Good equipment reliability requires that several abilities be taken into consideration for success:
1. Design-Ability: Most equipment is designed with the focus of being "on-time" and "on-budget", but not to be reliable. It is very difficult for your Maintenance Department to overcome poor equipment design. Poor equipment design will create recurring issues that will require repeated maintenance over the life span of the equipment.
2. Install-Ability: Equipment that is not properly installed will continually require maintenance resources to keep it operational upon demand. Additionally, large amounts of equipment defects are introduced during the installation process.
3. MaintainAbility: Maintainability is a characteristic of design and installation. The machine should be designed and installed so that maintenance activities can be easily completed in a timely manner restoring the equipment to its normal operating state, safely and with a reliability focus.
4. MeasurAbility: Equipment design, installation, operation and maintenance must be measured. All of the "abilities" should be designed and implemented in a way that allows performance and adherence to be measured. Otherwise, continuous improvement will be very difficult.
5. UsAbility: The equipment should be designed with its intended users (operations and maintenance) in mind. The equipment must be efficient to use, easy to learn to operate and maintain.
6. AccountAbility: Create reasonable expectations that challenge people, provide them the required means (tools, etc.) to do their job, offer support and hold them accountable for their efforts. Do not be oppressive! Be rewarding instead! A management style that is oppressive and punishes people for mistakes will create a work force that hides things. A management style that rewards people for their successes will produce an environment of employees that want to make continual improvements.
7. SustainAbility: Consideration and planning should be given to the long term implementation and sustainability of any reliability program. This includes ensuring that funding, management support, training, resources, etc. are provided continually and not just for a few months, or the first year, etc. A large percentage of reliability programs fail because they are not implemented in such a way as to make them sustainable over the longer term.
Condition Monitoring can help with these aspects of reliability. Condition Monitoring can help identify design related issues, installation related issues, maintenance tasks that should be completed, identify where processes tend to fail (accountability), etc.