Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 48

FINAL THOUGHT

Musings on Maintenance
And Mobility

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

W

hat we do and how we do it have
changed dramatically with regard
to maintenance and its impact on
reliability. Gone are the days when
you could easily repair most things on your car and
perform regular maintenance. Today, it's all about
computer sensors, algorithms, and data historians. As
a result, in most cases, we take for granted that our
transportation modes are adequately maintained and
reliable. Let's look at some snippets of what's going in
areas of reliability and maintenance (R&M) on cars,
trains, planes, and ships.

Cars: Tesla's plant in Fremont, CA (tesla.com, Palo

Alto) is now the most advanced and talked about
automotive factory in the world. The site was the
former home of New United Motor Manufacturing
Inc. (NUMMI), a joint venture of General Motors
and Toyota (1984 to 2010). Based on my scan of
recent Tesla job postings, maintenance technicians in Powertrain are expected to perform at a
Journeyman Level on all machines in the assigned
area and be responsible for preventive maintenance,
troubleshooting/repair, clean lines, and escalation of
assigned equipment. Individuals in these roles must
be willing to tackle whatever maintenance challenge
arises and to assist and learn from others in their
areas of expertise. A sampling of the posted jobs
seems to highlight the company's interest in worker
flexibility and high levels of employee engagement.
This doesn't mean maintenance technicians are
expected to have all the answers regarding plant
culture. Installing and sustaining an autonomous
workforce may be more difficult than building
autonomous vehicles.

Trains: Railways are considering using drones to
help with security, initial track inspections, and
predictive maintenance. Some already leverage
them for safe, economical checking of switch-point
heating systems. Other advanced-technology
approaches include the use of: wheel-temperature
detectors (infrared) to check brakes, wheel-profile
monitors (lasers and optics) to assess wheel wear,
and acoustic-detector systems (acoustic signatures)
to identify wheel-bearing failure. Deutsche Bahn
(DB) and Siemens are piloting predictive analytics
to avoid failures and make vehicle maintenance
48 |

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

Advances in technologies,
approaches, and methods are
helping to keep our various
modes of transportation moving,
as well as ensuring that they
are reliable and safe.

recommendations. All diagnostic
data is ultimately made available
to maintenance personnel.

Planes: The 472 million-cubic-

sq.-ft. Boeing aircraft plant
in Everett, WA, is the largest
building in the world by
volume. A tour guide told me
maintenance costs on new 787
Dreamliners produced there are 30% lower than for
earlier models. These planes are also expected to have
a 30-yr. life (versus 20 for metal planes). Built mostly
from carbon/polymer resin (lighter than aluminum,
tougher than steel) Dreamliners consume 20% less
fuel than earlier Boeing planes. Maintenance on
these technological marvels also requires expertise in
repairing composite structures.

Ships: On the Hawaiian cruise ship "Pride of
America," I discussed maintenance and operations with the vessel's chief engineer. Manned by
a 927-member crew, this 81,000-ton, 921-ft., ship
runs with 25-MW propulsion power and 50-MW
auxiliary power. (Its maximum speed of 27.6 mph
is fast enough to water ski). Typical maintenance
activities include corrosion repair; cleaning drains,
air ducts, and chiller and boiler tubes; venting engine
fumes; and conducting on-board monitoring. The
54-person engineering staff is "hands on" and also
does maintenance. Big maintenance is performed
in port. Conditioned-based maintenance is often
outsourced. Spare parts can be a particular challenge,
since the ship is usually moving from place to place.
Much goes into keeping cars, trains, planes, and
ships moving. Next time you travel by any of these
modes of transportation, think about what's being
done to ensure your reliable and safe journey. 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.
JUNE 2017


http://www.tesla.com

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

Editorial
Uptime
On The Floor
IIoT
ISO 55000
Products
Ad Index
Showcase
Final Thought
AZ Puts Proactive in Reliability
Glimpse The Future of Predictive Maintenance
Automation-System Updates
MRO: Counterfeit Parts
MRO: Reduce Your Lube Inventory
MRO: Optimize Belt Conveyor Systems
Manage Used and Waste Oils Wisely
Motor Insulation Test Payback
SAP: Tips and Tricks
Cool Off Compressors
Be A Safety Leader
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 2
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 3
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Editorial
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 5
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Uptime
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 7
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - On The Floor
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 9
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - AZ Puts Proactive in Reliability
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 11
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 12
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 13
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Glimpse The Future of Predictive Maintenance
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 15
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 16
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 17
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Automation-System Updates
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 19
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 20
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 21
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - MRO: Counterfeit Parts
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 23
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 24
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - MRO: Reduce Your Lube Inventory
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 26
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 27
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - MRO: Optimize Belt Conveyor Systems
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 29
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 30
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 31
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - SAP: Tips and Tricks
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Cool Off Compressors
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Be A Safety Leader
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 35
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - IIoT
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - ISO 55000
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Manage Used and Waste Oils Wisely
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 39
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 40
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Motor Insulation Test Payback
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 42
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Products
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 44
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - 45
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Ad Index
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Showcase
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Final Thought
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Cover3
Maintenance Technology June 2017 - Cover4
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