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AEDC Focuses on the Human Elements of Maintenance and Reliability

Speaker Terrence O’Hanlon, publisher of and Uptime Magazine and the executive director of the Association for Maintenance Professionals (AMP), engaged engineering and technical professionals to consider three things in his presentation to implement in their processes of Maintenance and Reliability.

O’Hanlon said that often Maintenance and Reliability focuses on the mechanical elements of a corporation instead of the people that control the mechanical elements. He began his presentation with a way to incorporate people into the reliability process.

Due to a previous illness, O’Hanlon was forced to take a leave from his leadership role while personnel at his company began to temporarily lead themselves. Upon his return to lead the company, he found that the personnel didn’t want him to lead but instead wanted to lead themselves. The personnel, however, did express they wanted his overall leadership for the company.

“They said they wanted to do it (lead themselves) and I said ‘you don’t know anything about reliability’ and so we began to develop a system so they could know,” O’Hanlon said. “They said ‘we can learn it, we can know about it, we hear you talking about it and we go to the (reliability) conferences.’ We set out to develop a system so that people could know it.”

That system, called Uptime ElementsTM, guides on how reliability occurs. Uptime Elements is a series of domains with elements including Reliability Engineering for Maintenance, Asset Condition Management, Work Execution Management and Leadership for Reliability.

Part of his presentation focused on embedding sustainable leadership and culture. Personnel should be trained in elements that keep the mission on track because reliability or maintenance decisions may be influenced by what upper level management believes is critical to the mission’s operation.

“Prior to the lunch and learn session, several workshops were held at AEDC in which Air Force and ATA systems, project and maintenance engineers and managers were in attendance for the first day’s session,” said Ramesh Gulati, in the ATA Test Assets and Support Division. “The second day’s session was presented to AEDC asset owners and capital investment project managers.

“We try to bring the best speakers from the industry to educate our AEDC folks in industry best practices, two to four times a year. In addition, it gives us an opportunity to network with our industrial neighbors in this area to share our experiences and lessons learned.”

O’Hanlon’s visit concluded with a third and final session at University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) as a Lunch and Learn. More than 90 people, including those from AEDC, Nissan, Honda, Condition Monitoring and Reliability Solutions, were in attendance as well as others from industries in the surrounding area.

Lynn Moran, SMRP Middle Tennessee Chapter chairperson, thought O’Hanlon provided key elements that the participants could take with them to implement in their Maintenance and Reliability areas.

“I think the speaker provided an overview of what’s happening in the reliability and asset management area,” Moran said. “He also provided his views on how to deal with and what’s important in the reliability culture, integrity and safety.”

SMRP is a nonprofit professional society formed by practitioners, with a mission to serve leaders in advancing Reliability and Physical Asset Management. SMRP provides value for individual practitioners as well as companies practicing and sustaining Maintenance and Reliability best practices.

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