How can you tell you’ve found the right employee for the job?
NOT LONG AGO I was talking to a recruiter about a placement she was working on. It was tough going. Her client had emphasized that he wanted someone who “really fit in.” But when asked how he’d measure this, he said “I’ll know it when I see it.”
By focusing on people and operational improvement, such an EAM program can significantly improve asset utilization rates while reducing long-term capital costs. That attention to people and operations is an essential element of EAM success, however, strategies centered alone on capital investments in facilities and fleet logistics typically fall short of the significant benefits an effective EAM effort can produce. Continue reading
by Jeff Owens, Advanced Technology Services
Lean out your maintenance process and deliver cost savings and greater efficiency.
Manufacturers worldwide know that Lean maintenance practices cut costs and improve production by minimizing downtime. But the reality is that for many U.S. manufacturers, up to 90% of the maintenance they perform is conducted on a reactive rather than proactive basis. Some blame the age of their equipment, the absence of spare parts and the rapid pace of manufacturing.
A lot of information, time and energy has been devoted recently to emerging and established practices in asset management. This interest, however, actually has a far longer history. Protocols have been undergoing continuous development and evolution for the past 50 years to keep pace with discoveries, expansion and globalization of industries. Cataclysmic events have often been the driving force for positive change because they expose serious operational and management flaws that are responsible for unmitigated risks and exposing people and the environment to harm. Over time, regulations and standards have matured not only to preempt failure, but also to define improved ways to proactively manage physical assets. Figure 1 captures the four traditional risk-based strategies for asset management. Continue reading
A few years ago, this author inherited perhaps the world’s most underperforming, unreliable, unpredictable, unacceptable and all other antonyms that are an antithesis for anything positive, maintenance team. The extreme lack of performance left all sorts of carnage piled up at the front door of the unemployment office. Maintenance managers did not last longer than 18 months before quitting or getting fired. To be fair, it was the result of long-term neglect and a few bad decisions by upper management. Nonetheless, the requirements of the job was to roll up the shirt sleeves, do a deep dive and fix it. Continue reading
There is no doubt early reliability techniques evolved to strategically handle plant maintenance. Predicting failures in advance and allocating sufficient resources helped the industry mitigate the impact of unexpected failures and unplanned outages. The early techniques also prevented maintenance folks from patching up the failures and demanded detailed root cause studies so problems leading to failures are fixed once and for all. But after many years, the function of reliability is still so tightly married to maintenance that it is often perceived to be the only combination that can unlock all challenges related to an asset. But can maintenance alone handle all aspects of reliability throughout the lifecycle of an asset? What if the asset has inherent design flaws or inadequate commissioning procedures? What if it is being operated outside of its operating parameters? Such issues are related to engineering and operations, which are outside of the maintenance scope. Continue reading
For purposes of this article, reactive maintenance is any planned or unplanned work with a priority designation of emergency or urgent, therefore requiring immediate attention. Plus, there could be work of any priority that is “worked on” outside of the weekly schedule, which this author calls “self-inflicted reactive maintenance.”
In late May, Uptime Publisher Terrence O’Hanlon posted on LinkedIn that attendance at maintenance conferences has dropped significantly. Responses to his post offered plausible reasons, including budget constraints, lack of or recurring content, and total saturation. While these are no doubt contributors, there may be one more growing reason for this decline: more and more organizations are finally recognizing that maintenance is not the source of their competitive or financial problems. This article provides proof for why this reason may be on point.
The road to better manufacturing performance is littered with well-meaning improvement efforts that fall short. In some cases, initial progress fizzles out due to a lack of structure and incentives. In others, the workforce never embraces the desired change, viewing it as a top-down directive rather than an initiative they can truly own. Although executives often recognize emerging issues that impede improvement, developing and executing strategies that effectively address those issues have proved to be a recurring challenge.