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Articles

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Selecting the Correct Maintenance Strategy

Determining the proper maintenance strategy for a site’s assets can be a daunting undertaking. There’s a fine line between profitability and reliability, and frequently, a facility’s strategy usually favors one or the other. When weighted toward running equipment past its design or capabilities, it can lead to frequent, unplanned interventions and associated costs of labor, material and lost production. When the arc of the pendulum swings too far to over maintaining an asset, the availability can be seriously hindered and impact profitability. It’s important to find that “sweet spot” between these two approaches to ensure there’s an appropriate amount of maintenance that still drives profitability. The question is how to find it.

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An Asset Manager’s Guide to Harvest Management Commitment

The Oct/Nov 2016 Uptime article, “An Asset Manager’s Guide to Building a Meaningful Company Vision,” explained why it’s essential to have a company vision at the department level in order to gain collaboration and create excitement among department level managers. Next, this article explains why it is crucial for the enterprise asset manager to guide department level managers toward an understanding of how to translate their vision into a top level, order of magnitude for change. In other words, a company vision is only good if it can be sold to the executive level team of your organization.

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Special Feature - Terry Wireman

At The RELIABILITY Conference 2016 in Las Vegas, world-renowned author and maintenance expert, Terry Wireman, announced his retirement. Wireman is the very definition of a prolific writer, authoring numerous textbooks, white papers, and articles. Following his announcement, Wireman received Reliabilityweb.com’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Take a trip down memory lane as we revisit some highlights from Wireman’s storied career.

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The Importance of Planning to Sustain Continuous Improvement

Leaders. They used to be represented at almost every maintenance reliability conference around the world. They were seen as the best in asset management with a seemingly limitless number of case studies that clearly showed the benefits of root cause analysis (RCA), condition monitoring, reliability-centered maintenance (RCM), planning and scheduling. Their people gave presentations that clearly showed the value of the foundational elements of walking down your assets, developing an accurate equipment hierarchy and performing a thorough criticality analysis.

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Reciprocating Pumps: System Modification for Maintenance Improvement

System modification is an economically viable option to restore mechanical integrity, achieve optimum operation and reduce maintenance costs. This is realized through the development of a system modification program for a reciprocating pump with recurring leakage failures.

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How to Know If an Inspection Is Technically Feasible

The SAE International standard for reliability-centered maintenance (RCM)1 says an inspection2 should be done if it is technically feasible and worth doing. The hard part is identifying when a task is technically feasible.

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A Glimpse at the Future

Editor’s note: From 1996 to 2000, the author had the privilege of doing a greenfield construction and start-up of a chemical plant in Asia. Part of the land was still being reclaimed from the ocean when he arrived. This article describes how he and the work team developed work processes to do things in the way they had always wanted to do them.

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Redefining Reliability Through Lean Practices

The concept of reliability changes from business to business. No one definition is correct because reliability needs change from one business to the next. However, personnel in charge of a reliability program should have a clear answer to what reliability means to them. This article helps define what reliability means to an organization, shows where flaws can develop in the program, explains how reliability responds to evolving business needs and demonstrates how lean principles can relate to these processes.

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Do No Harm: The Hippocratic Oath Applied to Reliability

The Greek physician Hippocrates (c.460 BC – c.370 BC) is credited with an oath that was meant to provide certain ethical standards a physician was to uphold. While maintenance is not of the magnitude as being a doctor, organizations would do well to apply portions of the Hippocratic oath to their maintenance practices. Two such examples are: “…to teach them this Art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation; and that by precept, lecture, and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the Art to my own sons, and those of my teachers, and to disciples...” and “I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment … and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous.”1 This article focuses on the latter, “and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous,” or in 21st century vernacular: Do no harm.