Wear and tear is a commonly used term describing the degenerative effects on an asset in use over a period of time. The rate of wear and tear is directly related to the amount of use, abuse and proactive maintenance the asset receives.

Every asset is destined to fail or will need to be replaced at some point in time. Father Time, Mother Nature and wear and tear are normally the most significant influences on an asset’s useful life. The good news is that asset managers do have some control as to when an asset must be replaced.

Impact on Asset Lifecycle and ROI

Even though no amount of preventive, predictive, condition based or reliability based maintenance can prevent wear and tear; there is a lot of variability as to the actual length of an asset’s useful life.

This variability is determined by historical experience with an asset, technology and good maintenance practices. Each of these is described below:

Asset Lifecycle Variability Factors

  1. Historical experience with an asset: The is time based and refers to using the maintenance history collected with a CMMScombined along with actual staff experiences repairing and maintaining the asset. It is the basis of making educated decisions for using various maintenance methodologies.
    For example, an amusement park maintenance team knows that a safety bar on a popular park attraction has a tendency to become loose more often than an older less used asset. Another example might be knowledge that a particular motor has never seemed to operate according to the manufacturers specs. In both cases, maintenance frequency should be adjusted accordingly.
  2. Technology: There is ample technology available to extend the useful lifecycle of assets. Software monitoring systems, program logic controllers, IFR, vibrations analysis, mobile inspections and so on. The goal of each is to alert asset and maintenance managers to potential problems so repairs can be made before an asset needs major repairs or fails requiring capital expenditures to replace it.
  3. Good maintenance practices: Good maintenance practices start with a proactive maintenance plan and all subsequent courses of action. The concept is to extend the useful life of an asset by identifying wear and tear concerns, preventing surprise asset failures and schedule proactive maintenance.

In short, mitigating the effect of wear and tear requires asset knowledge, maintenance planning and execution.

Impact on TCO and ROI

Asset managers that are able to manage all three of the preceding wear and tear variability factors can save their organizations a lot of money as well as prevent accidents and disasters. They can also lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase their Return on Investment (ROI).

TCO and ROI go hand-in-hand. Factors affecting TCO include the cost of maintenance, repairs, replacement and general operating expenses including energy costs. Maintenance includes labor as well as parts. It also includes less direct costs such as the time spent in other departments purchasing the asset or administering contracts.

Without a good maintenance plan in effect, more money is required to keep an asset functional. Costs will increase as a result of unplanned or emergency repairs (parts and overtime), capital replacements, higher energy costs and even an increase in liability insurance.

For example, assets that are not kept in optimal working condition require more energy to operate (HVAC, motors etc.) as they require more power or fuel to produce the same results. And that loose amusement park security bar that results in a fatality (happened this week at Six Flags in Texas) will undoubtedly increase insurance premiums and result in a lawsuit.

Each increase in costs decreases the return on investment for an asset. Therefore, it is in every organization’s best interest to have a plan to address wear and tear.

CMMS for Wear and Tear

In organizations that have thousands if not millions of individual assets, collecting asset data can be a challenge without some sort of computerized maintenance management software (CMMS). CMMS core functionality revolves around a centralized database of assets data.

The database acts a storage area for asset detail such as location, condition, description, date purchased, schematics, photos, expected useful life and work management history. Asset detail can also be annotated to reflect maintenance staff experience regarding the asset.

This information gives asset and maintenance management the core tools to be used to make technology and maintenance planning decisions. With this knowledge, technology shopping can meet more specific needs and maintenance practices can be set up.

Keeping in mind that the ultimate goal of asset and maintenance management to get the longest, most productive life from each asset, CMMS solutions provide one the best ROI available.

We hoped you enjoyed reading this article and would love to hear your thoughts on handling wear and tear.