Sep 9, 2021 | Trends, Industry

Best Practices for Strategic O&M Planning

Achieve High Performance and Energy Efficiency with Your Operations and Maintenance Plan

It is critical for organizations to develop a solid strategy around operating and maintaining their equipment. The level of sophistication of products on the market today means that failure of even the smallest components can cause a disruption. The integration of smart technology into equipment controls with sensors and data-gathering software can lead to a level of false confidence that would be detrimental without proper oversight and management. A thorough, detailed operation and maintenance plan can lead to higher energy efficiency, a reduction in equipment failure and downtime, greater equipment longevity, and an organized, documented history for future strategic planning. A properly implemented O&M plan will reduce operating costs.

Operational Efficiency

When putting together an O&M plan, the first step is to assess the state of the equipment by spot testing equipment and controls, checking pressure, temperature, power flow and lighting use. Existing schedules should be reviewed, and control settings should be investigated. This type of evaluation and retro-commissioning can be performed by a service partner.

Types of Maintenance

A good O&M plan will include planned maintenance, corrective maintenance and routine maintenance:

  • Planned maintenance refers to scheduled maintenance at predetermined intervals or when a key metric reaches a critical level.
  • Corrective maintenance does not happen at regular intervals but is performed when a piece of equipment breaks down.
  • Routine maintenance includes the activities required to keep the equipment in good operating conditions. Cleaning, lubricating and replacing batteries are some routine maintenance actions.

Steps to a Great O&M Plan

Once you have the necessary information on the equipment performance, energy usage, downtime and operational condition, the next step would be to evaluate your manual or software. While a physical manual may have a lower initial cost, equipment maintenance software allows you to store and analyze the large amounts of data that is gathered from your equipment. Schedules should be evaluated to ensure they represent current conditions and needs. Automated notification settings should be checked for up-to-date contact information and proper alert indicators.

Checklists should be developed to ensure proper implementation of the plan. Individual checklists should be created for different systems, such as lighting, electrical, safety, HVAC equipment and plumbing. The service technician can check off the maintenance activities and settings that they covered and record the data. The maintenance strategy should be revisited regularly, and a process should be put in place for timely review of the checklists and reports.

Enforce Consistency in O&M

The best O&M plan will not be successful if service events are not performed at the scheduled time. Devise a notification system that includes managers and technicians. If subcontracting the maintenance work, create a procedure to follow up with the contractor and keep them on track. Develop a service log that centralizes activities and sends alerts based on actual dates and actions.

Track Progress of the O&M

To continue to achieve success, progress needs to be tracked. Compare estimated versus actual performance and evaluate past events in relation to time to repair, equipment downtime and time between failures. Detailed reports allow you to track movement in the right direction and manage challenges. A successful O&M plan leads to reduced costs, downtime and headaches.

Service and Support

If the team determines that O&M should be subcontracted, a firm such as Albireo Energy can provide comprehensive assistance from benchmarking to service technicians that perform the routine, planned and corrective maintenance according to the O&M plan. Albireo can optimize energy efficiency and equipment performance by ensuring equipment control settings are at the right levels. Albireo Energy can take care of your O&M plan so you can focus on doing business.

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