Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 48

FINAL THOUGHT

Can You Be Lean
Without Reliability?

Dr. Klaus M. Blache
Univ. of Tennessee
Reliability &
Maintainability
Center

In actuality,
reliability
shares and
improves many
of the elements
needed for
Lean.

48 |

T

he goal of most facilities is to increase
production and reduce costs. Implementing
a Lean process enables an ongoing focus
on continuous improvement by constantly
reducing waste from, among other things, overproduction, material movement, excess inventory,
and rework. In short, it's a systematic method for
removing non value-added practices.
My Lean implementation experiences involve
more than 30 elements, including 5S, mistake
proofing, TPM (Total Productive Maintenance),
just-in-time (JIT), and kaizen. When I roll out a
reliability and maintainability (R&M) process, it's
done with 14 elements, including work management, equipment and process design, TPM,
standardized processes, and root-cause
analysis (RCA).
The most successful Lean and
reliability processes start with organizational culture (first improving employee
engagement, developing a culture of
discipline, and forming an operations
and maintenance partnership). Lean
and reliability reduce defects. Lean
builds quality in station and reliability
reduces designed-in R&M issues as
organizations move from reactive to moreproactive maintenance. Lean uses a kanban
(pull-system) to build product on-demand, and
reliability promotes condition-based maintenance to
respond to demand, i.e., measured target values.
Many additional things need to happen to make
Lean and reliability successful, but they should all
be driven by small-team continuous-improvement
efforts. Lean and reliability basically share a number
of similar core processes. A few key ones include:
■ focus on the operator/autonomous maintenance
■ standardized work/processes
■ waste reduction
■ continuous improvement
■ data-based decision-making.
Reliability also supports Lean through lifecycle
asset management that increases Overall Equipment
Effectiveness (OEE) and reduces cost. After all,
unstable machine conditions make a pull-system
difficult or impossible.
The toughest part of implementing Lean and
reliability is culture-related, i.e., when transfer to

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

daily practice needs to occur. Implementation might
work for a short time, but can it sustain? Unstable
(low-reliability) processes can't be sustained. Kaizen
is much easier and positive when sites have a history
of team problem solving.
My research has shown that top-quartile companies in reliability, i.e., lowest reactive maintenance:
■ were 27% better in OSHA Recordable Incident
Rates than the average of the remaining facilities.
■ averaged 7% higher OEE than Middle (2nd and 3rd
quartile) performers and 11% higher OEE than
those in the bottom quartile.
■ averaged nine suggestions per employee versus
one for the lower 75% of companies.
■ were 28% better in maintenance cost (expressed
as a percentage of sales) than the middle 50% and
69% better than the bottom quartile.
A study of more than 400 facilities showed that
more than 70% of Lean implementations failed,
i.e., attained less than half of the expected business
results. Reasons for these failures often involve not
being culturally ready, lack of workforce discipline
in standardized work, and employees not engaged in
continuous-improvement efforts.
My facility assessments indicate a high correlation between improved organizational culture and
increased plant reliability-process maturity. While
it's critical to have the right processes in place,
improving culture helps operations quickly achieve
top-quartile performance.
Reliability shares and improves many of the
elements needed for Lean. It can also provide
detailed technical direction on process variability
and capability. Using Weibull analysis, you can better
plan for maintenance and calculate such things as
how much variability is acceptable and if the operation is running at the highest possible throughput.
To answer the question in the title, the
foundational elements of Lean and reliability are
so intertwined that you can't accomplish Lean
without reliable people, processes, and production
machinery and equipment. MT

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
kblache@utk.edu.
AUGUST 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology August 2017

Editorial
Uptime
On The Floor
Reliable Security, Reliable Operations
Highly Charged Reliability
Drowning in Data? Look to the 'Stars'
Reliable Pumping Supplement
SAP: Tips and Tricks
Steam-Trap Inspections
Saving Tribal Knowledge
Seats for Butterfly Valves
IIoT
ISO 55000
Understand Lube ID Systems
Tomato Processor Boosts Steam Output, Cuts Emissions
Products
Ad Index
Showcase
Final Thought
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 2
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 3
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Editorial
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 5
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Uptime
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 7
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - On The Floor
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 9
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Reliable Security, Reliable Operations
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 11
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 12
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 13
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 14
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 15
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Highly Charged Reliability
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 17
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 18
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Drowning in Data? Look to the 'Stars'
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 20
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 21
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 22
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Reliable Pumping Supplement
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 24
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 25
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 26
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 27
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 28
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 29
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 30
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - SAP: Tips and Tricks
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Steam-Trap Inspections
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Saving Tribal Knowledge
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Seats for Butterfly Valves
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - IIoT
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - ISO 55000
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Understand Lube ID Systems
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 38
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 39
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Tomato Processor Boosts Steam Output, Cuts Emissions
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 41
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 42
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Products
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 44
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - 45
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Ad Index
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Showcase
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Final Thought
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Cover3
Maintenance Technology August 2017 - Cover4
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