Articles and Publications

Volume at all Costs

In this “Lower for Longer” business environment and the “Volume at all costs” operating model,  what is the best way to maximise profits and returns? Lower for longer refers to the current market expectation that commodity prices will remain at levels lower than they have been for decades. As resource prices start to improve such as the recent small gains in iron ore and coal prices, operators are returning to the “Volume at all costs” operating model which has led to inefficiencies and minimal innovation investment in the “supercycle” era. So what factors support the new business environment and operating philosophy? Undoubtedly, there will be numerous factors that relate to cost minimisation and increased availability of assets but with this “Volume at all costs” model, means that =a business’s focus will be on constant production. The 2 factors considered here that have the ability to affect constant production are; Scheduled stoppages -for instance regulatory, compliance activities Unscheduled stoppages-  unpredicted breakdowns. Based on…

Effective Planning and Scheduling

Without proper planning and scheduling, work quality, equipment/asset uptime, and maintenance productivity will not be at levels to support required operating profiles. The reasons for this are: Excessive non-productive time incurred both during and between job tasks. Without effective planning, planners can also become non effective due to the number of technicians that are assigned to them. Overall maintenance costs also increase due to the acquisition and storage of unnecessary spare parts, and Energy consumption also increases due to poorly maintained equipment. As can be seen, effective maintenance planning and scheduling is a cornerstone processes that can assist with attaining excellence in operations and subsequently be able to support constant production.  The benefits of good maintenance planning and scheduling are numerous, and include: Increased productivity of tradespeople Reduced equipment downtime Lower spare parts holdings Less Maintenance rework The figure shown highlights the effect effective Planning and Scheduling can have on a company’s Maintenance Maturity Continuum.      

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