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Maintainability - The ability of an item, under stated conditions of use, to be

retained in or restored to a state in which it can perform its required functions, when
maintenance is performed under stated conditions and using prescribed procedures
and resources.
Qualitatively, maintainability is a characteristic of design that allows a system to be
maintained safely, easily, with fewer specialist tools & support equipment and in the
least amount of time.
Quantitatively, maintainability is a measure of how quickly an item can be restored
following a failure or scheduled maintenance activity. Or the probability than an item
can be restored within a given time.

WHY IS MAINTAINABILITY IMPORTANT?

In large-scale systems, maintenance and support may account for as much as 60%
of the life cycle cost, poor maintainability also increases downtime because repairs
take longer and are more difficult.
Here are a series of practical checklists for improving maintainability. This helps
ensure equipment can be maintained easily and safely so increasing uptime and
reducing overall costs.
The checklists are intended as prompts that help identify opportunities to;

reduce the amount of avoidable maintenance,

reduce the number of avoidable failure modes,

make systems and equipment easy and safe to maintain and repair,

MAINTAINABILITY CHECKLISTS

Considerations to reduce the amount of maintenance required


Item

Equipment has been selected based on proven reliability in the same service and the use of
unqualified equipment is minimised.
The complete design been reviewed for possible simplification.
The strategy for key equipment service contracts has been agreed.
The list of spare parts for commissioning, insurance and the first 2 years operation has been agreed
All components, systems, and devices are located where they are protected from accidental damage
(impact, scraping, dropped objects)
All cables and hoses are routed or suitably protected to minimize exposure to accidental damage and
so they will not be used as steps or hand holds.
All cables and hoses routed through holes, bulkheads and so on adequately protected with grommets,
pads, or in some other way.
All cables and hoses are routed so doors, racks/console drawers, panels, cannot pinch or trap them.
Hoses, cables, instrument lines and small bore pipe work are securely attached along their length to
protect against abrasion, pinching, or other damage
Operator controls are protected from accidental activation.

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Pipe-work is routed to be self-draining and lutes & traps are fitted drain points.
Where applicable, cable drip-loops been provided to prevent moisture from entering connectors.
Sensitive equipment is protected from dust, humidity, dirt, contamination, sea spray, liquid leaks.
Design provides for coverings or boots for exposed connectors, universal joints, and other interacting
mechanical parts to protect them from dirt ingress.
Concrete machine foundations are suitably coated to prevent and breakdown through vibration and
contact with oil
Floors are designed to prevent accumulation of water and other materials direct it towards appropriate
drains.
That the storm drainage system is designed to minimize maintenance. Velocities in open ditches are
controlled in to avoid blockage, erosion and overflow.
If not corrosion resistant, is exposed equipment is protected from corrosion by coatings, avoiding
contact between dissimilar metals, avoiding surfaces that accumulate water or dirt?
Design aims to minimise maintenance through e.g. self lubricating systems, self adjusting wear points,
long MTBF lighting systems, maintenance free batteries, high capacity lube oil filters,
Design includes primary and secondary lube oil sample points (default locations sump and lube oil
return line)
Fluid reservoirs have adequate storage capacity to ensure uninterrupted operation between visits to
site

Positive locking devices provided to assure retention of settings, adjustments or alignment of items
subject to vibration or shock.
Components subject to wear are designed to be self-adjusting where possible. If self-adjustment is not
practical, check components can be manually adjusted with minimal strip down.
Where manual adjustment cannot be avoided are range limits incorporated to prevent over-adjustment
damage.
For components that must be disassembled to be repaired or inspected (e.g., bearings), the number of
steps (e.g., remove part A, remove part B, etc.) required to access the targeted part should be
minimised (ideally 5 or less)
Ensure the contractor/manufacturer will provide difficult-to-obtain or manufacturer unique spare parts,
any special tools. Consider potential future availability of spares (eg IC based controllers, will you be
able to get a PIII based replacement mother board in 5 years?)
Wires have enough slack to absorb any anticipated shock or vibration movement without putting
tension on the wire or connections.
Ensure pipe work is properly supported and vibrations damped as necessary.
Ensure discharge pipe-work from instrument air compressors slope away from the compressor.
Make provision locating non-metallic buried pipe.
Exhausts and discharge pipe-work are located so the discharges will not be sucked into adjacent
buildings or machinery intakes.

Ensure dielectric unions are specified at all connections of dissimilar metals.


Pitched roofs are better than low-slope roofs.
Do not install rainwater gutters on roofs where natural run off is possible.
Maintainability was successfully demonstrated as during FAT. Including routine activities, fault finding,
and ease repair.
Plant if fully commissioned at handover

Considerations to make maintenance safer

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Item

A maintenance HRA (including manual handling assessment) has been completed and the findings
implemented
Design prevents failure of highly loaded components from damaging other components or injuring
personnel
Site is laid out so that lifting over live plant for removal or replacement of equipment or components is
avoided as far as possible (consider access routes, hard standing and manoeuvrability of cranage)
Engineering drawings, operations and maintenance documentation contain safety notes and/or critical
characteristics.
All hazardous/toxic materials are identified & labelled and handling & disposal procedures have been
prepared (check HAZIDS/HAZOPS)
Components are located to prevent maintainers from being exposed to energized equipment,
hazardous fumes, hot surfaces, or other hazards during repair operations.
Mechanical lockout devices are provided where maintenance must be performed at location that
exposes maintainer to moving components
Provide local start/stop at the machine
Auto start equipment should he capable of being locked out while maintenance is being performed.

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Protective guards are provided on or around all moving mechanical parts near where personnel may
be working.
Guards or warning plates are provided for protection against high temperature, moving or protruding
components.
Hot exhausts are routed away from locations where routine maintenance will be performed.
Equipment access hatches have fillets or rubber/fibre/plastic protection to preclude personnel injury.
Drawer/panel/structure edges are rounded to prevent personal injury
Warning labels are provided where mechanical assemblies, linkages, or components are under high
strain or load.
Design prevents components from slipping or falling as they are being unbolted for repair or
replacement.
As far as possible assemblies or subassemblies needing to be removed for maintenance are designed
to be light weight, preferably less than 10 kg
All components weighing 15 kg or more are removable from the side or the end of the machine and
should not have to be lifted up and over the machine.
Non-hinged access covers weighing 25kg or more are designed with built-in handles for two man lift or
lifting device attachment points.
For components weighing 40 kg or more there should be sufficient space to permit the attachment of
hoisting or lifting devices.
Where lifting eyes are provided the inside diameter is at least 25mm

Critical adjustments that, if improperly made, could result in serious loss of performance or reliability
are identified as factory adjustments.
Provide DB&B plus spade point as a depressurising connection to vent/flare (upstream valve controls
depressurisation and is sacrificial)
Provide drainage from all compartments of equipment (particularly vessels with weirs
Provide rodding points for cleaning and proper access for decontamination of equipment being
scrapped or decommissioned
Fine adjustments are caused by large adjustment increments. (Think of the temperature controls in
your shower!)
Completely enclosed assemblies with potentials exceeding 500 volts clearly marked DANGER: HIGH
VOLTAGE (maximum voltage) VOLTS.
All electrical equipment cabinets are equipped with interlock that cuts power to the panel when the
access cover is removed. A manual override is also provided.
All major electrical circuits have overload or other electrical protection devices, circuit breakers
provided in lieu of fuses and is fuse/circuit-breaker protection adequate (protection on both sides of a
line).
Interlocks provided where potentials exceed 40 volts, plus a means of bypassing the interlock for
servicing and an associated warning indicator

Considerations for standardisation

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Item

Appropriate DEPs and group experience been consulted for selection of standard equipment and
technologies
The same commercial equipment items are known to be used successfully in similar applications
Where possible a non-standard equipment has been replaced with standard equipment
As far as possible components are standardised on each equipment e.g.: hydraulic hoses &
connectors, valves, drive belts, electrical components & connectors, gauges & instruments, water
hoses & connectors, fasteners, (sizes & types)
The number of spare parts has been reduced by using common items e.g.: hydraulic hoses &
connectors, valves, drive belts, electrical components & connectors, gauges & instruments, water
hoses & connectors, fasteners (sizes & types)
As far as possible, modules and components having like functions both electrically and mechanically
interchangeable.
As far as possible module/component mounting fasteners interchangeable (i.e., fastener type, size,
and length)
All components and interfaces are designed to be installed only one way eg physically incompatible
connectors are specified where there is a risk of wrong connection (check standardization does not
increase risk of wrong connection!)

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All consumables and non-insurance spares are readily available from local suppliers or vendors
Mounting holes and brackets are designed to permit installation of functionally similar parts produced
by different manufacturers
Bolt/screw lengths no more than required for the application, ideally it should take less than 10 turns to
tighten a bolt or screw.
If fasteners require specific torques, check that the number of differing torque settings is minimized.
The number/type of required lubricants has been consolidated
As far as possible control panel layouts layout is designed with proper human factors/ergonomics input
As far as possible control panel layouts (from panel to panel) the same or similar
As far as possible panel labelling/color coding is same for all panels eg green for READY, SAFE or
NORMAL, red for STOPPED or DANGER
As far as possible, the shape, size, arrangement and operation of controls are standardised (eg,
Values increase with clockwise control rotation, toggle switches are mounted vertically, switches move
upward for ON, START, or INCREASE, and downward for OFF, STOP, or DECREASE)
Control panel feedback to prompt to reduce probability human error
All MJRs, maintenance and operating procedures and technical manual formats are standardised.
E-SPIRs have been completed

Considerations to simplify routine activities

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The maintenance concept has been agreed and the level of maintenance for each repairable item
been defined e.g. whether the item will be repaired at site, in workshops, at vendors facility.
The maintenance facilities, personnel numbers and skill levels, have been specified and are consistent
with the level of repair)
Ensure contractor supplies equipment operating and maintenance manuals, as-built drawings and user
training sessions as required to the standard specified in DEP XXX
All items are labelled with a TAG number following Shell DEP XXXX and these TAG numbers are
included on the P&IDs.
The CMMS is populated and complete in terms of scope and depth of coverage.
MJRs and maintenance procedures are prepared and loaded in the CMMS before commissioning
The start dates for MJRs have been chosen to avoid peaks and troughs in routine workload over the
year.
MJR tasks are simple enough to be carried out by the average technician
As far as possible, maintenance tasks are designed so that they require no more than two technicians.
As far as possible the need for special tools, jigs or hardware to install, adjust, or repair equipment is
avoided.
Procedures have been prepared for testing/calibration of equipment and calibration of test equipment.

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These procedures are consistent with the level of repair and include tolerances and frequencies
Failure of automatic test/monitoring equipment wherever possible should not cause machine downtime
All external fasteners required during normal maintenance are pained a contrasting colour to the
surface on which they are located. All other fasteners and assembly screws are the same colour as
the surface on which they are located
Illumination is adequate for maintenance operations, in normal and black start conditions. Consider
lighting at test points and items accessed through hatches e.g. fuses/breakers
DB&B isolation valves in impulse lines to permit testing and calibration
Manual bypass provided in parallel with control valves to allow operation during control valve
maintenance (provided downstream relief available)
Provide parallel RVs in interlocked block valve on production critical equipment particularly where there
is likelihood of reaching relief pressure during process upset.
Operator displays are located where they are easily visible.
Routine inspection points e.g. drain plugs, wear points, instruments are all clearly visible and labelled.
Routine inspection points are easily accessible to a maintainer standing on the ground or grating
(located no further than 50 cm from the maintainer's head at time of inspection)
Viewing windows are provided on doors or covers for routine inspection points, where this is not
possible hand operated quick release fasteners are used.
Inspection and test routes have been identified and marked on plans and are physically colour coded
on site.

Fluid level indicators are provided on fluid reservoirs and located for ease of inspection
Fuel storage tanks allow water detection (dipstickable) and that vent and fill pipes are above the
highest water level. Tanks should have a sloping bottom and drain valve.
Test points are located close to the control or display they are associated with, and designed to
eliminate or minimize the need to remove components for testing.
Test points are coded or labelled to identify recommended or acceptable pressure, temperature, or
voltage ranges
Test points are easily accessible to a maintainer standing on the ground or grating (located no further
than 50 cm from the maintainer's head at time of inspection)
Routine service points are not obstructed by other components, structural members or located in
enclosed spaces.
Routine service points are easily accessible and clustered in one or two service locations close to the
machine including, lube points, reservoir fill points, filters.
Provide valves in ring main systems to permit maintenance of isolated sections.
Lube routes have been identified on plans and physically colour coded on site
Design enables condition monitoring to permit scheduling of maintenance prior to actual component
failure or component damage
CM routes have been identified on plans and physically marked or colour coded on site
Design includes hour meters, volt meters and ammeters (e.g., on electric drive motors) to assist
maintenance scheduling

Provide duplex strainers/filters where strainers/filters are required and operations cannot be interrupted
for cleaning/replacement.

Considerations to simplify fault finding

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Self-checking/test features are designed into critical components or systems where possible.
Self-checking sensors operate without disturbing or loading the system being monitored.
Test set instructions for built in test equipment are attached to the machine at the test point
Test equipment/features are simple to operate, e.g. where possible indicator lights the "press to test"
variety
Direct fault indications are provided e.g. a fault light, an audible alarm, meter reading or similar means.
The function of all controls, indicators, test points are clearly labelled
Access doors or openings are labelled to indicate the items which are accessible
Hydraulic, electrical, and mechanical system schematics permanently fixed to machine to facilitate
troubleshooting
Key components and systems are clearly labelled with correct direction of motion or fluid flow, proper
adjustment, levels, pressures, temperatures or settings, correct fluid types, amperage and other
information.

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All replaceable modules subassemblies or components readily identified by adequate labelling or


marking.
Cable labels are repeated at 1m intervals so that searching for cable identification is minimized..
Individual wire numbers (wires within the cable bundle) labelled on the outside of the cable bundle?.
Running/stopped indication is available at the machine (function may be provided by an already
installed meter, gauge or by a status light)
Fuses are located so they can be seen and replaced without removing other components or subassemblies.
All fuses are replaceable without use of tools
Fuse holders of the self indicating type (light indication for blown fuse)
Spare fuses provided adjacent to the applicable line fuse.
All overload and electrical protective devices is fitted with an indicator light when activated for easy
troubleshooting.

Considerations to improve accessibility for maintenance


Item

Access openings are large enough to permit removal and replacement of all items in an area. E.g.
large equipment located inside structures must have adequate opening and corridor off site.
Ensure adequate space is provided in buildings for the proper operation and maintenance of installed
equipment.
Hinged or hand operated quick-release access covers are used where practical. Panels are hinged on
the side or bottom so that door will remain open during maintenance.
The minimum number of fasteners should be used on access covers, equipment bay doors e.g. few
larger fasteners instead of many smaller ones.
Captive fasteners are used on access panels to prevent loss of fastener. Ensure captive fasteners can
be replaced easily if damaged
Fixings are unobstructed allowing use of required hand tools including torque wrenches, without
removal or dismantling other components. Blind fixings i.e. where the fixing head is underneath, or
hidden behind panels are avoided
When tool-operated fasteners are necessary, removal should require only standard hand tools
Screw holes for mounting components that do not require precise alignment (eg cover plates, access
panels) are oversize for easy assembly.
Access openings should be large enough to allow the maintainer to see the component they are

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working on while work is being done.


High failure rate components or assemblies are located so they can be removed without the removal of
adjacent components or assemblies
All items can be removed and replaced in a straight line from their place of attachment. They do not
have to be manoeuvred around or over equipment or structures.
All cabling and small-bore piping is routed to permit easy removal and replacement. E.g. not under
machines, or difficult-to-access locations.
Wires have enough slack to permit easy opening of panel doors and re-making connections as
necessary without putting tension on the wire or connections.
Components are functionally grouped. e.g. electrical circuit functions are packaged in individual plug in
modules or grouped on printed circuit boards.
Permanent safe access is provided for opening and closing valves. Valves are unobstructed and allow
full length valve handles to be used.
Provided a access ladder/stairway for servicing of high mounted equipment
That adequately sized service roads and turn-arounds are provided for maintenance vehicles e.g.
cherry pickers, cranes and lorries.
Structural support members and hoists over large pieces of equipment to allow equipment removal for
maintenance purposes
Attachment points for overhead lifting devices are provided where required
Locate on plot piping and valves above ground, where possible.

Ensure water/sewer pipes are accessible for cleaning and/or repair, avoid passing under paved roads
or through heavy traffic areas. (Ensure buried non-metallic pipes can be located easily)
Provide a minimum clearance of two pipe diameters or 60 cm, (whichever is greater), around all
flanges, valves, strainers, or similar fittings.

EXAMPLE MAINTAINABILITY REVIEW ACTION LIST

Action item

Observation / recommendation

Cat Agreed action

Action party Action


date

Instrument air
Instrument air compressors, too close together no
access for repair

Investigate implication of relocating


instrument air

Arthur
Guinness

End
Sept

No removal route if changeout required obstructed


by structural members

Investigate possibility of relocating


Instrument air

Arthur
Guinness

End
Sept

Instrument air fittings pipe-work and vessels slope


towards machine, no auto drains condensation

Ensure pipe fall is corrected.

John
Walker

End
Dec

Compresion fittings non-standard out of spec

Check vendor order details and impact of Gill


End
enforcing contract spec on delivery time OGordons Sept

No tag numbers on P&IDs

Contractor to add TAG numbers to


P&IDs.

Jack
Daniels

End
Sept