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What constitutes “World Class Maintenance”

Behind the buzzwords, “World Class Maintenance” is a strategy that will bring organizations to the forefront of the Industry 4.0 revolution. It’s a principle that doesn’t just lie in asset management but in supporting and connecting people, assets, and data. On top of the ideology being the term, it also requires that operations standards be within world-class maintenance metrics… about the top 5% of key performance indicators.

What does World Class Maintenance mean?

To be “World Class” means to be the best of the best. For athletes, that’s the Olympic medals or other championship winners. In finance, it correlates to being on lists like the S&P 500. However, the meaning of World Class starts shifting for operational ideologies. In business, world-class means a specific level of service or product quality. It means supplying to customers what they demand with repeatability, high quality, and anticipating end-user needs.

World class maintenance reviewing asset condition
Asset condition digital representation. Credit: Adobe Stock, zapp2photo

In maintenance, that means that operational KPIs and metrics are within the top 5-percentile. Work order completion rates, downtime, and other key measurements of operational efficiency need to be in that top percentage to count as “World Class.” More and more often, achieving these metrics means deploying and leveraging Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies in your operations.

What is Industry 4.0 / IIoT?

While the terms Industry 4.0 and IIoT aren’t entirely interchangeable, they’re very similar. Industry 4.0 is the global revolution in the way things are done. We’ve been through a few industrial revolutions already.

railway workers working on signals at King's Cross station
A railwayman working on signals at King’s Cross station, London at night. Credit: Getty Images, Fox Photos

The first revolution occurred in the late-1700s when mechanization and steam- and waterpower transformed the world. During the mid-1800s, mass production and electricity were the key drivers of the next revolution. The third happened in the late 1970s through 2010, as computerized systems and automation allowed organizations to digitize actions further.

Now, in the fourth revolution, we’re digitizing the physical world into the cyber realm. As a globe, our entire lives are digitizing. Big Data gleaned from every action taken in the physical realm. Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and other World Class Businesses are about making digital representations of our physical lives through social connections, purchasing, documents or office work, and… well, everything.

Industry 4.0 is the ideology, then IIoT technology is how it gets done. And, it’s also what enables reliability-centered maintenance.

RCM as a gateway to World Class Maintenance

Reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) is another buzzword with serious impacts. RCM aligns an asset’s function within an organization with its criticalness to organizational capacity and keeps the most functionally-critical assets within top-efficiency KPIs.

In industrial spaces, RCM as part of World Class Maintenance means that:

  • Asset “digital twins” with:
    • Historical records
    • Engineering specs or schematics
    • Pictures or visualizations
  • Continuous asset condition monitoring that provides:
    • Real-time insights
    • Threshold breach alerts
  • Data from automated measurements are used to:
    • Fill out work orders
    • Schedule maintenance tasks
    • Update dashboards
Reliability centered maintenance RCM example of tablet being used for asset management
Tablet and visual digitalization of asset management. Credit: Adobe Stock, Montri

If believing in Industry 4.0 leads to investing in IIoT technology. And IIoT technology often is RCM technology. Then RCM is a means to gain that World Class Maintenance moniker while planning for an even more digitized future.

Building a World-Class Maintenance department

world class maintenance team planning action steps to managing maintenance success
World-Class Maintenance Team plans actions. Credit: Getty Images, Monty Rakusen

There are several pillars to building a World Class Maintenance department that Fluke Reliability calls Connected Reliability—and it fits perfectly in your RCM strategy. It’s about interconnecting teams, assets, and data to the benefit of all three. When data is accessible, teams can plan for reliability within assets. When assets are reliable, teams can use data to achieve higher capacity. And so on.

Building a World-Class Maintenance department using metrics means that your team achieves the highest KPIs.

  • Is planned maintenance work more than 80% of tasks completed?
  • Can your equipment be available 90% of the time or more?
  • Is your reactive maintenance reduced below 10%?
  • Can you achieve Preventive Maintenance (PM) compliance 95% of the time?

In practicality, it means you also need a Reliability partner—a vendor you work with for software, sensors, tools, and training.

Your guide to World-Class Maintenance

At Fluke Reliability, we embrace partnerships to help you achieve World Class Maintenance status from training and implementation to post-pilot expansions and multi-site functionality. We succeed when you are in the top 5% of your KPI goals.

We help you plan your reliability journey from start to finish. You’ll start with a tiered, asset criticality assessment that tells you which assets are functionally required for operation. Next, we’ll help you select the assets to monitor and devices to use. Then, we’ll train your staff to use new technology and software, deploy and commission sensors, and more. And we’ll never leave you hanging in the dark—our staff is there for you when you need us most, even through hurricanes.

Maintenance professional viewing asset condition dashboards
Maintenance professional viewing asset condition dashboards.

To begin your Reliability Journey, start a conversation with one of our Customer Success Managers. We can help guide your way to World Class Maintenance.

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