Momentum e-Newsletter Featured Article
Elevator/Escalator Maintenance Tasks and Procedures
Maintenance providers of elevators and escalators are responsible for providing a level of service that ensures the equipment is reliable and performs as designed. Our industry is well aware that many maintenance providers are providing less than adequate maintenance service and this trend needs to be reversed.
Currently, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) A17.1/8.6.1 provides specific requirements for elevator and escalator maintenance. At a minimum the maintenance provider is required to have a written "Maintenance Control Program" that addresses required maintenance procedures and intervals. While many maintenance providers may have developed a written program, there is still an issue with required implementation.
Paramount to the safety and effectiveness of any maintenance operation is the development of enhanced maintenance tasks and procedures.
We all recognized the need for continuous maintenance optimization and for the improvement for inspection, maintenance, repair, testing, and condition-monitoring practices and procedures. Paramount to the safety and effectiveness of any maintenance operation is the development of enhanced maintenance tasks and procedures with innovations that:
- Improve the quality and accessibility of information provided to maintenance personnel
- Clarify the roles and responsibilities of the maintenance team members
- Reduce the risks associated with human error
Effective/Optimum Maintenance Programs
Effective maintenance programs need to be continuously adjusted to respond to changes in the operating conditions and age of the equipment. The maintenance tasks and procedures should be used in conjunction with other continuous improvement plans. Optimum maintenance programs have to take into account that the "real" age of equipment depends on historical operating conditions and maintenance. Since operating conditions, age, and failed components change with time, the maintenance provider's program needs to be periodically adjusted. As a result, over the years, an effective maintenance operation will continuously keep maintaining and updating their tasks and procedures to reflect changes in equipment, age, and operating conditions.
Implementing a Maintenance Program
The implementation of effective maintenance tasks and procedures can eliminate problems from resurfacing on a continual basis and eliminate maintenance redundancy while improving reliability. Minimizing equipment breakdowns and emergency repairs results in increased customer satisfaction, reduced failure rates, and maintained level of service while optimizing cost exposure.
With the knowledge of equipment type and the current condition, maintenance tasks and procedures should be tailored using this information to make performance-focused maintenance decisions that save costs, allow adequate amount of maintenance, and help achieve or significantly exceed strategic goals and objectives.
The safety of performing maintenance tasks can be increased by having lockout lists and safety warnings for each task. When the pressure is on to get equipment up and running, mistakes are more likely to happen. The possible reduction of safety hazards alone can be a large cost savings.
Requirement for Maintaining Maintenance Records
ASME A17.1/188.8.131.52 outlines the requirements for maintaining maintenance records reflecting the maintenance tasks including adjustments, callbacks, examinations, repairs, replacements, and tests. Documentation must include tasks descriptions, corrective action, date of service, and must be available for viewing. From our experience the majority of the elevator and escalator maintenance contractors are currently not setup to comply with these requirements.
Adhering to these requirements is achievable through the implementation of a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). Maintenance tasks and procedures can easily be entered into a CMMS along with other pertinent information of the elevator and escalator equipment. Whenever a scheduled or corrective maintenance task needs to be performed, the technician can be notified electronically or provided with a hardcopy of a work order. The work order would provide detailed procedures for locking out equipment, parts needed, along with instructions on how to perform the task. Completion of the work order can be achieved in the same format as the notification. The accuracy of the documentation is paramount, and it is not easily passed from person to person by word of mouth.
Some CMMS systems are expandable to levels where additional support documents are made available to the maintenance technicians. Examples would be the ability to view electronic copies of wiring diagrams, sequence operations, operation and maintenance manuals, parts inventory, and historical events. When a maintenance technician has a workload that requires nothing but response to relentless service calls, their work performance will drop. Yet when the frequency of service calls is lessened and more of their work is properly planned, their interest will grow. Integral to the success of any CMMS is the commitment of the maintenance provider at the levels of services and the implementation of such a program will result in:
- Development of specific tasks and procedures customized to the elevator and escalator equipment
- Scheduled preventive maintenance tasks and procedures
- Maximized equipment reliability
- Minimized equipment and repair costs
- Increased labor productivity
- Reduced equipment downtime
- Increased equipment efficiency and life expectancy
- Optimized overall maintenance program efficiency
- Tracked and analyzed equipment information and history
- Analyzed historical maintenance issues and help predict future events
In a world where sustainable, cost-effectiveness, and productivity is vital, the focus on increasing the maintenance provider's profit is achievable by enhancing the performance of their maintenance operation.