Efficient Plant July 2018 - 35
department | on the floor
SPELL OUT EXPECTATIONS
The next item is spelled-out work expectations (work practice
absolutes). For example:
Planned maintenance work will only be scheduled after the
job package is completely planned and all parts are available.
The planner is never involved in
All maintenance work will be captured
by the work-order system.
Start with a few and add them as your reliability and maintenance process matures. A well-running team will hold each other
accountable to these expectations.
SUPPORT AND NURTURE
Support condition-based monitoring, use of predictive technologies, root-cause analysis, and practical problem solving. This
enables you to find the issues and make the fixes. Small-team
continuous improvement is perfect for this kind of engagement.
Be prepared to ask the correct questions that help others get to
the solution. This develops more problem solvers.
You want a plant filled with people that are willing and capable of finding the root cause and fixing problems. Then you need
to nurture this every day with questions to continually bring any
straying processes back to standardized best practices.
What do your trades/technicians and engineers hear from
you during an asset breakdown? Do they hear: How long before
it's fixed? Don't ever let this happen again. How much is this going
to cost us? What can be done to repair this faster? If so, you are
saying to them that it's all about fixing it quickly and saving
Why not ask: What is the likely root cause of the issue? What
can be done to design-out the potential problem? What can be
done to catch the issues earlier? How can we find out if other
facilities have experienced similar issues and who else can benefit
from sharing the learning event?
Too many times, companies are making so much money operating with bad processes, that the thought of keeping a process
down for maintenance, or any other reason, is unthinkable.
So they get complacent with high levels of reactive maintenance-repeatedly fixing the same problems occurring at
different random times. I've frequently called this "maintenance
insanity," since they are still hoping for better (different) results by
getting good at reactive maintenance.
If you can't fix something when times are good, you won't be
able to fix it later (when there's less budget available). Start the
process now. This is a journey that requires persistence. Moving to
a proactive culture requires leadership at all levels. EP
Based in Knoxville, Klaus M. Blache is director of the
Reliability & Maintainability Center at the Univ. of Tennessee,
and a research professor in the College of Engineering.
Contact him at email@example.com.
Reliability and Maintenance
C o n s u l t i n g a n d Tr a i n i n g
Is your equipment operating at
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