KCF Technologies Blog

Predictive Maintenace Tip: Making a Condition-Based Case for New Equipment

One practical problem with introducing predictive maintenance is that sooner or later it requires the maintenance engineer, or manager, to ask the plant manager, company president, or board to approve costly repairs to, or replace, an expensive piece of critical equipment that shows only the first subtle signs of impending failure.  Decision-makers faced with smoldering wreckage don't hesitate to fund its replacement.  However, especially with today's tight budgets, it's a harder sell to procure the money to replace a big piece of costly gear that appears--for the moment at least--to be perfectly fine.

This predictive maintenance tip comes from Lindsay Audin.  An energy consultant, customer, and supplier with over 30 years' experience, Audin is the president of Croton, New York-based energy consulting firm EnergyWiz, and a contributing editor for Building Operating Management.  Confronting this very problem in an excellent, long article in FacilitiesNet®, Audin notes that, "trying to scare management into action...may not be effective."

"When asked how they have successfully made their cases, three basic themes emerged from interviews with facility executives, operating staff, and consultants."
  1. "You won't get to first base without hard information on the condition of a piece of equipment."
  2. "Never go into a boardroom with only one reason to replace; two is a minimum."
  3. Every supporting argument should relate back to revenue, cost, value, or a combination of those factors."
Here are some key criteria Audin says you can use to persuade skeptical decision-makers:
  • Energy efficiency: How much could be saved with a new unit?
  • Code compliance:  Is the unit causing a code violation (i.e., health, fire, building)?
  • Reliability: Does it conk out often enough to irritate staff and students?
  • Capacity: Have loads or output changed to a point where it's not doing the job?
  • Liability: Could a failure cause a lawsuit, insurance claim, or other damage?
  • Appearance: If the system is visible and ugly, would a new unit look better?
He concludes, "At least two of these points, each with supporting documentation, should be used when presenting a case," for major HVAC repair or replacement.

(Source: "Selling the CEO on HVAC Upgrades," Lindsay Audin, FacilitiesNet®, Milwaukee, WI, January 2009, ©Trade Press Media Group, Inc.)

No comments :

Post a Comment

KCF Making the Things You Work with Smarter