Efficient Plant May 2020 - 6

column | implementations

Develop
Problem
Solvers
Dr. Klaus M. Blache
Univ. of Tennessee Reliability
and Maintainability Center
(RMC)

Establishing and sustaining a successful
continuous-improvement process requires
commitment and support at all levels
including, for most, a significant culture
change.

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.

6

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM	

EP2005implementations.indd 6

I

'VE WORKED WITH several companies that started with a TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) process they rolled
out with awareness training and follow-up
Kaizen events. For most, the process went
fairly well. None of them, however, attained
the desired level of autonomous maintenance owner/operator. Also, team members
didn't realize the time needed to implement
ideas or develop the culture required to
support a robust continuous-improvement
process.
TPM continued, but slowly became less
effective without the proper plant-floor coaching and support. Specifically, elements didn't
materialize such as acquiring the needed
level of understanding of overall production
processes and time to follow up on ideas for
implementation and evaluate whether an idea
worked. To realize success requires consistent
management support of daily decisions.
As is typical of many organizations, one
company placed more emphasis on operations (production performance) than asset
health. Then the company went to an RCM
(reliability-centered maintenance) approach
with a reliability leader and a small support
staff. In the first few years, good progress was
made through training and pilot projects
that showed positive results. With these wins,
more people were understanding the relationship between reliability/maintainability and
safety, process variability, uptime, and cost.
Then came management changes and the
new leadership wanted to organize and drive
RCM under lean manufacturing. This was
done abruptly and destroyed the informal
processes and relationships that were enabling
success. It quickly became just another failed
attempt. It was not the processes that directly
failed. The lack of process consistency and
change management caused the system to fail.
The three methodologies-lean manufac-

turing, TPM, and RCM-are all intertwined.
Lean is typically implemented with more
than 30 elements, such as standardized work,
error proofing, 5S, TPM, and visual controls.
Facilities that understand TPM know that
it is, foremost, a continuous-improvement
process, instead of just a maintenance process.
It's about the entire plant being involved in
improving operations (overall equipment
effectiveness, six big losses, operator involvement, reliability, and better asset utilization).
Too often, companies partially implement and
try to do it in too short of a time period, while
still expecting great results.
In simplest terms, lean manufacturing
minimizes process waste while providing
maximum value. So do TPM and RCM.
TPM targets zero breakdowns, zero defects,
and zero accidents. RCM ideally wants to
design-out all failures. It's an asset-management strategy to identify components that can
cause unwanted consequences upon functional failure to your facility/assets/people.
It includes putting in place the best type of
maintenance strategy and intervention/monitoring, along with technologies. This is part of
PM optimization.
What's missed (or at least not fully implemented) is that all of these processes require
ongoing education, workforce engagement,
problem-solving skills, and a new thinking
process for all. If they are not understood
and supported as such, the process will have
sub-optimal results or fail.
Leaders at all levels who can build and
sustain employee enthusiasm in small-team
continuous-improvement systems (aligned
with plant and employee goals) open the gateway for a successful operation. It may be titled
lean, TPM, and RCM, but people must want
to make a positive difference and be provided
with a workplace that makes it possible for
them to reach company goals. EP

MAY 2020

5/1/20 10:33 AM


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Efficient Plant May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant May 2020

Efficient Plant May 2020 - loc
Efficient Plant May 2020 - Cover1
Efficient Plant May 2020 - gatefold1
Efficient Plant May 2020 - gatefold2
Efficient Plant May 2020 - IFC
Efficient Plant May 2020 - 1
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Efficient Plant May 2020 - 12
Efficient Plant May 2020 - mi1
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Efficient Plant May 2020 - Cover3
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