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Cutting maintenance budgets puts staff at risk

Customers keen to cut costs shouldn’t cut corners on service and maintenance says Eaton Williams which fears such action will result in plant failures.
Cutting maintenance budgets puts staff at risk
“FM managers trying to minimise their service and maintenance obligations are putting their employees at risk and it is a false economy that could seriously backfire” said John Wright, Eaton Williams general manager.

Wright admits some customers will continue to give maintenance a low priority despite his warning. Although 2008 is expected to be a tough year financially, cutting back on essentials such as service and maintenance or leaving it to chance could see some companies paying a very high price.

By investing in a robust, planned, preventative maintenance programme customers can minimise the likelihood of failures as engineers can flag up design, installation and other potential problems early on before they become a major problem in the summer months.

The likelihood of a system failure is far greater when temperatures rise and weather predictions for the UK indicate a warm summer ahead.

Ray Paice, Eaton William’ national sales manager said 'Many air conditioning systems are only designed to cope with temperatures up to 28ºC or 30ºC maximum, but when temperatures touch 32ºC or more, systems struggle to deliver enough cooling either because they fall short of the specifications in a bid to cut costs or service and maintenance has been neglected'.

As well as opting to cut maintenance budgets, many firms add to the problem by considering maintenance work to be a seasonal activity.

Paice said “The trend for boilers to be maintained in the autumn or later and air conditioning systems when temperatures start to increase is illogical.”

He added “Investing in a PPM programmes ensures that your plant is well looked after all year round. Relying on a reactive strategy is a short term fix and can prove costly in the long term.”
11 June 2008

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