Thursday, February 11, 2010

What Can You Learn from the Reliability Challenge

Reliable Manufacturing is a constant challenge. Every day we have to strive to eliminate waste, produce more with less and out pace our competition.  Would it not be great if we could practice before the big game? Now we can. Check out the simulation at Once you try the Reliability Challenge read on to learn some of the key points to improving your score both online and within your plant.
We have grouped the elements into three areas: creating a reliable foundation, changing a plant’s culture, and ensuring sustainability.
Creating a reliable foundation
To win the Reliability Challenge, you must start with a structured foundation of core elements that are built in a specific order that’s not arbitrary or ad hoc. For example, a company would not implement advanced Predictive Maintenance (PdM) techniques if they did not have proper work control processes, ensuring that the identified defects could be planned, scheduled, and eliminated or mitigated. Simply put PdM without an effective work execution process is like helicopter without a propeller; it may look nice and shiny but it is not going to get you off the ground.
Changing the culture
Similar to the real world, taking short cuts in the Reliability Challenge is a recipe for failure. The plant did not morph into its current state overnight, nor will it be fixed in a 24-hour period. Take the time to create a master plan that takes into account your project, risk, and communication plans. Don’t rush the change if the resources are not available and take the time to understand the dynamics of change. You do have to be reactive to get proactive – but reactive in a smart way.
Ensuring sustainability
In order to sustain improvements, you must ensure that the facility understands the goals. Once goals have been established, use metrics to insure focus.
Once metrics have been established it is important to drive continuous improvement, as some elements naturally degrade over time. Lean, Six Sigma and RCM – all of which are represented in the Reliability Challenge - provide the processes and tools for continuous improvement. 
In conclusion…
There is not one way to solve reliability or plant issues, just like there is not one single path through the forest. However, when you have a foundation built on best practices, a clear plan backed up by good change management, and established continuous improvement; you have the winning combination to conquer the challenge.
Now don’t forget the most fundamental rule of any game: practice makes perfect! Enjoy the Reliability Challenge and practice the game of change, so you can win our Reliability Challenge and yours!

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