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Long Look-Ahead Plan

...where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.

Victor Hugo, French dramatist, novelist, and poet

Author: Mahen Das

Location: 2.5.1 Small Petroleum Refinery

Background

The refinery adopted risk-based techniques such as RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance) and RBI (Risk Based Inspection) as soon as they became available in the early 1990s. At the time of these events, they had just installed a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System). With a strong tradition of good manual systems to plan, prioritize, schedule, and optimize resources, their transition to the CMMS was quite smooth.

Plant reliability was high and there were few breakdowns. With an effective prioritization system in place, there were few jobs which demanded urgent action.

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The Day-to-Day Maintenance Process

Soon after the introduction of the CMMS, I visited the refinery as an internal maintenance and reliability consultant. As a step in their continuous improvement program, they agreed to try out the day-to-day maintenance management process, previously described in Chapter 5 and illustrated in Figure 24.1. Refineries that consistently perform well, or top performers, consider this as best practice and use this business process.

The main features of this process are:

1. The key participants in the maintenance process work as a team.

Priorities are clearly defined and understood by all. All work is screened by this team.

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  • 2. Proactive work is determined with the help of risk-based methodologies. It is planned and scheduled over a long period. This is the long lookahead plan of known work.
  • 3. Emergent work is subjected to daily scrutiny and appropriately prioritized.
  • 4. Backlog is used as a repository of work. It is managed within defined parameters, e.g., ceilings on total volume and residence time for each item.
  • 5. The current week's work-plan is firm. It consists of proactive work and any high priority emergent work which was known before the issue of the plan the previous week.
  • 6. Work on this plan will be displaced by new emergent work only if the team decides that the new work has high enough priority. Otherwise it will be put in the back log repository.
  • 7. The following weeks' work-plan consists of proactive work and appropriately scheduled emergent work from the repository.
  • 8. Every week the work executed in the earlier week is reviewed. Any lessons learned can be extracted and applied in the future.

Most elements of this process—e.g., the challenge of day-to-day emergent work by the joint maintenance/operations team, risk-based prioritization of work, and backlog management—were already in place. Tasks arising out of

Day to Day Maintenance Process

Figure 24.1 Day to Day Maintenance Process

Long Look- Ahead plan 193

RAM for Maintenance Priority Setting

Figure 24.2 RAM for Maintenance Priority Setting

the recently completed RCM and RBI exercises were stored in a data base. They would be reviewed after two years.

As part of the day-to-day maintenance process, a look-ahead plan has to be made. This is a series of weekly schedules starting from the current week and going as far as possible into the future. These weekly plans are assigned optimized resources for all known work, such as periodic routines arising from RCM and RBI analyses and known project-related work. This is the base-load plan, to which the day-to-day emergent tasks are added once they have been screened and prioritized. The process described in feature #6 above defines how emergent work is handled. The following weeks' schedule follows the process in feature #7 above.

 
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