If your maintenance department spends more time fixing breakdowns than discovering and eliminating the causes of faults, you know you're on shaky ground. You wonder: how do others manage to allocate over 90% of their maintenance resources to proactive activities? They lock in a well-planned Defect Elimination program.
What's in it for you?
Here are just a few of the many benefits of an efficient Defect Elimination program:
fewer equipment breakdowns
fewer process incidents
lower potential for major incident
fewer safety issues
more time freed up to spend on proactive maintenance
a culture that does not accept abnormality as the "norm".
Incident waiting to happen?
You know your maintenance system is reactive when your people are busy ... but it's all about fixing things and returning plant/equipment to an operational state. In these "fire-stomping" systems, failures are common; repairs and workarounds become "normal" practice; and, there is an increased risk of major incident. "Fire-stomping" can take on a whole new meaning. High-profile events, such as those at BP Texas City, Esso Longford and Moura Coal Mine, show what can happen when warning signs are ignored. Investigative reports into these explosions identified numerous failings in equipment, risk management, staff management, working culture at the site, maintenance and inspection, and general health and safety assessments.
How to Lock in Defect Elimination to Day-to-Day Operations
The fundamental elements of a successful Defect Elimination program fasten it to practical actions, real people and tangible results:
A) Program Goals B) Organizational Structure C) Deployment Time Frame D) Metrics, including threshold or "hurdle" criteria E) Reporting F) Corrective Action Tracking G) Quality Control H) Continuous Improvement Checkpoints.
How Does Defect Elimination Differ From an RCA Program?
A Defect Elimination approach delivers the framework in which you apply Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to your maintenance activities. Introducing RCA without an appropriate vehicle can result in ad-hoc and unsuccessful application of causal analysis principles. To be effective, the program demands the setting of clear goals, the definition of organizational roles from senior management level (who provide steering and governance) to program champions (who monitor and measure results), identification of trends, and provision of reports on the program "health" to management, to the facilitators and to problem solvers who analyze root causes and find solutions to prevent recurrence.
Clear triggers ensure analysis matches the severity of the problem, and that issues are recorded and not "closed out" until the solution has been applied. Program momentum builds over time as "cost avoidance" or benefits accumulate ... or, as What's in it for me? is replaced by What's the next step?