All about the criticality matrix

Something that undoubtedly helps the maintenance department keep an operation in perfect working order is knowing which equipment is critical, and where we should focus our efforts and investments with well-defined priorities. The problem for many industries lies in understanding what the criteria are that must be taken into account to define the order of preference.

For this reason, it is essential to analyze the importance of equipment within a production process. By stipulating the levels of criticality, the manager establishes maintenance priorities, focusing the main objective on avoiding the stoppage of production and damages.

In this article, we will explain everything about a criticality matrix. from the importance of knowing its definition to how technology can support us in this process. Enjoy reading!

criticality matrix

What is criticality?

In maintenance, criticality is an indicator used to determine the degree of importance of one or more assets for a given production process. Its main objective is to understand the effects and risks that a piece of equipment can cause throughout the industry and its production in the event of a functional failure. It is through the analysis of the criticality matrix that maintenance strategies are defined since it indicates which asset should be attended to with priority.

Remember: criticality is directly related to reliability and Ram Analysis.

Why is it essential to define the criticality of equipment?

As explained above, by establishing the criticality of the equipment it is possible to define the best maintenance strategy to be used. All of this is applied with the aim of maintaining or increasing the availability of machines and reducing the frequency of failures or unplanned stoppages in assets that must work at their maximum available capacity. To help you understand this definition, the most structured resource is the ABC method. The method is often combined with depreciation methods.

What is the impact of the failure on your overall operations?

In ABC analysis other factors are also taken into account. Now that we have analyzed what are the factors that we use in the ABC method, it is time to know about the evaluation criteria.

Equipment classified with criticality A is essential for the plant and all existing resources must be used in it to avoid losing its functionality. In the event of an unforeseen shutdown of this asset, production capacity would be reduced, compromising the quality of the final product, and maintenance costs increasing by more than 20%. On the other hand, safety and environmental impact must also be taken into account.

Equipment with criticality B, in the event of a failure, would not affect the production, safety, or operation of the plant. Assets classified in this band partially interrupt production and increase maintenance costs by between 10 and 20%.

How do you select assets for online monitoring?

Finally, equipment with criticality, in case there is a failure, will not generate significant impacts on the flow of production. The ABC classification of equipment is a fundamental element of any maintenance strategy. Through it, you can adjust the strategy to:

– Creation of maintenance plans with specific strategies for the asset;

– Map which are the components used in the equipment and what is considered relevant and that can never be missing from the inventory.

– Organize maintenance operations so that they do not affect the production process using a 52-week map;

– Study new methods in order to seek continuous improvement to ensure availability.

Once the category is defined, it is time to act. The most critical machines should be the focus of condition monitoring, as it is critical to identify potential failures at an early stage to prevent functional failure. However, it is recommended to start planning with predictive maintenance on equipment with high and medium criticality (A and B). A predictive system like TRACTIAN’s, which predicts failures and abnormal behavior, will reduce downtime, and maintenance costs and increase productivity, ensuring excellent results.

The importance of the criticality matrix

The criticality matrix plays an important role in the industry, and it is through it that it is possible to prioritize maintenance actions, always with the aim of ensuring correct operation and closer to normality. The relationship between organizational performance and asset failure influences decision-making, resources used, and which equipment should be prioritized. By identifying them, you will save time and improve the reliability of your assets.

For this reason, it is important to remember that asset availability and reliability go hand in hand. To guarantee the availability of these machines, it is necessary to plan and control structured maintenance, ensuring that the appropriate strategies are applied.

The greater the reliability of a piece of equipment, the less probability of failure during the period that it performs its function. If the interval between maintenance actions is small, the unavailability and the cost tend to increase, contributing to the low productivity of the maintenance team. In other words, it is essential to plan a strategy aimed at the periodic maintenance of the equipment.

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