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Uptime Awards Stories 2013

Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati

Charlie Becker, Kevin Cunningham, Mike Duffy, John Feist, Jaclyn Gandee, Tom Goodman, Rob Johnson, Rick Meade, Brent Merwin, Brent Miley, Zeno Perry, Bob Smith, Eric Stevens, John Shinn Jr, and not pictured Doug Little and Mike Mueller.

To implement its strategic maintenance reliability plan that supports its mission and vision, MSD’s WWT division has shifted towards a team-based approach and created a group of change agents called the positive energy (pE) team. The team is composed of champions (crafts, crew leaders, supervisors and reliability engineers) who have volunteered to participate with positive energy in implementation activities. The implementation activities are carried out through chartered sub-teams composed of selected pE team members and other division staff.

Over the past 1-½ years, the pE team and chartered sub-teams completed two RCM studies, created a centralized predictive maintenance function, purchased and implemented predictive maintenance technologies, including laser alignment, adopted advanced planning and scheduling practices, performed a lubrication practices audit and provided golive support to a Maximo 7.5 upgrade. The team also created the “Find of the Week” to highlight positive work performed by staff, completed over 20 training workshops and gave numerous program updates at the semi-annual State of Plant Process Maintenance presentation at each treatment plant.

Since 2012 to date across 7 plants, efforts of implementing best practices have increased proactive maintenance hours by 24 percent. Increase in reliability by 33.6 percent, reduced downtime by 23.6 percent, work order cost reduction of over $500 thousand and cost avoidance of $650 thousand due to proactive maintenance activities. Monthly emergency failure rate has decreased by 55 percent including 67 percent scheduling success.

Hibbing Taconite Company: Managed by Cliffs


Driving a sustaining culture of reliability and pushing Hibbing Taconite to achieve new levels of excellence is the leadership within the reliability department and site upper management. This topdown reliability maintenance approach enables site reliability engineers to develop strong competencies in asset management technologies and enhances the development and training of personnel who operate and provide maintenance on the floor.

An emphasis on predictive technologies has turned the maintenance organization from reactive to proactive. Training in asset condition monitoring technologies and the continual development of reliability competencies are standard practices for reliability engineers and to develop the craft workforce.

Preventive maintenance is a key metric monitored within all departments. Assets on the site are continually reviewed for opportunities to increase reliability through Cliffs’s engineering maintenance tactics process. The workforce is engaged to probe for new ideas on how to gain more value in the process and also build ownership with equipment. The results of the process improve the ability to identify work accurately, increase equipment reliability and enhance throughput/availability/performance of the assets.

Reliability at Hibbing Taconite is a culture that seeks continual improvement of its assets and the workforce. The maintenance reliability team uses a tried and true maintenance system to provide reliable equipment that ensures the safety of employees, protects the environment, meets the production needs of Hibbing Taconite and generates sustainable bottom line results.

From left, front row: Daniel Othoudt, Daniel Mackey, Daniel Lerick, Carissa Butterfield, Nick Maki, Jonathan Eng
Back row: Craig Maki, Dana Koth, Chris Rootes, Tony Paleri

TransAlta Corporation Alberta Thermal Power Plants


The condition monitoring program at TransAlta Alberta Coal consists of three parts: excellence in knowledge and skill; communication of the knowledge; and communication of equipment and production loses prevented to show how condition monitoring has and can save money.

The condition monitoring team is responsible for doing the vibration testing and analysis on approximately 1,700 pieces of equipment at the Sundance and Keephills coal-fired power plants, as well as the rotating equipment at a 6,800 gpm water treatment facility and a fly ash sales facility that sells in excess of 350,000 tons of ash annually.

The program also includes taking an average of 2,200 oil samples per year from rotating equipment; thermography on 2,000 pieces of electrical and rotating equipment; electric motor on and off line testing of approximately 300 motors; transformer oil analysis on critical transformers; and ultrasound testing.

The program’s motto is: We may lack enough evidence to predict an equipment failure, but we will never predict an equipment failure because of lack of evidence. It is attention to being right all of the time that has helped drive the growth of the condition monitoring group. Very seldom is an equipment call made without using at least one other technology to verify the concern.

The results of the TransAlta condition monitoring program has led to it becoming a very integral part of the maintenance processes.


From left: Mark Kumar, Dwaine Thomsen, Dale Rowswell, Gilles Martin, Kirby Engelking, Harvey Henke, Darren Hum, Don Beisel

Zellstoff Celgar Limited Partnership


Zellstoff Celgar’s operator driven reliability (ODR) program began in the middle of 2010 with the main objective of involving the operations department in some of the maintenance activities. This would free up maintenance resources to focus on more advanced preventative and predictive maintenance strategies.

The success of the program required full support from the management team and operations department. Both recognized the value of a proactive approach and their support and endorsement was received.

In building the program, no one knows the equipment better than those operating it every day, so involvement of the operations team was fundamental to building the routes, inspection schedules and procedures.

Now three years later, the pilot project on one machine has been expanded to four other areas. Through the ODR schedule, 400 machines are currently inspected per week, with an average of 37 follow-ups resulting. This new inspection process has changed the way maintenance work priorities are defined and how the PdM group functions. Technicians spend much of their time on follow-ups identified through the ODR program and continuous monitoring systems, rather than on standard route-based data collections. The overall result is earlier detection on worn and failing equipment and a high level of operator ownership.

The program’s future includes expansion to all mill areas, implementation of ODR through the automated diagnostic system and a target of zero unpredictable failures.

Utilities ODR, from left: Dave Ingham, Jamie MacDougall, Ken Hunter-Oglow, Perry Parker, Pat Farrell, Steve Torres, Keith Girling, Dragan Trivanovic
Machines ODR, from left: Jim Zwick, Ken Johnson, Larry Walker, Dragan Trivanovic, Dave Ingham, Dough Raoul

Compañia Cervecera de Puerto Rico


Reasonable investments for a greener future at Compañía Cervecera de Puerto Rico brewery started with the development of the company vision in terms of energy management. In developing a strategic plan, five main challenges were identified: (1) Increase of prices of raw material, energy and transportation; (2) Help relieve worldwide shortage of water; (3) Stay competitive; (4) Reduce carbon footprint; (5) Reduce total operational costs.

The approach used to overcome these challenges is based on the beliefs that green power is only truly green if used efficiently; sustainability is not simply about saving the planet, but about the environment, business and society; and energy efficiency is a by-product of reliability.

The successes of the Compañía Cervecera de Puerto Rico green reliability program include: reducing environmental impact by 94 percent; reducing water consumption 67 percent; using only natural refrigerant ammonia for sustainable and environmentally-friendly solutions; reducing waste water discharge by half; reducing thermal energy consumption by 42 percent; and reducing total energy consumption by 40 percent.

The program has also reduced waste water treatment plant maintenance costs by 70 percent and waste water treatment plant power consumption by 35 percent. Through the green reliability program, a multi-technology condition-based maintenance program has been implemented, yielding an 86 percent reduction on total cost for the ammonia system.


From left, back row: Ramon Vasquez, Marlon Cabrera, Carlos Kelly, Ricardo Jeremias, Carlos Arroyo, Felix Manuel Laboy
Front row: Jonathan Ramirez, Wanda Serrano, Miguel Marrero, Maria Contreras

Ethanol Greenfield Quebec Inc.


Reliability has played a key role in the development of the Green- Field Ethanol plant in Varennes, Quebec, which went into operation in February 2007. Predictive technologies were introduced and a CMMS system implemented.

Over time, the foundation of the reliability program has been reinforced by adding numerous elements, such as new predictive tools; a planning and scheduling process; a continuous improvement team based on world-class maintenance practices; precision maintenance; PM and PdM optimization; execution and control of work; failure analysis and prevention; equipment management; CMMS improvement; and employee skills development. Moreover, continuous improvement methodologies have been adopted. The reliability process is also characterized by the elimination of waste and non-added value operations. KPIs and information analysis techniques make it possible to see patterns emerge and take action before problems occur.

The reliability process is reassessed annually using a rigorous method. The annual business plan is based on the results of the assessment in order to maintain gains and minimize weaknesses. In the last four years, a great improvement in adhering to the scheduling has translated into a significant drop in unplanned shutdowns, as well as a decrease in maintenance costs.

Despite good results achieved, there are still plenty of opportunities for improvement in the maintenance reliability program. The plant strives for excellence, which is not a short adventure, but rather an endless search.


From left: Nelson Kenny, Jonathan Leduc, Georges Duhamel, Jonathan Dion, Mathieu Fyfe-Leblanc, Frederic Laperriere, Martin Hamel, Yvan Dalpe, Patrick Petrin, Frederic Thivierge
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