What do you require in a new piece of equipment? Specifications will allow you to carve in stone requirements that will affect the operation and maintenance of new equipment. You will be able to list special conditions that affect your facility or requirement of the part or product you are going to produce. The vendor will know what is required to meet your needs and can make changes before the equipment build faze that can reduce cost and improve reliability.


The team you assemble will have a direct result on the outcome of the process. Be sure to include Engineering, Maintenance, Health and Safety, Machine Operators, Purchasing, Plant Operations, and anyone else that you feel can bring value to the process. All team members will look at the new equipment thru a different set of glasses and when you add all of the information you have a better understanding of the total picture. Each team member has a different stake in the process and the total package will improve Reliability of all new equipment.


Determine the need for new equipment. The Engineer then will assemble the team for the project. A kickoff meeting will be held to explain the requirements to the Stakeholders. Maintenance will review history in the Computer Maintenance System. Allison has named this process Repetitive Failure Analysis, (RFA). The RFA will give a history of like equipment in your facility that can be analyzed for failures in each system. After analysis each failure mode can be classified for impact on the production system and determination made as to criticality on the process. At this time you may find that there are machines in your system that are similar but from different manufactures. One manufacture may require more maintenance than another. This exercise will give you the opportunity to investigate the Root Cause of the failures and determine which manufacture offers the best value for your maintenance dollar. You will also develop a concerns list that you can present to the machine tool vendor for him to address to improve the reliability of the new equipment.

After the team agrees on a suggested vendor list Purchasing will go to the vendors for quotes. When the quotes are returned it will be time for the team to review each quote. Noting all issues in which the vendors do not comply with the specifications. At this time a cost benefit summary must be completed to justify any non compliance to the specifications. Remember that Reliability must be a part of the cost benefit picture. When this portion of the process is completed you can now award the contract to the Machine Tool Vendor for the required equipment.

At this time the Engineer receives a copy of the approval drawings for review. The team will review the drawings with the engineer and give tentative approval of the concept. A meeting is scheduled with the team and the vendor to complete a Safety FEMA. In this process the team will review all tasks required to operate and maintain the equipment. Based on an Excel program that has a list of hazards and some very fancy macros, a list of hazards will be created. The team will then analyze the list to mitigate the hazards. This may require some redesign work by the vendor or may be internal procedures to reduce all risks to employees. If redesign is required the vendor will submit drawings showing the changes for final approval. After final approval the vendor will begin construction of the equipment.

Upon completion of the build, the vendor will schedule a time for the Maintenance Technology Department to visit their site for completion of the Pre-runoff process. This process consists of a check list of questions related to the specifications for the equipment. When the check list is completed a Punch List of issues that do not comply with the specifications will be created and reviewed with the vendor for correction prior to the part runoff. Allison Transmission uses an Access Data Base for the check list that has a list of reports that we can run to retrieve any information about the equipment. The beauty of the system is that we can archive the information and use it if we purchase another piece of equipment from the same vendor. At the time of this visit the Maintenance Technology Department also will apply all relevant Technologies to the new equipment to establish baseline measurements for the equipment. Allison Transmissions uses Infra Red, Ball Bar, Vibration Analysis, Ultra Sound, Motor Circuit Analysis, Laser Alignment, Laser Geometry, High Speed Video, and Low Frequency Sound Detection as part of our Maintenance program. We will also do a Noise Certification to insure that the equipment meets the noise standard for our facility. After the vendor has completed the remediation of the punch list items a production runoff will be scheduled.

Production part runoff will confirm the cycle time of the machine and also provide the opportunity to confirm the part quality. This will prove the capability of the equipment to produce the part to specifications. At this time it will allow production operations time to receive training on the equipment to decrease implementation time upon arrival of the equipment in the plant. Maintenance will also have the opportunity to receive training on the Maintenance procedures for the equipment. Upon completion of the runoff all processes will be proven and the equipment will be ready to ship.

Receiving the equipment in the plant is the next step in the process. Unpacking and installation of the equipment with utility hook ups is the first step. At this time the Maintenance technology Department will reapply the applicable Technologies to the equipment to confirm that there was no damage in shipment. The base line measurements should be duplicated at this time. An in house runoff will repeat the process of the vendor site runoff. At this time training for all of the production staff and the maintenance department are completed. If training and quality requirements are met the equipment will be turned over to production. As part of the receiving process the Documentation team will review all the documentation provided with the equipment for accuracy and completeness. Any problems with the documentation will be corrected at this time. Upon validation all documents are entered into the Master Machine Tool Library where a copy is maintained as a Master. All documents are also entered into a computer data base allowing all personnel access to them online. After the documentation is complete and process is proven the engineer will contact all the team members for sign off on the equipment. Then arrangements for final payment to the vendor are made.

Implementing this process at Allison Transmission has reduced the time to commission a new piece of equipment at Allison from 90 days to 10 days.


TRUST: Management must trust the hourly workers and the hourly workers must trust management

EMPOWERMENT: All team members must be empowered to participate in the process at all levels.

STAKE HOLDERS: Are not adversaries. Everyone must work together for the betterment of all.

FORMALIZE THE PROCESS: The process must be defined and repeatable to be value added. You must measure the results of the process.


MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO: Continue with the Stake holders as adversaries.





Machine And Equipment Purchase Flow Chart

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