Is Safety a Backseat Driver?

by Holcombe Baird III, Reliability Center, Inc.
This article originally appeared in IMPO’s April 2015 print issue.

We have all experienced it when in a car. The voice from the back that says, “You are following too close,” “You are driving too fast” or “You just went through a red light.” It’s the backseat driver.  Backseat drivers are quick to point out when the driver falls short in obeying the rules of the road. They observe the driver’s actions and compare them to the set of rules they learned of what is proper and acceptable for a similar situation.  When they observe a negative deviation, they immediately bring it to the driver’s attention. Their intention is to point out the driver’s error so the driver will remember the correction when a similar situation happens again.  These “backseat” corrections lag behind the thought process used to determine what actions to take.   Continue reading

The Financial Benefits of Reliability

by Bruce Hawkins, CMRP, Emerson Reliability Consulting
This article originally appeared in IMPO’s April 2015 print issue.

When manufacturing organizations look to asset reliability to improve their facilities, there is often one main driver behind this decision: financial performance. There are many reasons to employ reliability practices including improved safety and production, but many companies focus on reliability initiatives because they touch so many aspects of the business and yield strong financial results. Continue reading

A Twist on Particle Evaluation: Redefining the ISO Cleanliness Code

by Matt Spurlock

For over 20 years, users of oil analysis have used the ISO cleanliness code to help determine solid contamination levels in both new and used oils. The current ISO standard for reporting cleanliness is ISO4406:99. Using this standard, analysts and end users alike have managed to establish cleanliness goals and develop key performance indicators (KPIs) with the expectation to allow for preemptive action to avoid early machine damage. While this has produced some success, relying specifically on the ISO code as it is currently reported has its limitations. Continue reading

Fluorescent Cleaning NDT

by James Deardorff, President, Superior Coatings, Chillicothe, MO

New integrated process combines traditional cleaning methods with fluorescence-based inspection.

Abstract
In recent years, the tremendous growth of available technologies and the resulting trend towards component miniaturization and increased product reliability has challenged many companies to upgrade their current cleaning operations to satisfy the higher quality standards required by new product designs.

Continue reading

7 Ways Leaders Fail

by Gregory Alford

To mangle a 270-year-old sonnet written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning—How do we dislike our bosses? Let us count the ways.

Survey after survey, Americans (and everyone else) trash their bosses. Gallup reports only 12 percent of American workers are engaged. Research conducted and published by Inc. reveals 75 percent of employees say their boss is the worst part of their job. And two-thirds add a new (better) boss is even more desired than a pay raise.

Ouch! Continue reading

Shining a Black Light on Coating Inspections

by James Deardorff, Superior Coatings Co.

The highest-quality, longest-lasting coatings available to consumers are installed at the factory. Factory finishes are applied in a controlled environment using quality materials and highly specialized equipment. Also, prefabricated metal will never be cleaner or in better condition than when it is used to manufacture new products. The longer the original coating lasts, the higher its value to the asset and the owner. Continue reading

Ten Steps to Pump Reliability – Part 1

By Tom Dabbs and Dan Pereira

Pump reliability is an old topic, but it is just as relevant today as it was the first time we heard it a few decades ago. There are some very good reasons to focus on improving pump reliability:

  • The average annual maintenance and operations spending on centrifugal pumps is 50 percent greater than for any other type of rotating machine (FiveTwelve Group, August 2006).
  • Centrifugal pumps in many plants consume more than 50 percent of total plant motor energy (Hydraulic Institute).
  • Pumps consume more energy than any other class of industrial equipment (U.S. Department of Energy, 2005).
  • A Finnish Research Center study of centrifugal pump performance (“Expert Systems for Diagnosis and Performance of Centrifugal Pumps,” 1996) found that the average pumping efficiency was less than 40 percent for 1,690 pumps reviewed across 20 different plants, including all market segments. The study also revealed that 10 percent of the pumps were less than 10 percent efficient.

Continue reading

Failure Teaches Success

By R. Keith Mobley, Principal SME, Life Cycle Engineering
As appeared in th
e July 2014 Edition of Reflections on Excellence

I absolutely hate to fail, but must admit that failure is an unescapable part of life. Thankfully most of my failures over the years have been relatively minor. Nonetheless, they have been a true source of irritation and frustration that in many ways outweigh the successes. Fortunately my early mentors taught me to use failure, no matter how serious or minor, as a learning tool and a platform to build upon. That lesson, combined with Mobley’s 10th Law, “Making the same mistake twice is unforgivable”, has played a major role in my successful journey over the past five decades. With each failure, my knowledge and expertise increased, enabling faster and surer growth. Continue reading

Maintenance Tip – Oil Sampling

By Terry Taylor, IDCON INC

The most important point about oil samples and oil analysis in general is you are looking for any “change” that is taking place.

In order to see a “change”, each sample must be taken in a consistent and repeatable manner. Oil Sampling can be accomplished in a many ways. However, there are only a few ways in which the sample can be correctly captured. Continue reading