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Common Sense: Is It Common?

The phrase, “It’s just common sense,” is used quite often to describe conclusions or circumstances that are obvious to most people, at least those within earshot. However, W. Edwards Deming, a well-respected management guru and quality expert, famously said, “There’s no such thing as common sense. If there were, it would be common.” So, at least from Deming’s perspective, you have the answer to this article’s question. Moreover, you’ve probably seen any number of instances where common sense just doesn’t seem to have been applied, each instance lending credibility to Deming’s opinion. That said, let’s explore this further and perhaps try to begin to understand why he said this and why so often there are instances where common sense is not applied. Maybe it’s just not as common as it should be.


The Human Factor in Asset Management

Many companies have started, are in the middle of, or have already finished an operational excellence exercise. Although these companies are in different industries, the strategy for optimizing their technical departments (e.g., maintenance, engineering, utilities, facilities) is about 90 percent the same. So, the approach does not change much in the different industries or in the different departments.


Part 2: Does Relying on Criticality Put Your Organization at Risk?

This article is Part 2 of a two-part series focusing on risk as an enabler for asset management (AM). Part 1 argued the case for moving away from criticality to an ISO31000 risk-based approach. This part will address how to effectively model asset risk in complex systems.


No Part Left Behind: 4 Simple Rules for Efficient Inventory Management

Managing your inventory levels correctly can mean the difference between machinery that has broken down and is slowing down the assembly line or a smoothly running machine that is boosting productivity.

In today’s competitive industry, no company can afford downtimes and delays in production due to missing parts. With increased competition, companies depend on their supply chain to be leaner, healthier and faster than the competition.


How MedImmune Kicked Their Cogeneration Project into Overdrive

MedImmune is the biologics and biotechnology research and development (R&D) arm of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca. MedImmune is the mind behind many popular pharmaceutical products on the market today, including Synagis®, a preventative treatment against severe respiratory infections in infants, FluMist®, an influenza vaccine administered as a nasal spray, Imfinzi®, an immunotherapy for cancer, and monoclonal antibodies Fasenra® and Siliq.


Informed Model for Selection of Maintenance Strategy

The absence of documentation and the presence of poor strategic maintenance methodology admittedly leads to running assets/plant on a run to failure strategy. In an effort to address such a situation, this article presents best practices and informed factors that asset managers and maintenance personnel must consider in order to select the right maintenance strategy for their asset or plant.


Will IIoT Technologies Replace Factory Maintenance Workers?

The idea that smart factory technology will displace humans has generated considerable discussion. In a July 2016 report, McKinsey & Company estimates that “59 percent of all manufacturing activities could be automated.”1 In an article that can be applied to the field of industrial analytics, the MIT Technology Review2 suggests that unlike past experience, technologies are providing solutions that are more humanlike and could, therefore, eliminate jobs that so far have withstood automation.


Utilizing Process Dynamics to Increase Machinery Reliability

Plant and refinery problems require accurate measurements to assess plant productivity and reliability. In fact, as management guru Peter Drucker stated, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” forms the basis to many real-world problems, from engineering optimization studies to troubleshooting plant machinery and equipment. Drucker’s statement also alludes to the fact that you cannot know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked.


Developing an Effective Electric Motor Testing Program

It is estimated that almost half (45 percent) of global electricity is used by electric motors. Electric motors drive a considerable amount of equipment in almost all industries, from power generation to water and food supply to consumer products. The importance of electric motors in modern society cannot be understated. It is because of this vital role that it pays huge dividends to keep your electric motors running efficiently through a quality reliability program that includes energized and de-energized electric motor testing (EMT).