In order to improve and optimise the maintenance of an asset, it is essential to understand exactly how it operates and what performance is expected from it.

It is surprising how many organisations believe they know their assets inside and out, but when questioned in detail, find out they actually don’t! 

To fully optimise your maintenance regime, you must find out what you’re doing wrong (by performing regular maintenance audits) and understand exactly where to apply your maintenance resources correctly. This is where generating a Technical Basis for Maintenance comes in. It utilises a structured approach to discover the details behind what an asset was designed for, how it is actually used and how is fails in your operating context. This in-turn allows you to tailor the maintenance carried out on these assets to your needs.

The essential elements of the Technical Basis for Maintenance (TBoM) process are:

  • Identifying the boundaries of a system or asset;
  • Identifying sources of data and information;
  • Identifying subject matter experts (SME’s) to take part in the TBoM reviews;
  • Conducting TBoM reviews with SME’s and other stakeholders;
  • Compiling information into a structured report document;
  • Gaining approvals/sign off;
  • Utilising TBoM reports for further maintenance optimisation/development exercises.

TBoM process output documentation is a very good way to record why you do the maintenance you do, and can be used as core documentation when it comes time to modify equipment or processes in the future. It also allows you to harvest the knowledge of your maintenance staff and document it, thus reducing the business risk of key asset knowledge being held by individuals and can ease succession planning issues. 

Many organisations find themselves in a position where they have long since lost the asset knowledge required to fully optimise their maintenance regimes. Production of TBoM’s for your critical assets reduces this risk and reduces your reliance on the equipment OEM over time – in cases where they are still supporting your asset.

Tribe Engineering has developed its TBoM process from work we carried in the nuclear reprocessing industry and believes that this process can be useful to almost every industry sector as part of their maintenance optimisation toolkit.