What are Maintenance Metrics: Concept and Importance

Maintenance Metrics

Maintenance management is a vital aspect of any business that uses machinery, vehicles, or other types of equipment. Proper maintenance helps to ensure that the assets are used safely, last longer, and fulfill their intended purpose. But maintenance is not a one-time task; it is an ongoing process that requires time, effort, and resources. This is where maintenance metrics come into play.

But maintenance is not a one-time task; it is an ongoing process that requires time, effort, and resources. According to industry analysts, inadequate maintenance management can result in a decline in a company’s production capacity by 5 to 20%. Therefore, it is essential to measure the efficiency of the maintenance processes and the team responsible for them. This is where maintenance metrics come into play.

In this blog, we will discuss what are maintenance metrics, the challenges, and the considerations for choosing the metrics for your business.

Metrics – A general understanding

“What are metrics” is the first question we must have an answer to before going to understanding maintenance metrics. Metrics are quantifiable measures used to evaluate, compare, and track performance. They provide a standardized way to monitor progress and identify trends over time. Metrics can be used in various business areas, to measure success, identify challenges, and set goals.

What Are Maintenance Metrics?

Maintenance metrics are a set of quantifiable measurements used to track the performance of maintenance activities. These metrics are used to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of maintenance processes, identify areas for improvement, and ensure the equipment is well-maintained and safe to use. Some common metrics include equipment downtime, maintenance costs, asset utilization, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), mean time between failures (MTBF), and mean time to repair (MTTR).

A real-world scenario with maintenance metrics

Let’s say that a manufacturing company uses several machines to produce its products. The company wants to evaluate its maintenance processes to optimize equipment reliability and productivity. To achieve this, they use the metrics OEE, MTBF, and MTTR.

The company tracks the OEE of each machine to measure how efficiently it is operating. It finds that one machine has an OEE of 70%, while the others have an OEE of 85%. Further, it investigates and finds that the machine with the low OEE has been experiencing frequent breakdowns, resulting in lower productivity. By addressing the issues with this machine, the company can improve its overall OEE and productivity.

Next, it analyzes the MTBF and MTTR of the machines to evaluate the effectiveness of its maintenance processes. It finds that the machine with the low OEE also has a shorter MTBF and a longer MTTR than the other machines. By addressing the root causes of the machine’s frequent breakdowns, such as improving maintenance procedures, providing additional training to maintenance personnel, or investing in more reliable equipment, the company can increase the machine’s MTBF and reduce its MTTR.

By using these maintenance indicators, the company can identify areas for improvement in its maintenance processes, optimize equipment reliability and productivity, and ultimately increase its profitability.

Importance of maintenance metrics

Any industrial operation must prioritize maintenance, and it is necessary to have a strong system in place to guarantee that machines and equipment are operating at their best. The performance of the maintenance program can be understood through the use of maintenance quality metrics, which also help pinpoint areas in need of improvement.

The effectiveness and efficiency of the maintenance program are gauged by maintenance performance metrics. They offer a way to monitor the efficiency of the maintenance procedure as well as the performance of the equipment, giving managers the knowledge they need to decide how to allocate resources and enhance operations. Equipment uptime, maintenance expenses, and the efficiency of maintenance procedures are just a few of the many variables that may be evaluated using maintenance metrics.

Investments in new machinery or maintenance programs can be justified with the use of maintenance metrics. Managers can persuasively argue for more funds or resources by demonstrating the real advantages of successful maintenance. For instance, if OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency) is continuously high, it would indicate that spending money on new machinery or improving current assets might pay off handsomely.

Let’s see what happens when you don’t have maintenance metrics or you don’t track them.

  • It is difficult to decide where resources should be directed without maintenance metrics. Without taking into account the usage, production impact, or criticality of the equipment, maintenance duties may be given at random. Because of ineffective maintenance procedures, this might result in unneeded downtime and productivity loss.
  • Metrics for maintenance offer useful information on how cost-effective maintenance procedures are. It is impossible to find places where maintenance costs can be decreased without compromising performance or dependability without this information. This can eventually result in higher maintenance costs because of inefficiencies and lost chances to save money.
  • It is difficult to keep employees or contractors accountable for their job without tracking maintenance data. It is possible for maintenance chores to be carried out carelessly, without concern for effectiveness or punctuality. As a result, the maintenance team’s capacity to trust one another and hold one another accountable may suffer, and the entire maintenance program’s efficacy may decline.
  • For the purpose of spotting patterns and trends in equipment performance, tracking maintenance data is essential. It is impossible to identify potential issues early and take preventative action without this knowledge. As a result, equipment dependability may decline, increasing the likelihood of malfunctions and unplanned downtime.

What could be the possible limitations of maintenance metrics

Maintenance metrics, indeed, are a must to have components for every industry when equipment maintenance and management is a crucial task. However, considering that each industry comes with its own set of challenges, maintenance metrics can pose certain limitations, which we discuss here below.

  • Limited applicability

These metrics may not be applicable to all types of maintenance activities, particularly those that are ad-hoc or reactive in nature. In addition, they may not be relevant for all types of industries or organizations, as different sectors may have different requirements and priorities.

  • Scope limitation

Equipment uptime or maintenance expenses are two examples of specific characteristics of maintenance performance that are frequently measured using maintenance metrics. Nevertheless, they can miss out on other crucial maintenance factors like the caliber of the job done, employee engagement, or the success of training initiatives. This may reduce the ability of maintenance metrics to pinpoint problem areas.

  • Variance

Variability in equipment usage, maintenance procedures, and other variables that may change over time may have an impact on maintenance metrics. It can be difficult to compare performance over time correctly if equipment usage increases since maintenance measures like MTBF or MTTR may be impacted.

  • Partial insight

The performance of the equipment and the maintenance program at a specific moment is captured by maintenance metrics. But they frequently fail to fully account for the intricacy of the maintenance procedure, let alone the influence of outside variables like bad weather, supply chain disruptions, or technician error. This can reduce the reliability of maintenance data and make it difficult to base decisions on them.

To Conclude

Maintenance metrics are important performance indicators that help to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of maintenance operations across industries. Each of them is equally important and so we cannot have something like a set of world-class maintenance metrics.

An effective maintenance management software offers assurance and validation through maintenance metrics that are relevant to the organization’s objectives. By having these maintenance metrics, organizations can improve their maintenance practices, reduce equipment failures, and increase overall efficiency. Adopting the right maintenance metrics enables organizations to ensure the smooth and effective operation of their assets, ultimately leading to greater success in their operations.

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