The challenges facing any industry sector today are the same that existed decades ago and were delineated at many conferences and meetings. They are still the same challenges because acting on preexisting ones would have added to the workload.
Defect elimination may be the most significant initiative within a maintenance reliability program. It may also provide the largest return on investment in terms of asset reliability and plant uptime. From a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) perspective, defect elimination can be used to focus on recurring failures and significant events, and also to address potential failures.
Reliabilityweb.com just released the Asset Condition Monitoring (ACM) Project Manager’s Guide and, based on its contents, it’s a resource no organization should be without. For several years, I have been involved in asset management and managing condition based asset teams, but never have I seen a more complete project plan than what is presented in this guide. Not everything in the ACM Project Manager’s Guide will work for everybody, but there are sections in the guide that will adapt to every situation. No matter where you are on your asset condition monitoring journey, at the beginning or with a mature program, this guide contains information that will help to grow and sustain every ACM program.
Why are organizations leaving money on the table by not investigating failures that cost them money? One would venture to say that all manufacturing companies have failures each year that cut into their profit. The prevailing question is: What do you do when that failure occurs? Do you simply fix the equipment, get back up and running, and return to whatever you were working on at the time? Or, do you stop what you are doing and diligently try to understand why the failure occurred and put measures in place to prevent recurrence? Is the culture at your facility one that seeks to understand why something failed or is it in a mode where you need to get back up and running as fast as possible? How about your commercial team and management external to your facility? Is there perceived pressure and a lack of understanding that have driven your organization to a place where failures are not fully understood?
Engineer and management consultant Joseph M. Juran said, “If you don’t measure it, you don’t manage it.” It’s a fairly accurate statement. But, another question might be: “If you do measure it, does that help you manage it?” Far too often, experience shows that it does not, for a host of reasons. Some of these include: having too many measures leading to complexity and confusion about what’s important; a lack of focus; measuring the wrong things; not measuring things that are truly important to the business; having measures that are in conflict across functional boundaries; or not displaying the measures prominently or, if displayed, not keeping measures current, resulting in employees considering them unimportant (after all, if you don’t keep the measures current, how important could they be?).
In Part 1 of this article (Dec/Jan 2017), we talked of how good managers must always try to keep their organizations energized, moving forward and upward. To do this, they must find ways to constantly disrupt complacent, status quo thinking and behavior.
In less than 10 years, the consumer digital camera essentially completely replaced film cameras, which had been in the market for over 100 years. In an even shorter period of time, the smartphone has, in turn, sent the consumer digital camera the way of its film based cousin.