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Discovering Valuable Trends in Machinery Reliability

Much can be said about trends that relate to equipment reliability in one way or another. Like everything else, they come and go randomly. Just like carbonated water, trends that are reduced to the flavor of the month can fizzle out and disappear rapidly. Trends probably always existed in all fields of endeavor and have been observed for years in the field of machinery reliability improvement. This article focuses on some recent ones that are on relatively solid ground and should be of interest to you.


A Perfect Storm for an MRO Stockroom Crisis

There is a multi-headed monster of a crisis barreling toward us. 

This crisis in the sourcing, stocking and justifying of maintenance, repairs and operations (MRO) spares has been developing since the 1990s and will likely get worse before it gets better. The core of the crisis and the reasons for it are distinct. These distinct contributors form the perfect storm of trouble for any maintenance department, especially ones that have implemented lean principles. The solution is surprisingly in the domain of asset management.


The New Generation of Online Vibration Analysis

The Vibration Fault Periodic Table concept was created and introduced to the public in an article published in the June/July 2012 Uptime® magazine. The original concept was designed to classify vibration faults in the form of a periodic table of the elements. That is to say, the faults were grouped according to frequency content and dominant direction or response. This format was found to be very useful in gaining a better understanding of the nature of each individual vibration fault, as well as providing the analyst with a quick assessment tool for determining the likely root cause for a particular problem in the field.


2016 UPTIME AWARDS WINNER Best Green Reliability Program

LOOP LLC operates the only crude oil deepwater port complex in the United States, consisting of an off-loading facility in the Gulf of Mexico and pipeline, storage and domestic terminaling facilities in southeastern Louisiana. The deepwater port complex is a vital energy hub, with pipeline connections to approximately 50 percent of the nation’s refining capacity. The Clovelly Hub facility can store over 70 million barrels of crude in belowground caverns and aboveground tanks. LOOP’s unique pumping systems can transport crude at rates in excess of 100,000 barrels per hour on multiple, interconnected pipelines.


The Reliability Impact Within the P-F Curve

When looking at the P-F reliability curve, there are two main categories of maintenance reliability action where resources may be focused: the P-F region and the I-P region.


Asset Condition Monitoring: Technician Certification

Editor’s Note: This article was adapted from the 94-page Asset Condition Monitoring Project Manager’s Guide published in January 2017. The guide is coauthored by Terrence O’Hanlon and Dave Reiber of and Jack Nicholas, an independent sole proprietor.1 The guide is sponsored by Des-Case (Precision Lubrication), Pruftechnik (Alignment), SDT (Ultrasound) and SKF (Motor Condition Monitoring), whose representatives appended insightful statements on the impact of their technologies on asset condition monitoring. The guide supplements comprehensive material in Jack Nicholas’ new book, Asset Condition Monitoring Management, published by in December 2016.2


How to Make the Most of Predictive Maintenance

Traditionally, reliability engineers have been the leaders in introducing new maintenance processes and technologies. As the primary owners of asset reliability, whether or not it came from the introduction of condition-based maintenance or instrumentation, they have been at the core of the transformation.


PM and Scheduled or Condition-Based Acoustic Lubrication

Acoustic lubrication has taken off with afterburners lit (old aviation phrase). During the 2017 RELIABILITY Conference™ hosted by®, several representatives from various organizations remarked at how well their acoustic lubrication program had made such a difference. As an example, the cost savings by way of reduced man-hours using time-based lubrication and the amount of grease not purchased are two reasons.


Maintenance Budget and Variance Practices Redesigned

Do you ever sense that your plant’s budget and variance practices may actually hurt the business? Here is what your gut is telling you and what to do about it.

Maintenance job plans are two-dimensional and activity-based. The foundation dimension, the determined tasks to each job plan, is activity. The other dimension, also determined by analyses, is the resources and their unit costs to be engaged or consumed by each activity.

The alternative to activity-based, two-dimensional job plans is unacceptable to maintenance professionals. Maintenance professionals would never accept the practice of one line job plans for which the total cost of labor, parts and materials, services, etc., are set by rule of thumb or by what management arbitrarily allows. It would be chaos.