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Title: Planning plant maintenance at Malta Drydocks : with special emphasis on wharf and dockside cranes
Authors: Vassallo, Ray (1984)
Keywords: Malta. Malta Drydocks
Dry docks -- Malta
Plant maintenance -- Malta
Cranes, derricks, etc. -- Malta -- Maintenance and repair
Issue Date: 1984
Citation: Vassallo, R. (1984). Planning plant maintenance at Malta Drydocks: with special emphasis on wharf and dockside cranes (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: From what can be gathered from reports and magazine articles, maintenance costs are escalating in most industries all over the world. It might turn out to be quite a shock to learn that annually millions of pounds and dollars are spent on maintenance. It was estimated that in 1982, about $20 billion were spent on maintenance of equipment in the U.S. industry; while in Britain it was estimated that maintenance cost lie somewhere in the region of £3,000 million per annum. Sums of this magnitude have jolted managers into a new awareness and many are asking: what can be done to make maintenance contribute to company profits by becoming more effective and controlling costs. Such questions are being asked at Malta Drydocks (M.D.D.) and consequently I was asked to carry out the work which is represented by this report. Due to the large size of the organisation in question, and due to restrictions (such as time limits), it was decided to concentrate on the area where problems were more acute, because an improvement in this area would render greater benefits. This concept is more evident in the financial sense, for example if say Lm10,000 were spent yearly to maintain plant type A and Lm1000 were spent on plant type B, a 5% saving on the expenditure would mean a saving of Lm500 in the case of plant type A while only Lm50 would be saved in the case of plant type B. It was therefore established that the more relevant area included Wharf and Dockside Cranes, and where it was felt necessary to indulge in a more detailed study, this was the area considered. The Aims: The purpose of this study was to identify and locate the problem or deficiencies and to state them so that they could be communicated to the interested parties. further to identifying the problems, suitable solutions were suggested. It was endeavoured to keep the suggestions put forward as practical as possible with an overview of the whole organisation in mind. Scientific methods which have proved successful in solving similar problems were indicated together with others which were specifically devised for the particular situation. Where possible, numerical and real-valued solutions were given, although it was felt that within the scope of this work, an indication of possible solutions would have been sufficient. Behind all this, lies the more basic purpose of making M.D.D. a more efficient, competitive organisation. Of course, solving one problem would not imply such a great achievement; but hopefully presenting problems and indicating solutions to management, might trigger off a series of such exercises in other areas, and where possible control systems might be set up, to keep the movement in the right direction. The Method: Having established the aims the next natural thing would be determine how to go about reaching the objectives. The first step was to gather all the relevant information. As I was never before connected in any way with the Plant Maintenance Department, it took some time to familiarise myself with the situation. During this process, the most difficult task was to build an objective and realistic impression of the department and of the situation without being influenced by the various opinions expressed. This information was then analysed and presented in a logical order thus making it easier to visualise possible solutions. Suggestions as to how improvements could be achieved were made and methods of solution to some of the problems were indicated. This report is divided into four sections and in almost each section the method indicated above was adopted. Section one, presents the existing organisation within the Plant Department and its interrelation with other departments. Where Wharf and Dockside cranes are concerned more detail is presented. Comments and suggestions are presented at the end of this section. Section two is more numerical and is mathematically oriented. First a survey was carried out from which a picture of the situation (snap shot results) was developed. This survey also indicated what remedial action was best suited. Again, the procedure was to gather information, analyse it so that problems were evident and then suggest solutions. Other problems such as determining inspection frequencies in order to minimise downtime, are discussed in this section. Scientific methods of solution, mostly involving Operations Research (D.R.), Work Study and Scheduling are indicated. Computers have found numerous applications and the maintenance field is a typical one. Section three deals exactly with the applications of computers in the maintenance field. The role of a computer system in making the maintenance department function better by making it more effective, efficient and reliable is discussed in this section. A computer program was specifically developed to illustrate the possibilities and capabilities of a computer in helping to organise the plant department. The most common technical problems occurring in Wharf and Dockside cranes are dealt with in Section Four of this report. Again, problems were identified, they were analysed and solutions were suggested, although it was not possible to carry out detailed calculations to quantify solutions. This project deals mainly with maintenance and the Plant Dept., however subsections within an organisation are interrelated, the maintenance function often requires close relations with the 'Production'* side, the Personnel Dept. and Drawing Offices. This fact has often led to side issues which although not directly related with the maintenance function were considered relevant and were included in this report. I am referring to such items as allocation of crane drivers, or the utilisation of cranes ....... Furthermore, the text is enhanced by appendices, these were included for the sake of completeness and easy reference. To conclude, it can be stated, maybe rather presumptuously, that this work could be classified as 'internal consultancy' work where the situation was viewed by virgin eyes and maybe depicted in a different perspective. I hope that this work is appreciated by the staff at the Engineering Departments at the University; but more important by management at M.D.D., because I believe that in todays' world with the shipping recession, and cut-neck competition, to remain alive and kicking, it is imperative to increase efficiency in all functions of the shipyard and I further believe that this can only be achieved by adopting scientific methods as suggested in this report.
Description: B.ENG (HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEng - 1968-2014
Dissertations - FacEngME - 1968-2015

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