Efficient Plant June 2018 - 8

column | implementations

Seeking the
Culture of
Discipline
Dr. Klaus M. Blache
Univ. of Tennessee Reliability
& Maintainability Center
(RMC)

M

OST COMPANIES
want to reduce their level
of reactive maintenance,
yet most are too busy fighting daily
plant-floor issues and struggle to find
a workable path toward continual
improvement. Some are able to start
in a good direction, but cannot sustain
it. Others are making so much money
they can't (or won't) stop long enough to
make the necessary adjustments.
There are many reasons for this,
such as focus on short-term results,

Relationship of Maintenance and Cost

Direct Cost of Maintenance

Implementation
bow wave

Breakeven point
(2 to 3 yr.)

Planned PM
(20% to 70%)

Condition-based
maintenance
(20% to 50%)
Operator maintenance
(20% to 50%)

Reactive
maintenance
(30% to 80%)

Strive for zero downtime

Time
This graph shows the relationship of repair costs
to various maintenance approaches. Source: "Taking the Forties Field to 2010," R.L. Thompson, et
al, BP Exploration, presented at the SPE International Offshore European Conference, Aberdeen
Scotland, Sept. 1993.

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.

8

Proactive/planned
maintenance
(50% to 80%)

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

2 to 5 yr.

lack of understanding of a reliability-based maintenance process, not
enough resources to implement, not
preparing a good cost justification,
changes in management leadership/
direction, and refusing to make an
initial investment. A new maintenance/
reliability initiative usually involves additional cost. This is because it requires
some training, obtaining technologies
and tools, and possibly obtaining ex-

pert guidance, often with a result of uncovering additional issues that need to
be addressed. The accompanying chart
depicts the relationship of maintenance
and cost over time.
Since North America is averaging slightly more than 30% reactive
maintenance, the chart is reflective of
current situations. If you don't have the
revenue to get it all started, use smaller
steps in targeted areas. The process
changes, although difficult, will be the
easier step for many. Establishing a
supportive culture will be even more
challenging. When a workforce has
good processes and is able and willing,
you have discipline. Jim Collins, in
Good to Great (Harper Business, New
York, 2001) said it best: "All companies
have a culture, some companies have
discipline, but few companies have a
culture of discipline.
 When you have disciplined people,
you don't need hierarchy.
 When you have disciplined
thought, you don't need bureaucracy.
 When you have disciplined action,
you don't need excessive controls.
With a culture of discipline, where
people know what to do and are
capable of and willing to do it, great
performance is a natural outcome."
When performing reliability and
maintainability assessments in various
companies (interviewing numerous
employees), most say that they want to
be able to do the right thing to improve
operations. This kind of change takes
more than the few months that executives are typically willing to wait. A discipline of culture starts with management daily actions and sustains when
employees are held accountable. EP

JUNE 2018


http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

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