Implementing an Effective Structural Maintenance Strategy


Brian Moscipan, CWA Engineers Inc.; Devin Hagardt, CWA Engineers Inc.; Nadine Clark, CWA Engineers Inc.

An effective structural maintenance strategy enables facility operators to extract the maximum possible value from structural assets while managing safety and operational risks, allowing maintenance and capital spending to be planned and targeted for maximum effectiveness and safeguarding against unexpected structural failures. These goals can be achieved by applying the principles of predictive maintenance to structural assets at mines, marine terminals, and other material handling facilities. The thorough identification, definition, and assessment of equipment and infrastructure areas enable structures to be inspected on a frequency consistent with their age, risk level, design, and use. It is important that findings/issues be reported on a consistent basis by either third-party inspectors or maintenance personnel trained to observe critical components during routine maintenance activities. Well-defined reporting formats ensure that the inspection data is captured in a way that enables analysis, trending, and comparison. Based on this analysis, informed decisions regarding maintenance and asset life-cycle planning can be made, allowing managers to understand the condition and expected lifespan of their structural assets and to plan and budget for repairs. Through the application of the predictive maintenance principles described above, structural condition summary reports can be produced to allow maintenance personnel to spend less time on administrative activities and focus more on planning and decision making to limit downtime and execute effective preventative maintenance and repairs, ultimately extending the lifespan and value of crucial structural assets.