7 Steps of Autonomous Maintenance

Autonomous maintenance, which is a Lean Production technique, is a maintenance method that gives the responsibility for the maintenance of equipment to the operator in businesses and is used to increase equipment effectiveness. In this blog post, we will discuss autonomous maintenance steps.

What is the Purpose of Autonomous Maintenance?

The purpose of autonomous maintenance is to transfer the responsibility of some maintenance activities to the operator by allowing the operator to take ownership of his machine. In the autonomous maintenance technique, the operator receives training on routine tasks such as cleaning, lubrication and inspection. Thanks to this training, the operator is expected to bring the machine to a “like new” standard and maintain it at this standard.

Why is Autonomous Maintenance Important?

In organizations where autonomous maintenance activities are not implemented, operators wait for the maintenance team to arrive when they encounter simple malfunctions. Work must be stopped until the maintenance team repairs the machine. This causes serious losses in the production process.

In organizations that adopt the autonomous maintenance method, the situation is exactly the opposite. The operator constantly monitors their equipment, makes adjustments and performs minor maintenance tasks. This eliminates the need to assign a special maintenance technician to carry out regularly scheduled maintenance. Operators ensure that production continues by carrying out the necessary work when encountering minor malfunctions.

Employee Role in Autonomous Maintenance Technique

Employees who will take an active role in autonomous maintenance work will also contribute to continuous improvement processes if they have the following characteristics.

  • Must work clean and orderly,
  • Must know the equipment he uses well,
  • Must strive to keep its equipment “like new” and “in working order” at all times,
  • Must be able to notice any abnormality in its equipment,
  • Must be able to carry out the necessary repair and maintenance work within the training provided and established standards,
  • Must be able to offer suggestions and participate in improvement processes,
  • Must be open to development,
  • Be able to protect oneself from possible work accidents and report near-miss incidents,

What are the Task Areas of Autonomous Maintenance?

Autonomous maintenance holds operators responsible for basic maintenance activities of their machines. Basic maintenance activities that fall within the scope of autonomous maintenance are cleaning, lubrication, tightening operations, visual and auditory checks and minor repairs. Applications such as corrective maintenance, periodic maintenance, fault maintenance and predictive maintenance are the responsibility of the technical maintenance team.

How Many Steps Does Autonomous Maintenance Take?

Autonomous maintenance, which aims to improve operator and equipment performance, consists of 7 steps.

  1. Cleaning and control
  2. Countermeasures
  3. Establishment of interim standards
  4. Carrying out general checks
  5. Autonomous control
  6. Standardization
  7. Fully autonomous maintenance

Cleaning and Control

The first step is to clean and check the equipment regularly. Here, cleaning does not simply mean removing dirt from the equipment. It allows minor defects or abnormalities to be noticed while the equipment is being cleaned. Inspections performed during cleaning help detect potential problems in the equipment at an early stage. Thus, the operator avoids unexpected malfunctions.

Countermeasures

The second step involves eliminating sources of contamination and dispersion. It also includes reducing cleaning and inspection times through kaizen efforts to facilitate access to hard-to-reach areas.

Establishment of Interim Standards

In the third step, operators are trained on the lubrication points of the equipment, oil level control and oil addition. At the end of the training, operators begin to implement periodic oil control and lubrication procedures. With the experiences gained in the cleaning and countermeasures steps, temporary autonomous maintenance standards are established for cleaning, control and lubrication activities to prevent equipment failure and detect anomalies before failure. These standards are constantly updated and improved with newly gained experience.

Performing General Checks

Technical knowledge is required to carry out general checks. It is important to technically control and standardize every step up to this point. It is necessary to receive both theoretical and practical training in order to detect new errors and make improvements.

Performing Autonomous Controls

The purpose of the fifth step is to ensure the continuity of the success achieved in the first four steps and to increase efficiency. It prevents the operator from wasting time while applying standard checks that he constantly performs. Making machines completely faultless is possible with autonomous controls.

Standardization

After this maintenance is completed, the aim is to return the equipment to its first day performance and ensure quality production. Operation standards, quality, occupational safety awareness, workflow plans are collected under standard work criteria and responsibility.

What are the Benefits of Autonomous Maintenance?

Autonomous maintenance provides many important benefits in production facilities. The advantages of this system not only enable the equipment to operate more efficiently. It also improves overall business performance. Here are the main benefits of autonomous maintenance:

Increased Equipment Efficiency

Autonomous maintenance ensures that equipment constantly operates in top condition through regular cleaning, lubrication and control activities. This increases production efficiency by reducing machine malfunctions and unexpected stoppages.

Reduced Malfunctions and Downtimes

Continuous monitoring and maintenance of equipment allows early detection of potential malfunctions. In this way, necessary precautions can be taken before a malfunction occurs and downtime is minimized.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Proactive maintenance approaches prevent major and costly malfunctions. Regular minor maintenance operations extend the life of the equipment and save major maintenance costs.

Enhanced Occupational Safety

Autonomous maintenance ensures safe operation of equipment. This reduces occupational accidents and injuries and contributes to employees working in a safe environment.

Continuous Improvement Culture

Autonomous maintenance encourages continuous improvement. Employees develop more efficient working methods by identifying disruptions and improvement opportunities in processes.

Quality Manufacturing

Regular and effective maintenance ensures that equipment operates at optimum performance, which improves the quality of manufactured products. Quality equipment directly affects quality production and increases customer satisfaction.

How is Autonomous Maintenance Implemented?

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