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The volcanic eruption near Eyjafjallajokull glacier has been making headlines all week. The ash cloud has closed airspace over much of Europe and the longer the volcano erupts the more of a maintenance nightmare it becomes. We hope everyone had the opportunity to read our blogs and check out our website, but just in case you did not have the time to see our blogs and voter links as they were published, we have summarized them for you here. Please enjoy them and be sure to check back for new articles during the week. You can find a complete listing on the Mintek Blog.

The potential inspection and preventive maintenance issues from the volcano has propelled our post Escaping The Volcanic Cloud By Jump Starting Preventive Maintenance into the number one spot this week. The article discusses how the ash cloud can cause damage to virtually any industry. As a result preventive maintenance tasks are at all time high across the path of the cloud. The final blog of the week examines the current trends developing in the EAM/CMMS arena and how vendors are reacting to meet the needs.

1. Escaping The Volcanic Cloud By Jump Starting Preventive Maintenance

Author: Stuart Smith

Natural events such as volcanic eruptions can create havoc for places in the path of ash cloud. But these ash clouds are not ordinary, they are composed of very fine silicon based particulates. For air traffic flying a plane through the debris would be to subject the aircraft to a sandblasting stripping the plane of paint, countless puncture holes and most importantly possible disabling the aircraft in flight. The reason is the silicon based particles will melt in the engine and then resolidify (like pouring wet cement into the engine). As the ash settles along the wind path, anything and everything mechanical or sun dependent will need to be checked from HVAC to automobiles to greenhouses.

Key Point: The dust is coming and this means inspections and preventive maintenance must be at an all time high. The impact of the ash is far more than a simple dust covering.

2. How Maintenance Management Visibility Affects Trends

Author: Stuart Smith

This article looked at the top EAM/CMMS trends examined by PlantServices.com in their recent article 2010 CMMS/EAM Review. Each of the ten trends was reviewed and additional information/analysis was provided. In summary the hottest trends are of course going green, mobile technology and increased visibility. It is important to note that each organization is different and operated in a different environment, therefore no model can fit all needs. EAM planning is a process that requires considerable thought.

Key Point: The driving force behind the trends is the result of increased visibility of maintenance management. The impact that an EAM/CMMS can make to a bottom line can be the difference between company survival and closing operations.

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Read Relevant Articles That We Found Last Week

But wait there is more. We have found several more articles that you might find to be interesting on. The 5 best this week are:

1. Utilities can improve financial performance of MRO

Author: Ralph Rio, ARC Advisory Group

Ralph discusses the complexities of utility maintenance management issues in particular some of the things that impact Maintenance Repair and Operations (MRO) such as poor inventory control, vendor management as well as the aging of facilities.

Key Point: There is a direct correlation between uptime and profitability. Utility management needs to manage the numbers more effectively.

2. Ventilation & Energy Efficiency

Author: Gordon Sharp

This article discusses the difference between conventional building ventilation procedures that rely on pulling in outside air based upon expected occupancy levels versus demand control ventilation (DCV). The newer DCV method can increase energy savings by monitoring CO2 levels and then making adjustments.

Key Point: Many current building are being over ventilated resulting in energy inefficiencies which can be avoided using DCV combined with good maintenance practices of monitoring the sensing equipment.

3. Notes on non-invasive inspections and properly written work orders

Author: Jeff Shiver

Jeff describes the importance of recording accurate information when performing inspections, preventive maintenance and work orders. Poor data collection can result in stop-gap fixes not being revisited as well as a loss of know-how as aging workers retire.

Key Point: All maintenance should be well documented in order to develop a reliable database of work performed.

4. Improve equipment effectiveness by targeting 11 major losses

Authors: Jeff Shiver

The second article by Jeff to be included this week. This article looks at 11 preventable losses that should have the attention of maintenance or operations managers. Root causes of the losses range from poor maintenance practices to a failure to plan resources correctly. For plants these losses were categorized into 4 areas: planned shutdown, downtime, performance efficiency and quality losses.

Key Point: Review your maintenance practices for planning and procedures. All downtime costs money but the impact can be minimized if managed correctly

5. CMMS Can Be an Advantage Only If It Is Properly Used

Authors: Jayant R Row

Mr. Row explains that the advantages of implementing a CMMS can be negated if the organization does not 1) understand why there is a need (buy-in), 2) if there is inadequate training and 3) poor vendor selection. In addition, a CMMS is only as good as the output it provides.

Key Point: Implementing a CMMS requires the same thought process as implementing any major tool. Buy-in, training, designed use and results are critical to success.

What We Learned This Week

Week after week the growing importance of maintenance management is increasing in visibility. From plants to utilities to agriculture, inspections, preventive maintenance and work order management continue to define the future success of organizations. When implemented properly, knowledge is maintained, profitability is increased but more importantly (this week) there is enhanced flexibility to react to natural occurring events such as the potential impact of the ash clouds from volcanoes.

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