Reducing Downtime with Preventative Maintenance

Reducing Downtime with Preventative Maintenance

Reducing Downtime with Preventative Maintenance

Downtime can be classified as any unplanned event that stops your production. It is often caused by poor maintenance or human error.

All oil and gas companies share a common interest in needing to monitor and optimize their well performance. Not only does this ensure that budgets are met, but it reduces downtime. Downtime costs oil and gas companies billions in revenue each year, yet most of us are unaware of the benefits of preventative maintenance in reducing planned and unplanned downtime.

So, how can you reduce downtime with preventative maintenance?


Calculate the cost of downtime

Not calculating the actual cost of downtime, whether planned or unplanned can cause havoc not only on your budget but in your whole business operation. True downtime costs include loss in production, man-hours, loss in staff productivity, repairing equipment etc.

All costs associated with the downtime need to be strictly accounted for and should always be calculated into a realistic dollar figure.


Ensure correct training of employees

If you know what or who effects downtime the most, then this task can be a little easier. Operator error is the second most common cause of downtime and a well-trained operator will not only be the best person to diagnose and fix their machine but will be the best person to prevent it in the future.

Ensure your employees are well trained and emphasize the importance of updating and keeping a track of documentation. Give your employees the confidence to be able to diagnose the problems of their own machines, as their actions can reduce unplanned downtime.


Have a maintenance schedule

Equipment doesn’t last forever but running it into the ground before you fix it will only decrease its lifespan. A maintenance schedule not only increases the life of your equipment but can reduce the probability of unplanned downtime, improve its safety and increase its overall effectiveness.

Don’t use a “run-to-failure” method with your equipment, as this only results in longer, more regular downtime incidents.


Keep the Documentation Up-to-date

It can be one of the hardest things to do consistently and one of the easiest things to overlook, but it’s crucial that your documentation on your equipment is always up-to-date. Up-to-date drawings of equipment, equipment history and procedures should always be kept in a shared location for easy reference, should anything go wrong. This means that the operator has access to the correct information when and if it’s needed, rather than wasting hours trying to find the correct documents from years ago.


Invest in good software

Are your current data collection systems providing you with the correct information? Unfortunately, manual methods of data collection may not cut it when a problem occurs. Having access to all your data in real time is the most efficient way to combat downtime. Good software will allow you to pinpoint the exact moment a machine fails and allow you to have a faster and more accurate response to the issue.


Given the current oil and gas price environment, it’s imperative that costs are kept to a minimum and that downtime is managed efficiently. The key is not only having software that supports this but training the mindset of your employees, as this can greatly affect any business operation, no matter how strict your processes are.