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Improvement of Overall Equipment Effectiveness through Total Productive Maintenance

Authors: S. Fore, L. Zuze


Frequent machine breakdowns, low plant availability and increased overtime are a great threat to a manufacturing plant as they increase operating costs of an industry. The main aim of this study was to improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) at a manufacturing company through the implementation of innovative maintenance strategies. A case study approach was used. The paper focuses on improving the maintenance in a manufacturing set up using an innovative maintenance regime mix to improve overall equipment effectiveness. Interviews, reviewing documentation and historical records, direct and participatory observation were used as data collection methods during the research. Usually production is based on the total kilowatt of motors produced per day. The target kilowatt at 91% availability is 75 Kilowatts a day. Reduced demand and lack of raw materials particularly imported items are adversely affecting the manufacturing operations. The company had to reset its targets from the usual figure of 250 Kilowatt per day to mere 75 per day due to lower availability of machines as result of breakdowns as well as lack of raw materials. The price reductions and uncertainties as well as general machine breakdowns further lowered production. Some recommendations were given. For instance, employee empowerment in the company will enhance responsibility and authority to improve and totally eliminate the six big losses. If the maintenance department is to realise its proper function in a progressive, innovative industrial society, then its personnel must be continuously trained to meet current needs as well as future requirements. To make the maintenance planning system effective, it is essential to keep track of all the corrective maintenance jobs and preventive maintenance inspections. For large processing plants these cannot be handled manually. It was therefore recommended that the company implement (Computerised Maintenance Management System) CMMS.

Keywords: Maintenance, Manufacturing, Overall Equipment Effectiveness

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