Is there a difference between Operator-based maintenance (OBM) and autonomous maintenance (AM)? Yes. While both are maintenance strategies that involve operators performing routine maintenance tasks on their equipment, there are some key differences between the two approaches.
Operator-based Maintenance is a more basic approach that focuses on teaching operators how to perform basic maintenance tasks, such as cleaning, lubricating, and inspecting their equipment. OBM can help to reduce equipment failure and unplanned downtime, but it does not go as far as AM in empowering operators to take ownership of their equipment and its maintenance.
Autonomous Maintenance is a more comprehensive approach that involves teaching operators not only the basic maintenance tasks noted above (through AM Steps 1-3), but also how to identify and solve problems with their equipment. AM also involves training operators in problem-solving and root cause analysis skills. AM can deliver even more significant benefits than OBM, such as extended equipment life, improved workplace safety, and reduced maintenance costs.
OBM is a good starting point, however, if you’re looking for the greatest possible benefits, AM is the better choice.
Here are some benefits your organization could expect to achieve through implementation of Autonomous Maintenance.
Reduced equipment failure and unplanned downtime: Autonomous Maintenance can help to reduce equipment failure and unplanned downtime by up to 70%. This is because operators are able to identify and address potential problems early on, before they cause a major failure.
Extended equipment life: Autonomous Maintenance can help to extend the life of equipment by up to 20%. This is because operators are able to perform preventive maintenance tasks that help to keep equipment in good condition.
Improved workplace safety: Autonomous Maintenance can help to improve workplace safety by up to 50%. This is because operators are able to identify and correct hazards before they cause an accident.
Reduced maintenance costs: Autonomous Maintenance can help to reduce maintenance costs by up to 30%. This is because operators are trained to capably perform many minor maintenance tasks themselves, which fees highly trained maintenance technicians to focus on planned maintenance activities.
Increased productivity: Autonomous Maintenance can help to increase productivity by up to 10%. This is because equipment is less likely to break down, which means that operators are able to spend more time producing products or services.
In addition to these, implementation of AM can also lead to a number of additional benefits, such as:
Increased operator knowledge and skills: Operators who are trained in maintenance tasks gain a better understanding of their equipment and how to keep it running smoothly. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and a more engaged workforce.
Improved communication and teamwork: Autonomous Maintenance requires operators to work closely with maintenance technicians. This can help to improve communication and teamwork between the two groups, which can lead to better overall maintenance outcomes.
Enhanced organizational culture: Autonomous Maintenance helps create a culture of ownership responsibility, and teamwork. By partnering maintenance and production, as well as other functional departments such as engineering and quality, Autonomous Maintenance creates the ‘village’ needed to ensure equipment/process reliability.
If you’re looking for a way to improve the reliability and uptime of your equipment, AM is a powerful tool that can help you achieve your goals.
Operator-based Maintenance Through Autonomous Maintenance