000 000 look like?
If you’re Kok Soo Chon, head of the MH370 Investigation Team, it might look like the cost of the investigation into the tragic disappearance of aircraft MH370 7 years ago – the most expensive investigation in the history of aviation.
The costliness of the investigation has been partially apportioned to the aircraft’s underwater locator beacon (or ULB) – a device which, once activated by water-immersion, emits an ultrasonic pulse every second for a duration of at least 30 days, allowing search vessels to locate the aircraft. During the investigation, it surfaced (no, not the plane) that Malaysia Airlines’ maintenance department had not replaced the locator battery, despite it having expired 2 years prior to the accident. This was allegedly because the part was not included in the company’s maintenance scheduling system.
It is obvious from this case study that routine maintenance – of the control measures we put in place to ensure the precision of our operations, in this scenario – plays a vital role in reducing costs associated with investigating, when things don’t go as planned (which you’ll know, if you’ve lived through 2020/21, happens a lot more than expected). But this isn’t the only way in which routine maintenance can save you time and money.
While we’re on the topic of the importance of scheduled maintenance, and the severity of missed maintenance, here are 4 more reasons why routine maintenance (and an adaptable, easily-understood associated schedule) is essential to your company and its equipment
1. Increased equipment lifespan
Regularly checking moving parts that undergo a lot of wear, and replacing/ repairing these where necessary, can prevent consequential wear of other machine-parts, thereby increasing the machine’s overall lifespan.
2. Prevent opportunity costs associated with machine downtime and other inefficiencies
There are few things more frustrating than being unable to complete a task because of continued breakdowns. By routinely checking parts and replacing/ repairing them when necessary, you avoid unplanned downtime that would occur those parts wear out or break. Furthermore, when your machine is running at a suboptimal level, it is likely that the energy consumption of that machine is not at its most efficient- another unnecessary overhead cost!
3. Prevent expensive repair work
It has been found that up to 60% of controllable operating costs in the manufacturing industry are assigned to maintenance repair work. By routinely checking machines for worn parts, you are able to significantly reduce these costs.
4. Maximised warranty coverage
Having accurate, detailed documentation of your scheduled maintenance activities, demonstrating that your maintenance is up to date, could maximise your warranty coverage, depending on your equipment’s warranty agreement.
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