Equipment Basic Care Program for Fertilizer Operating Facilities

Introduction

Basic care refers to the housekeeping, cleaning, informal monitoring, preservation and ad-hoc simple maintenance of equipment and is typically carried out by operators but can also be completed by maintenance technicians. Basic care activities will not normally be recorded or scheduled in Maximo, but they are crucial in supporting the maintenance activities that are scheduled in Maximo which will have been defined by the equipment reliability strategies.

The purpose of basic care is:

  • To prevent equipment deterioration through correct operation, good housekeeping, daily checks and cleaning of equipment.
  • To maintain the basic conditions needed to keep equipment functioning as designed.
  • To identify pending equipment failures or equipment deterioration as early as possible.
  • Successful implementation of a basic care program has many benefits, including:
  • Equipment and systems will operate with higher reliability if they receive basic care.
  • Neglected equipment will often display relatively poorer reliability.
  • Fully utilizing operators in equipment basic care activities will reduce maintenance cost and potential future production loss from the equipment.
  • Involving a combination of operating and maintenance workforce in the basic care of the equipment will promote improved morale, ownership, teamwork and proactive behaviors.

Benefits of Basic Care Program

The operator is the owner of the equipment and should assume the role of the first line of defence against equipment breakdown and poor performance. By virtue of the fact that the operators are closest to the equipment at all times, they should detect abnormal conditions that create component degradation well before damage or failure. Operators should have enhanced skill levels with regard to observing equipment operation and the interpretation of data, allowing them to optimize the performance of equipment without damage due to operation outside known constraints.

The routine practice of general equipment basic care and housekeeping has been found to be a cornerstone of companies and facilities that are best in class in maintaining reliable operations over the life-cycle of equipment. A basic care program provides better equipment awareness and establishes a more conducive atmosphere for improving equipment performance.

A minimum amount of basic care:

  • Contributes to increased reliability through better pride and attention from operations and maintenance personnel
  • Provides the ability to recognize early warning signs of equipment degradation, such as through small drips or other gradual condition changes from shift to shift, day to day or month to month.
  • Observing and identifying changing conditions for a particular item of equipment is easier if the equipment is clean.

Basic Care is based on the following principles:

  • Basic care and equipment performance monitoring are core activities to the operators and maintenance technicians.
  • To achieve full self-management, operators should take ownership of the equipment and apply care and attention without supervision.
  • Basic care activities are driven by operator and craft teams. The activities are fully supported by the management of the facility.
  • Operator and maintenance basic care activities are coordinated as part of the overall equipment maintenance strategy.
  • Basic care is subject to a continuous improvement process involving monitoring, assessment, rectification/improvement, and review; all aligned with the facility objectives.

You can read more about Basic Care Program for Fertilizer Operating Facilities by downloading our guideline.

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