The survey is still active and participants are entitled to a free copy of the completed report due October 30, 2009. This is a non-commercial project and no confidential information is requested. Your privacy is also assured."

Click here to participate in this study

According to Terrence O'Hanlon, CMRP and Publisher of Reliabilityweb.com and Uptime Magazine "Simply participating in this study is valuable as eight key opportunities for increased reliability performance are targeted. This provides participants an opportunity to discover for themselves where gaps may exist. Once the report is released, further information will be available by industry segment, country and company size.

Mark Brunner, Reliability and Maintenance Systems Superintendent at Onesteel in Australia has completed some assessment of the data to date and has highlighted nine points where companies can aim their reliability improvements in these tough economic times.

1. Give operations personnel some ownership of their plants by making them responsible for basic maintenance tasks.
In 47% of responses, operations personnel had little or no involvement in their lubrication processes, and a further 45% are partially involved. Give your operations personnel some responsibility for the lubrication and upkeep of their machines. Build lubrication procedures and train operations how to check lubrication levels and use a grease gun. In addition to this include basic safety inspections and machine cleaning. Responsibility breeds ownership, and ownership will lead to improved reliability.

 Operations Personnel

2. Start testing the condition of your lubricants and develop contamination standards and stick to them.
Over 60% of respondents did not maintain their lubrication to a defined standard. Over a third of these had no contamination standard at all. The long-term viability of your rotating equipment is heavily dependant of the condition of the lubricant. Lubrication contamination testing is relatively inexpensive, so while things are quiet, set up a monitoring schedule and build a relationship with a lube lab that will be able to guide you in setting acceptable standards.

Standards

3. Implement condition monitoring on your equipment that is critical or has a high cost to maintain.
Over 55% of respondents use condition monitoring on only some or none of their critical equipment. The key to improved reliability lies in monitoring the condition of your equipment and effecting repairs in a planned and scheduled way. Identify what equipment breaks down the most and costs the most to the company when it is down. Set up a condition-monitoring schedule for these plants. This does not just include the more costly technical aspects such as VA and thermography. Start with the basics such as visual inspections as well as looking, listening and feeling while the machine is running. This only costs time and is relatively easy to implement.

Condition Monitoring

4. Implement a system that ensures follow up work is progressed from your CM/Pdm inspections.
If you have a condition monitoring system in place, how well is the follow-up work performed? Measuring is of no consequence if actions are not put in place from inspections. Only 19% of survey respondents reported that issues identified via CM inspections were reviewed and prioritised within a week of the inspection. Your CM inspections must be integrated into your CMMS with other inspections and then subject to a work management process that provides for timely assessment.

 Inspections

5. Machine cleanliness must be a part of your asset management strategies.
The answers to the question on cleaning of equipment being part of the overall maintenance strategy were surprising. Cleanliness affects all aspects of plant reliability. Contaminated lube leads to machine degradation, dust and fumes lead to early life failure of electronics, process wastes building up can reduce equipments output or may create safety hazards. Added to this is that if people are used to working in an untidy workplace they are not likely to take ownership and hence look after their equipment.
Assess the cleanliness of your plant. Set standards and maintain your plant to the standard. A clean workplace is a far more reliable workplace.

Cleaning Equipment

6. Develop a work management process and make sure relevant people understand it.
Onesteel's defines Work Management as, "a system that enables the delivery of effective and efficient maintenance by controlling and prioritising the maintenance workload." The survey highlighted that many businesses have work management processes in place but in 50% of cases the system is not understood by all and not always followed. Work management processes must be documented and must be understood by everyone affected. Without understanding, people will continue be reactive and request work that will break the planning and scheduling cycle.

Standard Process

7. Use your CMMS to determine how much of your work is reactive and how much is proactive.
According to the survey 34% of businesses either don't measure this KPI or do it poorly. A further 39% measure it, but it is not well understood by maintenance and operations. Knowing your level of corrective work is one of the first steps to acknowledging your current reality. Most CMMS have the ability to record the work type. If you are not using it now, look at how to implement it. A reduction in reactive work indicates you are on the road to improved reliability.

Corrective Work

8. Make sure your maintenance tasks are working for you and audit them regularly.
This is one aspect of the survey where considerable improvements can be made for most businesses. Nearly 40% of respondents said that they do not audit compliance to work instructions at all. Without doing this how do you know the actions in work instructions are accurate or effective? If there has been little review of these over a period of time it is likely your workforce will accept the status quo. Start to show interest in your workgroups planned activities. Ask if the inspections are right, or what could be improved. Auditing will optimise your PM system.

Maintenance Work

9. Review your current strategies.
Over 30% of respondents said they reviewed their maintenance strategies in an ad-hoc manner. A further 25% said strategies are reviewed on the run, with no formal review process in place. Were the tasks you are currently doing put in place because they seemed like a good idea at the time? Was there solid logic behind the decision to include the tasks and does anyone remember what that logic was? Is the task actually required at all, or should you been doing it more often? To improve in these lean times a strategy review is a must.

Maintenance Strategies 

Other measures available from the survey.

The data represented above in derived directly from on-line software, however the survey results can be downloaded for further analysis. Following is an example of this.

Total Percentage


This graph shows that when the scores from all audit questions are converted to a percentage of the total, businesses with 1 to 10 employees rate themselves the highest with an average score of 68%. At the other end of the scale the average score for business with 10 to 50 employees rate themselves the lowest at 54% of the total.

In the final report there will be many more variations of this analysis. All requests for specific reports from survey respondents will be met if the data can be split appropriately. In the meantime have a look through the nine suggestions above, work out where you need to improve and change to improve your reliability.

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