Traditionally, reliability engineers have been the leaders in introducing new maintenance processes and technologies. As the primary owners of asset reliability, whether or not it came from the introduction of condition-based maintenance or instrumentation, they have been at the core of the transformation. Continue reading
Most machines have rotating parts and those rotating parts vibrate. Measuring how and how much those parts vibrate can tell you a lot about the health of a machine. Whether it’s the rumble of worn bearings or the shaking, shimmying, or thumping of loose, misaligned, or unbalanced parts, machines have a tale to tell those who are willing and able to listen. Continue reading
To some people, the word “housekeeping” calls to mind cleaning floors and surfaces, removing dust, and organizing clutter.
But in a work setting, it means much more. Housekeeping is crucial to safe workplaces. It can help prevent injuries and improve productivity and morale, as well as make a good first impression on visitors, according to Cari Gray, safety consultant for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. It also can help an employer avoid potential fines for non-compliance. Continue reading
A sophisticated signal processing technique can help to pinpoint bearing failure at an early stage. Chris Hansford, Managing Director at Hansford Sensors, explains.
Experienced operators can often tell if a machine is not working properly, on the basis that is does not ‘sound right’. The same principle can be applied – using modern electronics – to identify the exact cause of the problem. Continue reading
Unfortunately, there is not an easy way to tell if lubricants have been mixed unless they have vastly different viscosities, such as ISO 32 and ISO 680. You then most likely would see a thickening or thinning of the lubricant. Also, if a red automatic transmission fluid (ATF) was mixed with an engine oil, there might be some type of color change.
Proactive organizations recognize that one of the critical success factors in achieving a best practices reliability program is developing a sound maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) spare parts program. That notion is quickly followed by the realization that there are potentially hundreds of improvement opportunities that typically could be associated with a materials management effort. As such, it becomes overwhelming to determine where to start.
In the not too distant past, most senior level managers would cringe when someone said a failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) needed to be performed on the hydraulic system. What immediately came to mind is a bunch of highly paid people sitting around a table dreaming up ways to eliminate things that may or may not happen to their hydraulically operated equipment.
Many companies are beginning to search for and implement sophisticated maintenance and reliability (M&R) tools and technologies in hopes of finding the next best thing to help achieve operational excellence (OE). Terms, such as asset performance management (APM), predictive analytics, machine learning, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the Cloud, connected plant, etc., are making their way into everything M&R. As game changing as these concepts can be, adopting advanced technologies without first addressing the basic fundamentals of M&R is like building the world’s finest home on a crumbling foundation.
In some organizations, reliability is not just a word, but a culture that has been built over a period of time. Developing a reliability culture is not solely a top-down approach or dependent on the company’s vision. Sometimes, it is taken as a normal, routine job, while other times, it may get a fast-track status.