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Monday, January 20, 2020

Is Your Predictive Maintenance Program a Rifle or a Shotgun Approach?

Is your predictive maintenance program setup like a rifle or a shotgun? Would you say it is well thought out and directed at  a specific failure mode of a known risk or is it more of a shoot and scatter and see what I can hit approach?
Over the last few years I have seen more sites that are the later more than the former. They hand out PdM tools to untrained or minimally trained technicians, electricians, and mechanics and they tell them to just look for problems. In some cases there is no consideration for criticality of the asset, or the type of failures we should expect. They are literally just looking for any "hot spot" or "noisy bearing" in the area. They don't understand IR's emissivity or UE's reflectivity or many of the other things that can lead to misdiagnosis and bad calls. What's even worse is they don't have the rest of the work execution process so they are missing planning and proper scheduling so everything is handled as a reactive repair even when identified with PdM. The  problem with these programs is they fail and then the site say things like "We tried PdM and it did not work here." or "PdM does not work on our equipment, we are different"
Your PdM program must take on the traits of a rifle. It needs to be directed at identified failure modes of a level of risk to the facility that they are justified. PdM needs to feed your work control process so that it builds backlog that can then be planned and scheduled for execution.  This reduces maintenance cost substantially. If you are really going to attempt a PdM implementation, then expect to train extensively a core group of users that services the whole facility. And one last more controversial thought, start with multiple technologies that work together and learn to walk before before you run by using route based tools before you dive into IIOT and Industry 4.0.
PdM is not a point and squeeze effort take time to plan, strategize and fire that one precise shot that improves reliability in your site.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Blankets Are For Children Not Work Orders

Do you use and excessive amount of blanket work orders in your CMMS or eAM? Have you defined excessive? Do you have rules as to what can be on a blanket work order? Let's take a few minutes to talk about what blankets are and why you don't want too many in your eAM. Blanket work orders can contain or become a slush fund of hours and materials spend that leads to very poor asset management decisions. Why you say? Many organizations create them so that they can enter their maintenance time or order parts very quickly in the eAM. Capturing your time of course, is very good, but if it is not charged to a specific work order with an associated asset or piece of equipment then it does not provide much information on failure rates, recurrences, or historical cost. One reason we have an eAM is to be able to see labor and parts consumption by asset or piece of equipment so that we can then make good business decisions when it comes to replacement and refurbishment. If the cost to inspect a line or to repair a breakdown is going to a blanket work order then likely it is not being charged to an asset. Over the years, I have seen blanket work orders written at the area or line level with hundreds of hours of labor and hundreds of random parts assigned to them. None of that spend is hitting the asset history and none of those parts are associated with the equipment bill of materials.
There are times when a blanket work order makes sense. A few examples would be for tracking training hours for a team of techs or for tracking time used for operations support or even tracking morning meeting time. In these cases, we are not losing historical data and in fact are tracking a meaningful metric with the blanket work order.
The best way I have seen to limit the creation of blanket work orders is to ask yourself these two questions before you create one: 
  • Does this need to be charged to the asset for historical cost reporting? 
  • Would we want to know how often this reoccurs at the asset level? 
If yes, then create the specific individual work order tied to the specific asset or piece of equipment. So its not that all blankets are bad but their is a good and bad way to use them. Are you using them where they add value or where they obscure the very data we need to make good decisions?

Monday, January 6, 2020

7 Corporate Slogans That Will Change the Way You Live And Work!


As we start a new decade, many of us are thinking about what we need to do to excel over the next 10 years. I have chosen seven corporate slogans to build a plan that will move us forward toward greatness. Here are the 7 I chose, their providers and what they mean to me:
NextEra Energy: We Heard You
              Listen, intently. Listen and observe what is going on around you.
Apple: Think Different.
              Think hard first. Don’t respond until you think. What was really meant by what you heard or saw? Does it matter in the big picture? What should you do with the information?
Alphabet: Don’t Be Evil.
              Live a positive life and do your very best to leave everything better than you found it.
Northrop Grumman: Defining the future
              Define where you want to go. After you listen, observe, and think, then plan positively. Write it down. Break it into steps. Put dates for completion.
Nike: Just Do It
              Stay on focus and do it. Do something toward the goal every day. Even if it is just a small element do it.
McDonald: I’m Loving It
              Love what you do. You don’t have to love every part of it but if by in large you don’t enjoy what you are doing go back to Northrop Grumman.
American Airlines: Going for great.
              Be the best you can be. Don’t settle for mediocre. Plan for greatness. Have a passion for it and then jump back to Nike.
I hope these slogans help you as you listen, reflect, think, gut check, plan, do, love and capture greatness.  

Monday, February 4, 2019

PEMAC Conference Discussion About The Lies Reliability People Tell.


We talked about lies nothing but lies… In our PEMAC Conference table sessions we talked about some of the maintenance and reliability models and tools that we use and some of the subtleties that often aren’t understood or taught correctly. 

We discussed the six failure curves of RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance) and how many think and explain them as relating to types of asset or classes of assets but in reality they relate to types of failure modes of assets. This means that one asset could have many failure modes that relate to different curves so suggesting that one of the curves represents an asset class is incorrect. This explanation helps individuals to then understand that 68% of the failure modes are infant mortality according to the Nolan and Heap study, but 68% of the assets don’t always fail in the infant phase. It is like the difference in an ice cream shop saying 68% of our flavors have chocolate in them but it does not mean that 68% of the ice cream the shop sells has chocolate in it. Some people like vanilla and maybe a lot do. If so, you could sell a majority of vanilla even though most of your other flavors have chocolate in them. With this logic, you could have 68% of your failure modes be infant mortality but when you look at the number of failures they would be a majority of wear out because of the environment or equipment type or process.

The second lie we talked about was RCA (Root Cause Analysis). The table discussed that there is no such thing as root cause because every single problem has root causes. All problems need both actions that happen instantaneously and conditions that have existed over time. The example we used was fire. Fire does not have a cause it has three causes. Ignition which is likely instantaneous and fuel and oxygen which are likely conditions that have existed over time. The key is it takes all three causes not just one root cause.

We finished up by talking with the group about where and how they could use these learnings in their site to improve their reliability programs. 

Do you agree with our thoughts? Share your opinions below.