Comprehensive Facility Operation & Maintenance Manual
Last updated: 10-04-2013
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In the past, during the facility design/build phases, it was uncommon to devote substantial resources to life-cycle Operation and Maintenance (O&M) concerns. However, it is now widely recognized that O&M represents the greatest expense in owning and operating a facility over its life cycle. The accuracy, relevancy, and timeliness of well-developed, user-friendly O&M manuals are becoming increasingly important. Hence, it is becoming more common for detailed, facility-specific O&M manuals to be prepared prior to commissioning. The goal is to effectively and efficiently support the life cycle of the facility by eliminating unplanned shutdowns and realizing life-cycle cost savings.
This page presents a typical O&M manual development process (see Figure 1). Based on as-built information, comprehensive facility O&M manuals should include:
- System-level O&M information:
- Physical Descriptions
- Functional Descriptions
- Preventive Maintenance (Procedures and Schedules)
- Corrective Maintenance (Repair Requirements)
- Parts Lists
- Operation-/Maintenance-Significant Drawings
- Equipment-specific O&M information, organized into a vendor/manufacturer data library
Sustainable design being an integral part of any facility management philosophy, the O&M manual provides a means to reduce operating costs through a comprehensive Maintenance Program, part of which includes the development of a Maintenance Plan (MP).
O&M manual content and format requirements are conveyed through a detailed Statement of Work (SOW), sufficiently tailored to satisfy the Owner's Facility Management (FM) needs. This effort should be considered in the planning and design phases, and is typically carried out in the construction phase. Building Information Modeling (BIM) introduced at the front end of the project helps facilitate the entire process.
Figure 1. Operation & Maintenance Manual Development Process
O&M manuals should be developed in a modular, building block style, to simplify the incorporation of new/additional data, such as design/configuration changes and to reflect as-built conditions. Availability of the manual should be no later than facility start-up/commissioning. However, fast track programs can be 'front-end loaded' to meet immediate goals; i.e. develop/organize only that information necessary for its availability to train personnel in preparation for systems start-up/commissioning. It can then be integrated with the overall O&M manual for completion and turnover to the Owner within a specified timeframe. Using the manual at start-up/commissioning affords an additional opportunity for its contents to be verified against installed systems.
The efforts of experienced technical writers, editors, engineering technicians, trainers, 3D modelers, illustrators, and software specialists can ensure that an Owner receives comprehensive, site-specific (as-built), user-oriented documentation of the highest quality. Those selected to perform the work should have the following capabilities:
- Provide a high level of confidence to the Owner's staff, e.g., through accurate content and user-friendly format.
O&M procedures at the system level do not replace manufacturers' documentation for specific pieces of equipment, but rather supplement those publications and guide in their use. For example, system-level troubleshooting will fault-analyze to the component level, such as a pump, valve, or motor, then reference specific manufacturer requirements to remove/clean/inspect/repair/test or replace the component.
Training is considered a vital element of operation & maintenance for new personnel; especially when new equipment is installed or emerging technology is being employed. Important to the overall facility management program, facilities personnel must be properly instructed and motivated. Training courses will familiarize personnel with the procedures necessary to operate and maintain complex systems and equipment, often using the system-level O&M manual as a basis of information. Courses can be developed for presentation by subject-matter experts/trainers, or if specified, through computer-based training (CBT) and multimedia technologies, ideal for individual/self training in either a classroom setting or through the company intranet or over the internet.
O&M manuals, likewise conducive for use in training, can be required as both paper and as an 'on-line' interactive electronic manual (IEM) developed using web-based and other accepted applications (html, xml, PDF, etc.). Training should be ongoing to keep up with technology and equipment changes in the facility.
A. Maintenance Program
Preventive Maintenance consists of a series of maintenance requirements that provide a basis for planning, scheduling, and executing scheduled maintenance, planned versus corrective for the purpose of improving equipment life and to avoid any unplanned maintenance activity/minimize equipment breakdowns. These can be defined through a Maintenance Plan (MP). PM includes adjusting, lubricating, cleaning, painting, and replacing minor components. Time intensive PM, such as bearing/seal replacement, would typically be scheduled/planned for regular plant or 'line' shutdown periods.
The O&M manual itself should be maintained on an as-needed basis, typically whenever systems/equipment are "changed out," and particularly the CMMS or CAFM data.
Maintenance Plan (MP)The purpose of a Maintenance Plan (MP) is to describe the best means to maximize equipment operational availability, while minimizing equipment downtime. Once developed, the MP will typically identify PM task descriptions and schedules, troubleshooting, corrective maintenance (repair) task descriptions, and spare parts identification, stockage (quantity), and any unique storage requirements. This information will be incorporated in the manual, both as tabular data and text.
Preventive Maintenance Data
Preventive maintenance (PM) data includes equipment tag information, procedures, replacement parts, special tools, lubrication requirements, service providers, warranty information, etc. It is often presented in tabular format in the O&M manual. With BIM implementation, this data can be initially entered via Construction Operations Building information exchange (COBie) between the design construction and operations phases of a project, then transferred to (versus input directly into) PC-based Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) or Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) software applications.
The collection of data can start early in the process as it has been identified that up to 48% of the data is available at the 100% design phase. Stretching out the process avoids the tsunami of information at handover. The BIM should be used for commissioning then the information can be provided immediately for use for O&M the day the facility opens. Using the National BIM Standard-United States™ open information standards will help ensure you are not locked into any one vendor and you can use any product that supports the open standard for BIM.
CMMS/CAFM applications typically support facility management needs associated with personnel, leasing, furniture, construction, equipment (including fleet vehicles), labor, spare parts inventory (with bar coding), PM scheduling, Work Order generation, and associated costs tracking. There are literally hundreds of these applications available today, which can be evaluated to identify the most appropriate. The CMMS/CAFM products should have the ability to be tailored to Owner-specific requirements.
B. O&M Manual Layout and Contents
O&M Manuals provide procedures to operate and maintain a facility's various systems and equipment. It is important to analyze and evaluate a facility from the system level, then develop procedures to attain the most efficient systems integration, based on as-built information and the Maintenance Program philosophy. The following paragraphs provide an example of system-level O&M Manual layout and technical content/description that can be successfully applied to many facility types.
System-Level O&M Manual Layout
System-Level O&M Manual Technical Content/Description
Operation-/ maintenance-significant figures/illustrations should be included in the manual and referenced from the narrative text. Illustrations can provide the layout of the overall site-campus/facility/floor down to systems/equipment and area/room locations. They can be generated for O&M Manual use from BIM/3D models and engineering drawings that are modified for ease of readability in the manual. They typically include the following:
C. Electronic Formats
The elements of narrative text (pdf, html, xml, etc.), graphics including BIM, sound, photographs, and videos can all be organized into a user-friendly, interactive, stand-alone PC or web-based (e.g., Intranet) application or platform.
For O&M manuals, it is often referred to as the Interactive Electronic Manual (IEM), for training materials, Computer-Based Training (CBT). Similar to this document, text and graphical information is typically linked to related data within the O&M manual, or to external sources such as an Owner's intranet or the internet, accessed by a click of the mouse. One caution relative to linking to internet sources is that of security. The Owner's information technology (IT) department should be consulted in these instances.
Screens can be printed on demand. All information, including text, BIM / 3D models / animations, CAD drawings , illustrations, and digital photographs can be viewed and manipulated (read only) by on-line viewers and can only be modified off-line. Updates/modifications are typically through a configuration management process and formal authorization.
D. Typical Task Performance
Based on the owner's SOW/scope requirements and maintenance philosophy:
Avoid having independent redundant information, i.e., data in the CAFM/CMMS application and data in a hardcopy facility O&M manual which are not integrated. If the information is not linked, then any equipment changes will require updates to both the CAFM/CMMS database and the facility O&M manual.
This information is applicable to governmental, military, industrial, and commercial facilities such as offices, laboratories, institutions, historical buildings, manufacturing, water/wastewater treatment, hangars, test facilities, etc. The philosophy behind the development of supporting O&M documentation is often predicated on the Owner's O&M organizational capabilities. This in itself may require the performance of a task and skills analysis to ensure that any given facility is staffed appropriately.
With the advent of the National Building Information Modeling Standard-US™ (NBIMS), part of the buildingSMART Alliance™ initiative, as-built data will still be required to support facilities operation and maintenance. e COBie is a method of capturing information typically required during construction and provided to Owners, typically the same information that is required at project handover.
Relevant Codes and Standards
Custom-developed documentation should meet or exceed the Owner's existing or other accepted commercial standards and practices for both format and content.
- ASHRAE Guidelines 4-2008 Preparation of Operating and Maintenance Documentation for Building Systems
However, many organizations have developed their own standards which vary from organization to organization. Much is dependent upon the O&M philosophy and the particular nature and purpose of the facility. For example the U.S. Navy may require the development of an O&M Support Information (OMSI) manual for a facility that houses engine test cells. Others may simply require that equipment vendor/manufacturer commercial manuals be organized by service or trade, and compiled in 3-ring binders.
- Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Technical Data & Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETM)
- NATO Support Agency - Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs)
- NAVSEA Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals
- Operations & Maintenance Best Practices Release 2.0: A Guide to Achieving Operational Efficiency. DOE Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), July 2004.