Asset and maintenance management are becoming increasingly complex tasks. Those responsible must make decisions about the condition of equipment and machinery that can have an impact on the operation of the entire plant. So, it is not at all surprising that they are constantly trying to improve their asset management and maintenance strategies. There are numerous methods and tools available to help companies and managers make decisions regarding their maintenance concepts. Nowadays, it is possible to interpret data to allow foresight into the future condition of the assets. And it is not only about optimizing maintenance management technology. Rather, the entire decision-making process of asset management and the maintenance staff is under scrutiny.
by Terry Taylor
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.”
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.
When it comes to asset management, most companies focus on maintenance, repair and operations (MRO). In theory, this makes sense. You would think that focusing on MRO would be the most effective way to improve equipment performance and reduce downtime. But in fact, it can compromise the effort. Too much focus on MRO prevents people from taking a step back and seeing the big picture. Continue reading
Research currently being carried out by the Center for Risk and Reliability, University of Maryland 1, and funded by the U.S. Navy is aimed at quantifying reliability in scientific terms. The present study “relies on a science-based explanation of damage as the source of material failure and develops an alternative approach to reliability assessment based on the second law of thermodynamics.” Current reliability calculations are predisposed to a single failure mode or mechanism and assume a constant failure rate, while this research implies that reliability is a function of the level of damage a system can sustain, with the operational environment, operating conditions and operational envelope determining the rate of damage growth.
by Owe Forsberg
In best practices, a closeout review or critique meeting gathers all the information from the last event and uses it to prepare for the next event. It is the ammunition your organization can use to either support the current Shutdown/Turnaround/Outage process as cost and safety effective or to challenge how the process is currently performed.
Unfortunately, many organizations either don’t do the review or have the meeting and do not use the information to impact the next shutdown cycle.
Today’s mining industry is facing a new set of challenges. Commodity price projections for the future remain uncertain, global demand remains high and there is a global labor shortage. While the mining industry remains highly competitive and essential to continued global economic growth, mining companies continue to search for ways to sustain growth and profitability. Continue reading
by Heinz P. Bloch
Soon after the BP offshore oil spill in April 2010, quite a bit of soul-searching was done by industry. As you may recall, 11 people lost their lives in the fiery explosion that preceded the release of millions of gallons of crude oil into the U.S. portion of the Gulf coastline. Some sources called it the greatest spill ever and, if nothing else, we can agree that it changed many lives.
Risk taking was then reexamined and job functions and accountabilities were being scrutinized at some corporations. In line with these commendable endeavors, a major oil producer’s corporate maintenance reliability (CMR) team asked me to respond to some interesting questions. They expressed the hope that I might provide some insight.
by H. Paul Barringer
The cost of unreliability is a big picture view of system failure costs, described in annual terms, for a manufacturing plant as if the key elements were reduced to a series block diagram for simplicity. It looks at the production system and reduces the complexity to a simple series system where failure of a single item/equipment/system/processing-complex causes the loss of productive output along with the total cost incurred for the failure. If the system IS sold out, then the cost of unreliability must include all appropriate business costs such as lost gross margin plus repair costs, scrap incurred, etc. If the system is NOT sold out, and make-up time is available in the financial year, then lost gross margin for the failure cannot be counted. The cost of unreliability is a management concern connected to management’s two favorite metrics: time and money.