Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Simple Preventive Maintenance Leads to Sustainable Practices

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Simple Preventive Maintenance Leads to Sustainable Practices

Article excerpt

At 5 a.m. on a cold winter morning, your first-shift maintenance technician calls, alerting you to the fact that one of the dry pipe sprinkler pipes froze and burst overnight, causing hundreds of gallons of water to pour into your facility lobby. Half an hour later, you open the front door of your facility to assess the damage. With a sinking feeling in your stomach, you think, "What could I have done differently to prevent this? I thought I had all my bases covered!"

In today's economic environment, seasoned park maintenance managers, supervisors and technicians are keenly aware of the need for a strong, proactive preventive maintenance (PM) program. PM programs are in place to ensure that our hard-fought-for park facilities, infrastructure and grounds are properly monitored, maintained and operational to support our mission of providing first-class recreational opportunities to the public. PM programs can vary in scope and complexity depending on the size of the organization and of course the budget factor; however, even a basic program (when properly implemented and managed) focuses your attention on four key areas that provide opportunities to give your organization a leg up in extending the useful life of equipment and resources as well as promoting sustainable practices in your operations and maintenance organization. These key areas are:

1. The annual facility audit/inventory/condition assessment process

2. Regular maintenance

3. Identifying and sustaining operating efficiencies

4. Data collection through CMMS/ maintenance management software (see www.parksandrecre ation.org/2013/November/Inte grating-Innovation to learn more)

Annual Facility Audit

The annual facility audit provides critical details of asset/component conditions and acts as a key planning tool for developing annual maintenance work plans, budgets, maintenance schedules and capital replacement requirements. It forces your team to touch, inspect and document existing conditions and deficiencies, which allows you to better identify potential points of failure and plan accordingly before critical components fail and affect business continuity. The audit also gives you the opportunity to assign estimated costs associated with repairs or replacement and can serve you well in developing lifecycle cost analysis to justify component retrofit or replacement. In addition, walking around to identify asset conditions forces you and your team to get out and observe how your facilities are functioning. The audit also serves as a checklist, year after year, to document progress and effectiveness of your maintenance program. For all of these reasons, you can see that the annual audit is a key component in establishing and fostering sustainable operations.

Regular Maintenance

The main goal of a PM program is to promote reliable, efficient and cost-effective operations while extending component life and significantly reducing capital outlays. However, simply put, effective PM programs are necessary to forestall unexpected equipment breakdowns. A PM program can help to plan away at least 75 percent of your typical problems and 90 to 95 percent of your critical component issues. PM on your equipment should be based on the minimum maintenance requirements identified in the manufacturer-suggested schedule, guidelines and warranty conditions. You must then determine the proper staffing, schedule, maintenance activities, inventory levels and service contracts to effectively manage your specific program. PM is critical to the bottom line because the resources and assets maintained and managed by operations and maintenance (O&M) organizations are typically the second-most costly component of the entire organization's budget and one of the first to be scrutinized. PM programs are also a central factor in reducing overall energy consumption in an organization, further emphasizing its importance as a key component in sustainable practices. …

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