Operations and maintenance (O&M) combine to encompass the broad spectrum of services required to ensure performance of the functions for which a facility was designed and constructed. O&M are the decisions and actions regarding the control and upkeep of property and equipment as a plant cannot function at peak efficiency without proper maintenance. This includes measures directed toward scheduling, procedures, and systems control. It also covers optimization and execution of preventive, scheduled, routine, unscheduled, and predictive efforts intended to prevent equipment decline or failure. The goal here at Polaris is increasing your safety, reliability, and efficiency.
Fundamental Metrics for Ensuring Energy Efficiency
Practical O&M is an extremely cost-effective approach to ensuring energy efficiency, safety, and reliability. Inadequate support of energy-using systems is one of the leading causes of energy consumption in both the private sector and Federal government. Wasted energy from air, water, and steam leaks, uninsulated lines, inoperable or maladjusted controls, and other losses from poor maintenance are often enormous. Good maintenance methods can produce abundant energy conservation and should be viewed as a resource. Moreover, quality facility maintenance programs can often be established rapidly at comparatively moderate costs.
Indicators for Measuring Quality of O&M Effectiveness
Aside from reliability, O&M administrators are accountable for evaluating and implementing new technologies, tracking and reporting health and safety issues, expanding their programs, and controlling costs. To support these activities, we make O&M managers aware of the various indicators that can be used to measure the quality or effectiveness of an O&M program. Below are several key qualities that can be used to evaluate a good O&M company. While not all of these metrics apply to every situation, a good O&M business should use as many metrics as possible to better define deficiencies and publicize successes.
- Environmental record. Enables tracking of non-compliant situations and discharge levels.
- Inventory control. Provides an accurate accounting of spare parts as a critical component of controlling costs.
- Energy use. A key indicator of possible degradation, the level of efficiency achieved, and equipment performance.
- Safety record. Tracks number of loss-of-time incidents or reportable incidents to obtain an overall safety picture.
- Overtime worked. Weekly or monthly overtime hours worked impacts economic, scheduling and workload implications.
- Absentee rate. A high or varying absentee rate signals low worker morale and results in a significant economic impact.
- Backlog of corrective maintenance. Indicates the effectiveness of predictive and preventive maintenance programs and workload issues.
- Staff turnover. Hiring and training new employees incurs significant expenses. Other costs include those associated with errors caused by newly hired personnel that typically would not have made by experienced personnel.
- Capacity factor. Measures actual operation compared to overall utilization process.
- Work orders generated and closed out. Tracks work orders created and completed over time to allow managers to understand workloads better and schedule staff accordingly.
These metrics are useful in assessing effectiveness, and are also beneficial to O&M managers in cost justification of staff hiring, program modifications, and equipment purchases. At Polaris, we understand that proper O&M is crucial to maintaining the performance, achievement, and persistence of a high-quality industrial maintenance company.