Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 12
the root cause, and putting processes
in place to prevent the issue from
happening again," Carpenter said.
Two years in, Carpenter and
Nolan are beginning to see the
fruits of the team's labor. "We
can see that it is working and
we have come a long way."
Counterclockwise from left.
Maintenance technician Dan Guth concentrates on
a detailed work request in the maintenance shop.
Andrew Carpenter, Neil Reichel, Chris Nolan,
and author Michelle Segrest (l-r), discuss
reliability and maintenance operations in the
AstraZeneca maintenance shop.
Redefining the maintenance
and reliability functions was
an anchor in achieving some
early wins for the new team.
"We are all here to get the
product out of the door, but
the difference is simply
the things we focus on,"
Nolan said. "Maintenance right now
focuses on the day-today activities-the
preventive maintenance piece and
execution of that at a
high level. But when
you are executing you
are challenged on the
day-to-day things, so it is
hard to find that balance of
time to take a look back on the
long-term items, like the vision. For
us, the difference between maintenance and reliability is that reliability
is getting into the data mining of the
maintenance activities. Particularly
in the pharma environment, that is a
big piece that ties back to the quality
culture, as well. The maintenance piece
is very tactical, while reliability centers
around more planning and vision."
Carpenter said the team's vision
began to take shape when it zoomed
in on the root-cause analysis program.
About six months into the program's
launch, Nolan began to notice a
distinct change in the culture.
"It was a Friday afternoon before
a three-day holiday weekend and
normally everybody was ready to
scoot," he said. "We had one of our
metrology calibration technicians
and engineering technicians having a
serious conversation about a particular
problem. It turned into an hour-anda-half discussion of digging into really
Maintaining the reverse-osmosis purifiedwater-generation system at the AstraZeneca
plant is critical to ongoing production.
into a root-cause
analysis. That is the first time when
I really thought this whole program
began to click. These guys were
looking beyond the fix and they were
passionate about preventing it from
Carpenter explained that the change
involved a clear switch from simply
fixing a problem to a focus on the big
picture. "We are better at documenting
the data and finding ways to prevent
failures," he said.
One of the areas the team focused
on heavily at the start of the reliability
program was predictive maintenance. Engineering technicians and
were sent to Level I vibration, infrared,
ultrasound, and laser-alignment
training. It didn't take long to see the
return on investment.
Nolan said another key win was
bringing the storeroom into the
"The storeroom is a key to reliability," Nolan said. "Paying attention
to what is going on in the storeroom
tells you what is going on in the plant.
What goes out of your storeroom
is a huge check and balance of your
Realizing how much can be learned
from problems and mistakes also made
a big difference.
"Problems are gold," Nolan said.
"Problems within your processes give
you 'aha' moments. This allows you
to bring people together to look at
what is going on and talk about how
can it be better. Don't ever be afraid to
share a problem because usually it can
positively impact you, your group, or
someone else." MT
Michelle Segrest is president of Navigate
Content Inc., and has been a professional journalist for 28 years. She
specializes in the industrial processing
industries and has toured manufacturing facilities in 41 cities in six countries on three continents. If your facility
has an interesting maintenance and/or
reliability story to tell, please contact her