Performance Based Maintenance System (PBM)
In the current economic climate Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) appears deficient as it only ensures that the condition of the vessel is acceptable for breakdown free routine operations. This performance however may not be adequate to remain competitive commercially. With real time monitoring, the shipping industry has entered the age where the maintenance of vessels will from now on be based purely on their performance. Monitoring performance is different from monitoring condition because it determines not only the equipment's health (i.e. may fail or not fail), but also the fall and rise in its performance.
Any drop in performance will mean taking the necessary corrective action to remedy the situation and get it back to peak optimum performance. When this is carried out in real time it will entail action only when remedial maintenance is actually necessary. PBM stems from the logical assumption that performance based repair or replacements of machinery components, when required, would be optimally timed just at the onset of reduction in performance. It has the potential to be used depending on what the market situation demands. Which means it can be used for better performance in fuel economy as the market demands today, or it can be used to optimize top speed as the market prior to the downturn demanded.
Developments in recent years have allowed extensive instrumentation and integration of equipment. This together with better computational tools means better analysis of real-time performance data. Automated performance monitoring of the equipment allows setting up strict performance limits. Based on the decision support and insights that data and analysis provides, the crew managing performance is more than ever able to choose the right time to carry out maintenance on a piece of equipment. This frees up valuable time which the crew can use for other pressing tasks and this is the most attractive part of performance management and PBM. It allows prioritizing and optimizing maintenance resources thereby achieving lower operational costs. Lower use of resources may be one of the most important differentiators in a future where environmental issues are becoming important by the day.
For the owner or operator managing performance achieves the objective to maximize the value of a vessel or every piece of machinery before taking it out of service. Any investment in performance monitoring provides an effective return and added value. It also addresses fundamental shipyard and dry-dock related issues, including people and performance guarantees. Business decisions and work processes are reassessed when performance is well managed. Several owners and operators have taken the leap and implemented PBM with an aim to improve maintenance agility and responsiveness, increase operational availability, and reduce life cycle total ownership costs. This means that the shipping industry is now formally beginning an era, when it comes to performance based measures to assert the competitive edge and remain profitable. Not adopting some form of performance management tool is certainly not an option but a pre-requisite to survival in today’s tattered market where profits are thinly spread. Early adopters appear to be in the game for the long haul.
What are the roadblocks to wide adoption of PBM? Why is the industry still so engrossed with CBM? Is it time to look at the market situation and think differently?
Let me know your thoughts.