Standard Maintenance Procedure

Standard Maintenance Procedure (SMP) is a written document for carrying out the maintenance activities effectively. The SMPs of an industry must be as accurate as possible so that no lapses remain during carrying out maintenance activities. This is because a poor data can prove to be worse than no data at all. The mendacious data can lead to wrong analysis and an erroneous result. To prevent this there must be a well-written procedure to collect the data.

The SMP has a detailed list of steps which describes how to perform a maintenance task. SMP is a documented standard by the use of which a job or task must be performed. SMPs cover all the repetitive maintenance tasks which can be carried out by craftspeople, contractors or operators.

Standard Maintenance Procedure

The SMP is a type of a document which contains each and every detail of the job which is to be conducted or carried out by a maintenance engineer. SMP is made effective by maintenance engineers in every plant irrespective of whether it is a routine job or a non-routine job.

Necessity of Standard Maintenance Procedure

 SMPs are necessary because they help in-

  • Protecting the health and safety of employees.
  • Ensuring that everyone performs a task with same degree of precision.
  • Saving time when a task is being performed.
  • SMP help to ensure that standards and regulations are met.
  • Minimizing the effects of personnel turnover.
  • Increasing equipment reliability.
  • SMP serve as a training document.
  • SMP help in documenting the equipment management procedure.
  • SMP help in protecting the environment.
  • SMP provide a basis for accident investigation.

Contents in a Standard Maintenance Procedure

As mentioned, a SMP contains some basic steps that need to be followed during a procedure. Some of steps are listed below.

  • SMP has the description of the equipment.
  • SMP has the tag numbers of the same type of installation.
  • SMP tells what tools will be required for doing the maintenance job.
  • SMP tells what type of manpower will be required for doing the job.
  • SMP tells which hazards and safety precautions are needed to be taken care of when doing the job.
  • SMP tells which spares will be needed to do the job.
  • SMP also tells what will be the whole procedure to do a job.
  • Also, SMP tells us how to maintain records.
  • What vendor documents to be referred are also mentioned in the SMP.

Let us discuss each of them in detail.

Standard Maintenance Procedure- Description of the Equipment

Description of the equipment has the basic information related to the equipment. Description of the equipment has the type of instrument, its make and model number of the instrument. Description of the equipment section of the SMP also has the working of the instrument.

Tag Numbers of the Same Type of Installation

Tag number of the same type of the installation has the tag numbers of all the instruments which are of the same type of make and model number. This detail is very useful when procuring the spare parts. The spare requirement can be known from SAP if necessary data are already uploaded in the SAP. But in small scale industries, such types of documents are helpful in knowing similar type of installations.

What Tools will be required for doing the Maintenance job

The SMP tells which tools will be required for doing the maintenance job. This is one of the most important sections in the SMP. From here, we get to know which tools are necessary for conducting a job. It also tells if there is requirement of test and calibration instruments such as multimeter, Scandura, Decade Box, hand pump, etc. This section proves to be very useful for technicians or engineers who have not done a similar job before.

What type of Manpower will be Required for Doing the Job

The required manpower for a job will be mentioned under this particular section. This section will let us know whether a technician (field instrument technician, fire and gas technician or analyzer technician, etc), fitter, welder or helper, cable puller, etc are required to conduct the job.

Which Hazards and Safety Precautions are Needed to be Taken Care of When Doing the Job

This section tells about the most critical things which must be taken into consideration when anyone is doing any job in the plant. To do the maintenance job in a plant, all the hazards that are involved in the job must be considered before starting the job. The appropriate safety precautions also must be taken. The basic PPEs and job-specific PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) are also mentioned here. Some specific jobs like working on a PT installed in steam service requires steam protection suit if steam flushing is required. This type of data is mentioned in this section of the SMP.

Standard Maintenance Procedure- Which Spares will be Needed to do the Job

This section tells about the spare requirement of the job. The spares of a specific tag number may be found from the SAP also.

What will be the Whole Procedure to do a Job

This section has the entire procedure for performing a job. The permit procedure, interlock bypass requirements for working on an instrument, taking the control loop in manual mode when doing the job, taking the instrument out of line, instrument commissioning procedure, calibration procedure and the replacement of the instrument, and again normalizing everything is mentioned under this section.

How to Maintain Records

It is important to maintain records of the maintenance jobs. Generally, a calibration report is prepared after every calibration. For maintenance jobs on analyzers, the details of the reagent filled must be recorded. For maintenance jobs on Fire and Gas detectors, details of special gas cylinders used should be maintained.  It also has job details like what job was done on the instrument; say for example, calibration, flushing, new cable installation, new lugging or any part being replaced, etc. This section is for future reference.

Rules for writing a Standard Maintenance Procedure

For writing an SMP, a certain set of rules are followed. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • It must be remembered that the user must be served. The written communication must be written in a way that the user can understand easily.
  • When it is written for the first time, it is a rough draft. It needs to be reviewed and tried before being published.
  •  It must have numbered line items. Paragraphs must be avoided. There must be one item per step.
  • The wording must be kept short and precise.
  • It should have list steps in proper sequence. The job must also flow in a natural order.
  • Step check-offs must be used where useful.
  • It is better if the job performer can enter quantitative values instead of check-offs.
  • Graphics must be used wherever possible for clarifying meaning.
  • Equipment names must not be changed from step to step.
  • Each step must begin with a verb whenever possible. Example: Step 2: Remove the RTD
  • If a job has too many steps, break the job into sections.

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