Efficient Plant October 2017 - 11
column | implementations
total maintenance cost tied up in MRO
Companies that focus on just reducing
maintenance cost rarely reach longterm success in R&M processes. The
biggest savings (10 to 15 times greater
than any maintenance-cost reduction)
comes from increased throughput.
An operation can't cost-save its way to
increased mechanical availability and
All of these factors hold true for the entire
life-cycle-management process in logistics/
Product reliability and quality are the
main metrics that define customer satisfaction. Reliability and maintainability of
the manufacturing process make possible a
cost-competitive product. The logistics/supply
chain makes sure that a quality product is delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Working together, reliability and the logistics/
supply chain can improve availability and
Some supply-chain engineers are already
being trained as reliability engineers. They're
not merely replacing spare parts, but also
tracking component-reliability growth,
replacing some parts with more reliable items,
and, thus, generating greater asset availability.
No longer can R&M be something we "do"
to tactically fix issues. To achieve the level and
rate of improvement that local challenges and
global competition demand, R&M must now
be integrated at the strategic level to attain
sustainable competitive advantage.
In the era of the Internet of Things
(IoT), mobile-workforce solutions, big data,
enterprise systems, computerized maintenance-management software, and other
technological advances, everything needs
to be integrated for best chances of success.
The resulting collective insight must then
be transformed into tactical daily direction
toward best practices.
R&M teams and logistics/supply-chain
engineers share many of the same overall
interests. It's what they specifically focus on
and how they achieve their goals that are
somewhat different. Working separately, both
groups can be efficient. Working together,
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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