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PLANNING TECHNIQUES

Planning techniques are required to develop the

overall master plan and for scheduling the major work of planning and execution. The Gantt charts and the milestone methods have been used in the past, but they have certain limitations in both planning and control. The use of 1. Critical Path Method (CPM), 2. Programme Evaluation Review Techniques (PERT), Least Cost Estimating, 3. Scheduling Control & 4. Automation by network methods have become more effective in engineering applications.

Gantt Chart
Henry L. Gantt developed a technique, called the Gantt

chart, during World War I, which is widely used even today for planning. Individual jobs are described on the left-hand side portion of the chart, scheduled times are plotted on the right-hand side on the horizontal scale, the length indicating the job duration as an open bar. The actual time is indicated by a solid bar. By looking at the chart, the status of a particular job can be ascertained, i.e. whether it is ahead or behind the scheduled time period. This chart, however, cannot indicate the delays occurring in the overall project period.

PLANNING PROCEDURE

The most important aspect of maintenance planning is

its procedure. It can be a four-step process: 1. Organising maintenance resources to ensure their effective use in future 2. Scheduling the resources for the planned period 3. Execution of plans according to the schedules 4. Establishing a feedback system for all the above processes to know the deficiencies of each of the processes.

Planning Inputs
Like any other planning job, maintenance planning needs

acquisition of certain information as the planning input. These inputs include: 1. Nature of the equipment to be maintained and their number 2. Resources required for the maintenance jobs 3. Maintenance activities and time required for these activities 4. Information on availability of skilled manpower 5. Information on hiring and contract services 6. Information on maintenance tools 7. Maintenance instruction manuals 8. A possible maintenance control policy

After planning inputs, maintenance planning is carried out to assign the following:
Target period for job completion 2. Priorities of jobs 3. Job scheduling by preparing the Gantt chart, or PERT, or CPM network, etc.
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SHORT-RANGE PLANNING
the maintenance work requires looking into day-to-

day problems which may include random breakdowns. Planning for such jobs has to be made in advance, which can be termed short-range planning. Here an emphasis has to be on the nature of jobs that require routine check-ups and inspections as per schedules. Short-range planning may concern 1. Installation of new equipment, 2. Cyclic works, and 3. Preventive maintenance work

LONG-RANGE PLANNING

The main objective of this is to formulate maintenance

policies and procedures conforming to a given standard of the company's objectives. It is normally seen that in a production plant., the maintenance function is given the lowest priority. To match the objectives of the maintenance function with those of the company, It is essential to have a full knowledge of the sales and production forecast. In addition, the maintenance planning requires the projection of two particular factors. These are: 1. Change in the requirements of maintenance equipment and facilities due to improvements in technology. 2. Change in production equipment due to obsolescence, increased mechanisation, automation, higher machine output and other technological advancements.

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It is, therefore, necessary for the maintenance department

to incorporate the above changes in their long-range planning. The long-range planning of the maintenance function must be carefully coordinated with the planning of the organisation. This may eventually help in reducing the maintenance costs. The other aspect of long-range planning is concerned with the existing facilities. The plans must be flexible and adaptable to changes, which may occur in due course of time. A new type of equipment may pose serious maintenance problems for which manufacturer's help should be taken. At times it is seen that companies do not plan for emergencies and thus incur heavy losses. Sometimes even public relations do affect the maintenance work, and this aspect therefore needs special attention during the planning stage.

MANPOWER ALLOCATION
The most important task of the maintenance

management group is to provide adequate manpower for various jobs. This also should take care of the skill levels of the personnel involved. This is not an easy task since many variables enter into the calculation of manpower requirements. In the absence of proper maintenance records and planning, it is impossible to establish the proper utilisation of maintenance workforce, which in turn may lead to criticism by the authorities for under utilisation or extra overtime payments.

MANPOWER ALLOCATION
Each job of maintenance requires the placement of an

individual who has the true ability and the right attitude for the specified job. The estimation of maintenance manpower requirements becomes easy when maintenance types, failure frequencies and the number of equipment involved are known in advance.

DEVELOPMENT OF MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT

Decentralised.
In this type of structure the maintenance work may be

done as per requirements and no specific structure for the maintenance function is established. Normally all the persons in the maintenance department are capable of doing the relevant jobs. No specialist is required for a particular job.

DEVELOPMENT OF MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT

Centralised.
In this case, for each job a specific shop Is established

and the workers therein are the specialists of their own jobs. For example, an engine shop will deal with all types of engines only, or a motor winding shop will deal with the motor winding work only.

Measurement by Estimates
This system is more useful where the material cost is

negligible compared to the labour cost. It therefore consists of comparing the actual cost of labour with the estimated costs. The benefits of this method can be listed as follows: 1. The estimate of the total time can be prepared before the start of the job. 2. The estimate provides the basis for scheduling the maintenance work. 3. The estimate also provides comparison with the actual manhours charged during a particular operation.

Measurement by Historical Data


It consists of statistical analysis and treatment of past time

data on completed jobs to arrive at an average, which can be considered a suitable standard. This method compares actual manhours required for the job with the standard index based on average historical time for the same type of job. This method also usefull for the estimation of a new type of work, where Some similarity among the two jobs The advantages of this system include: 1. Low cost of administration, because the required data can be collected easily 2. Adaptability to routine and repetitive types of jobs 3. Easy installation for estimation of maintenance work 4. Provision of immediate but limited improvement in labour effectiveness.

Measurement by Conventional Standard Time Data


Under this method the work is measured with

standard time data by breaking down a job into its basic components and applying time standards for each component. The sum of these standard times plus various allowances for job conditions represents the time that should be allowed for the job. A comparison of this allowed time with the actual time measures the job effectiveness.

Maintenance budget
A maintenance budget is a cost projection based on the

costs of labour, equipment, material and other items (such as contracts) required to do all work identified in the Work Schedule. After the costs are calculated for one work order, the process is repeated for the remaining work orders to get the total cost required to maintain the asset. The maintenance supervisor is responsible for monitoring the actual expenditures against the budget for the year. He or she is also responsible for its yearly update using forecast labour rates, and material and service contract costs. The updated budget would be used for determining the operation and maintenance costs of the physical assets.