Efficient Plant January 2018 - 39
Answers to questions
facing today's reliability &
Can I use/transfer reliability and maintenance skills
to other activities?
If you are fortunate enough
to work for a company that
provides sufficient training, then you
should be very grateful. As I work
with companies, small and large, it's
evident that there are shortcomings.
You can also observe this as you
interact with other businesses in your
daily activities, such as my recent
weekend truck-driving adventure. Although we moved to Tennessee several
years ago and had disposed of lots of
stuff, we still had two filled storage
units in Michigan. To move the items
out of storage, I rented a 26-ft. moving
truck from a well-known company.
What I learned from the ensuing
events relates directly to reliability and
Event 1: The online rental cost did
not match the pick-up rental cost, i.e.,
there is a data-entry problem somewhere in the company.
Lesson: Use and follow standardized work processes. Do maintenance
and production share common systems and goals?
Event 2: I was told that the license
and registration papers were in the
glove compartment. There was no
glove compartment. While searching for the papers, I climbed up
and kneeled on the air-cushioned
seat, lowering it several inches and
revealing documents taped to the back
Lesson: Either make sure that you
department | on the floor
have a standard product (to minimize
training) or train employees to handle
the variations. Hands-on training
has been found to deliver a payback
four-times higher than conventional
Event 3: Do I need to go through
the truck-stops' weighing scales?
Nobody at the rental facility could
tell me. Since I would be driving
through several states, I looked on the
internet at five key truck-rental and
government sites. There was
no consistent state-to-state
information, other than the
large penalties that applied
if I was wrong. So, I stopped
in each state and went to a
truck scale to assure that our
vehicle complied with relevant
regulations. For the record,
our 16,000-lb. truck with a
25,999-lb. limit had a 22,000lb. total weight.
Lesson: Have trusted
reference documents that are
up to date.
Event 4: There were lots of
gauges that were new to me.
For example, "what is DEF?"
The response was, "I don't
know that one either. I'll have
to look it up." Also, there was
no truck instruction manual.
I did look it up for safety. DEF
is diesel exhaust fluid, which
typically is 2/3 deionized
water and 1/3 urea and needs
to also be periodically refilled.
It's sprayed into the exhaust
stream to reduce NOx into harmless
Dr. Klaus M. Blache
Univ. of Tennessee Reliability and
Renting a moving truck can teach
some important reliability and